By LOIS KINDLE
Humans aren’t the only ones who need professional grooming to look and feel their best. That’s why companies like Dog Tags Mobile Grooming exist.
Co-owned and operated by Riverview resident Jody Northington, a fully licensed, insured and certified master pet groomer, the company was started May 3, and already business is booming.
Northington, 35, said she always wanted a career working with animals. The military wife and mother of six worked as a pet sitter for many years and loved it, but she dreamed of becoming a groomer.
When her husband, Jonathan, retired recently from the Air Force after 24 years, the couple decided it was time for Northington to pursue her dream.
She first took a 12-month, online course through Animal Behavioral College, which included a 150-hour externship at Hot Dog Grooming & Spa in Seffner. There, she honed her skills, got practical experience and learned about aromatherapy and special services like blueberry facials.
About the same time as her graduation in April, Northington and her husband purchased a large, fully equipped van. Shortly after, she was in business.
“It’s been the best decision we’ve ever made,” Northington said. “I get to interact with dogs all day, and that brings me so much joy.
“I currently do between six and seven dogs per day,” she added. “I have no breed restrictions. My prices depend on the weight of the dog, and I provide a quote upfront.”
Dog Tags Mobile Grooming offers two spa packages to clients all over South Shore. The Silver features a bath with a blueberry facial; blow-dry; nail trim and file; pad and paw treatment; ear plucking and cleaning; sanitary cut; a bandana or bow and cologne. Prices start at $45. The Gold includes all of that, plus a cut and style. It starts at $65.
Add-on services include anal glands, $5; teeth cleaning, $5; and flea dip, $10.
Veterans and active members of the military receive a 10% discount.
If Northington is in the area, she said she will drop by and do only a nail trim for $10 for anyone.
“I feel I’m so blessed,” she said. “From day one, I’ve been so busy. I thought it would take at least a year to build the business, but it’s literally been crazy.
“I’m so grateful,” she added. “I have wonderful customers.”
Cherie Rodgers, of Apollo Beach, is one of them. Northington grooms her Shih Tzu-poodle mix, Bella, about every three weeks.
“Jody is great, “Rodgers said. “You can tell she loves what she does.
“I highly recommend her,” she continued. “She comes to my house and does such a good job. Bella always smells amazing. I’m so glad I found her.”
Dog Tags Mobile Grooming’s business hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, call 774-487-4004, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.dogtagsmobilegrooming.com or check out its Facebook page.