Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'
Meeting this bespectacled beauty with the affable girl-next-door vibe, you discover she’s a mom, wife, business owner, and . . . very fun woman to know.
The spunky pet groomer has been beautifying dogs and cats for a decade, and, "I recently started my own business doing house-call grooming for cats — I wanted to reach out to them on a more personal level in their comfort zone." Jenn’s mobile service is called Kitty Mao Mao. She also grooms both dogs and cats at Sniff Dog Hotel.
Jenn says her first experience in pet grooming changed the course of her life.
"I went to Pet Grooming Academy to pay for my education at the University of Central Florida, where I was working toward a degree in Elementary Education. A friend owned a grooming shop, so I thought it could be a helpful skill to make extra money when I was off for the summer. I enjoyed the animals so much I decided not to teach when I graduated."
It was a natural niche. "My mom loved animals, and passed that on to me." Jenn has had dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, and horses, and . . . "One time I brought home a baby turtle and kept him in a cooler until he was big enough to release back into the lake," she giggles.
She loves a variety of music, but says happily, "country will always remind me of being a kid."
If she ever switched careers, Jenn says she might return to her roots. "Teaching Elementary School — I really like working with kids," she says. "They see the world totally different than adults, and sometimes they give the best advice."
Meanwhile she finds joy in her own daughter. “Watching her learn something new makes my heart swell," Jenn smiles. "She just turned four, and she’s such a fun kid! She’s always making me laugh at something."
Not so much the family felines. "I have two cats, Logan and Sugarfoot, both recycled from the humane society,” she smiles. My daughter is very lucky they put up with her shenanigans."
Jenn’s guilty pleasures are diverse: "I'm a complete sucker for caramel," fruit baskets (“my favorite, Anime & Manga!"), and any studio Ghibli film, "but #1 will always be Totoro!"
An Oregonian of seven years, “I’m a Floridian and my husband’s a Canadian. Portland was our compromise — he’s close to a mountain, and I’m close to the coast." So it follows that if she could have two homes she’d pick Cannon Beach and Key West. “I have always loved the ocean and sunsets. This would be the best of both worlds — the cold stormy Oregon coast, and a warm tropical island."
The shoes that are so Jenn? "Definitely my Chucks. I’ve had these slip-on Converse for over a decade, and they’re still my fav. Once upon a time they were black, but I recently gave them a makeover to match my purple hair!"
Her bucket list is topped by a "Hot Springs Road Trip! . . . Travel up through British Columbia and Alaska and visit a ton of hot springs. And being that far north I could probably knock off something else from the list — see the northern lights."
Asked about her favorite possession, Jenn answered thoughtfully, "I try really hard not to place too much value on material things. I would do anything for my daughter and husband. I suppose if I really had to pick something it would be my wedding ring since it’s a symbol of the first page in the story of my family."
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Hunter live in Sherwood.
Christy Caballero writes from her soul about animals and their humans. She lives with three big greyhounds and one slightly neurotic foster greyhound -- who never wants to leave. Ever.