A Family Affair
story by Jodi Camp
At 10 a.m., Kim Atwood, 52, owner of Precious Paws Pet Grooming, begins to trim the fur of a terrier, her second dog of the day. In the back her father, Dave, bathes a greyhound. In front, her daughter-in-law, Amelia, updates the computer.
"Precious Paws is a family group effort," Kim says.
Kim began her business in 2008, working out of her home. A year later she moved into her own building. Her husband, Mark, encouraged her. "The people coming to her were really impressed with her work," he says.
Kim grew up with dogs and has been a groomer for 10 years. She trained at Nash Academy in Lexington. "I just like working with the dogs," Kim says. "Most of them are really sweet, even though they may not like what you're doing."
The salon has a family atmosphere. Leigh Ann Shaw, one of the groomers, says workers treat each other like brothers and sisters. "We play pranks on each other; we're mean," says Kristen Domke, another groomer.
"I've got fantastic groomers," Kim says. "The girls in my salon want to put out quality work."
Each groomer works with five to seven dogs a day. That adds up to about 6,500 dogs a year.
"You build a relationship with all the dogs and owners, I enjoy that," Leigh Ann says.
At 4 p.m., Kim is grooming her last dog of the day, a poodle mix. Mary Sue Cook walks in to pick up Riley. When she sees her dog wriggling in Kim's arms, her face lights up. As she places Riley in Mary Sue's arms, Kim smiles.