Student of the Month
Dog Groomer Hollis Gutwein
Hollis Gutwein, who lives in Greene County, New York, was inspired by her dog Fozzie to become a dog groomer. Fozzie’s long coat was difficult to manage in the summer when he was outside swimming every day, so Hollis wanted to learn to groom him properly. She recently completed the dog groomer program and opened her own mobile grooming business Pearl in the Ruff, which is named after Hollis’ other dog Pearl, Fozzie’s sister.
Having been in the pet supply retail industry for 15 years, Hollis was ready for something more artistic and challenging. It had to involve dogs, of course. Grooming was her first choice. She was the manager of a small business, and once she started her externship she decided to dedicate her time to schooling and her externship.
During her externship, she was tasked with grooming a sweet, but old Cocker Spaniel. The dog had many health issues, so she tried to keep the groom simple and short. “Not only was I flattered that I was trusted to take good care of her, but when her owners came to pick her up, they loved how she looked,” says Hollis.
Another memorable moment for her was when a pair of Poodles came in for their weekly grooms. “They were so used to being there that they did not have to be crated,” recalls Hollis. “They loved greeting everyone and would know when it was their time for their baths and follow you into the bathing room.”
She heard about Animal Behavior College through a friend who had become a certified dog trainer through the school’s dog trainer program. “[My friend] had a positive experience with the school, so I decided to look further into ABC,” says Hollis. “I did not need any convincing to become certified. I always want to learn as much as I can and felt this was a great way to do so.”
If she could style a dog after a celebrity, it would be Pink. “I think the rocker hair and colors would look so cute on a dog and would be something fun people could laugh and talk about,” says Hollis.