By Starrla Cray
MAYER, MN After years of professional pet grooming experience, Heidi Caviness (maiden name Bergstrom) is “paws-itively” pleased to be starting her own grooming salon.
“I’ve been getting quite a few clients so far,” said Caviness, adding that the first day K-9 Grooming Salon at 121 Ash Ave. N in Mayer opened was Sept. 6.
Dogs that visit the salon are treated to bathing, brushing, fluff drying, nail clipping, ear cleaning, trimming, and more.
“I focus on building a relationship with the dogs, so that they don’t mind coming here,” Caviness said.
She provides a quiet, calm environment, and uses gentle grooming techniques to help dogs feel comfortable.
For Caviness, pet grooming is a rewarding occupation.
“I grew up with animals,” said Caviness, a rural Norwood Young America native. “My sister, Traci, and I were always taking in stray animals. We probably drove our mom crazy.”
Caviness has fond memories of birds, rabbits, dogs, cats, and other creatures from her childhood.
“We raised ducks, and they imprinted on me and followed me everywhere,” she said.
Initially, Caviness considered her love of animals to be simply a hobby, and didn’t think she’d be able to work with them full time.
After graduating from Central High School in 1999, she attended college for accounting.
“I was actually not sure what I wanted to do,” she said, adding that she later tried sales and management positions.
Then, in 2004, Caviness heard her brother say that he applied for a job at a grooming shop.
“I was like, ‘really? What is that?’” she recalled.
Intrigued, she did some research, and discovered Pet-Agree Grooming in Shakopee. The owner taught Caviness how to groom, and later, Caviness also became licensed through a 12-week grooming program in Oakdale.
Before starting K-9 Grooming Salon, Caviness gained an additional 6.5 years of experience from a pet shop in Eden Prairie and at St. Boni Pet Hospital.
“I love and care about animals,” she said, adding that she has been part of Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota for the past five years.
In that time, she’s provided foster care for about 15 to 20 dogs.
“One of them was pregnant, so I also had puppies for awhile,” she added.
Caviness also has two dogs of her own a 6-year-old Shih Tzu named Achilles, and a 9-year-old Labrador named Roscoe.
Caviness’ husband, Jeff, likes having animals around, as well. The couple got married about a month ago, and live in Watertown.
Caviness said she might like to do private pet boarding at her home in the future, but for now, she’s focused on providing expert pet grooming at her new business.
K-9 Grooming Salon is open Tuesday through Saturday. To make an appointment, call (952) 657-2228.