"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France
This blog post is dedicated to Pet Groomerie's First Lady, Aggie, who passed away on June 11 at the age of 11. She was the inspiration for this whole company; the dog who let new groomers try their skills out on her; the sweet face that greeted us at the office; a friend, companion, sister, family member. She is deeply missed and her absence is keenly felt.
Tim and Jessica got Aggie when she was a puppy. As Tim tells it, while Jessica had to convince Tim to get a dog, by the time Tim spent a few weeks one-on-one with little Aggie, she had carved a permanent place in his heart. He recalls reading two excellent books on dog training, How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend and The Art of Raising A Puppy, both by the Monks of New Skete. One piece of training advice the books gave was on how to become the "leader of the pack" in your dog's eyes. The monks recommend going somewhere without distractions, placing your puppy down, and walking away, without looking back. Your puppy will follow you and when he does, he's established you as the alpha. Tim recalls doing this with Aggie in the woods, and remembers when she caught up to him. He has never forgotten that moment: it was one of those moments that felt almost primal, in which the bond between human and dog became crystal clear. Aggie helped Tim realize the responsibility we owe to these wonderful animals who make our lives better -- make us better -- and who trust us with their lives and well-being.
Making Aggie part of their pack was, for Tim and Jessica, integral to their forming Bright Eyed Pets in 2005. Aggie was the poster girl -- you can see her on the first mobile van below.
She even became the sweet pup on whom groomers-in-training practiced their skills. She was part of the inspiration for Scenthound, too, whose mission is to ensure that even dogs who don't need regular haircuts still get regular care and maintenance.
Aggie was a regular fixture the office:
And she made the Vogel family -- and the Pet Groomerie family -- complete. Aggie was a gentle, sweet, kind, lovable pup who will forever have a place in our hearts.