I first met Noeleen when we rescued Joey from Ash Animal Rescue. We were delighted we were able to get him and he has become a great friend to our other Pointer Coco. Noeleen does great work at Ash and I know from talking to her that she absolutely loves dogs and the work that she does.
Gizmo’s grooming is a great facility that offers a really personal level of one on one service. I have no doubt you will love reading about Noeleen and her business, and if you live in the Carlow area then get in touch with her to make an appointment. Your dog will love you for it!
Tell us a little about yourself and what you get up to in your spare time.
I’m 25 years old, and I’ve lived in Carlow my whole life. I’m the youngest of four and I’m the only die hard animal lover in my family! I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 5! The moment I realised what meat was, I was done and I haven’t touched it since!
I studied a 3 year business degree in I.T Carlow and then went on to train in dog grooming with Professional dog Grooming Wexford. I opened Gizmo’s Grooming in December 2013 it was possibly one of the scariest and riskiest things I’ve done but it’s been completely worth it.
In my spare time I do a bit of volunteering with the fantastic charity ASH animal rescue. I spend every Sunday there helping out, walking dogs and getting photos of the new dogs for rehoming! I also run their facebook page.
I highly recommend volunteering to anyone. I always hated Sundays! I’m not very good at sitting around, I like to be kept busy. I adopted my dog Daisy from ASH in 2009, I mentioned I’d be interested in volunteering and after one day volunteering I was hooked.
I have been volunteering the past five years now. It’s extremely rewarding work, the team in ASH work extremely hard and it’s amazing to see the transformation in some of the dogs that come in and then seeing them head off to their new homes.
Other than that my own animals take up a lot of my time and money!! But, I wouldn’t have it any other way!!
What type of pets do you have?
I’m very lucky in that I have 12 pets in total 6 dogs and 6 cats and I adore each and every one of them. My animals are all rescues, be they ones that strayed in, or ones I fell in love with through my volunteering with ASH. Most of them were never meant to permanently live with us, they were all “fosters” that were just staying till we found a good home and then they never left.
I originally had only big dogs, Sally a collie, Louie a lab cross, Daisy a red setter cross, and Harry a lurcher. Then I fostered a tiny little terrier puppy called Timmy that never left. Then just before Christmas a customer of mine found our last dog Elvis in a woods nearby, he again was only staying for a few weeks and he never left!
Some of them had a bit of a rough past so as you can imagine our house is very interesting but I love them for it and home wouldn’t be home without them.
My first dog Gizmo was a springer I got when I was only four years old. He lived to the grand old age of 17 and he was my best friend my whole childhood. We were inseparable, so it only seemed right I call my grooming parlour after him.
What made you decide to open up a groomers?
When I was younger all I wanted to do was become a vet, nothing was going to stop me and then as I got older I realised the hard work involved and long hours. So I thought maybe Vet nursing would be better suited to me. My entire time in secondary school I was studying with the plan of being a vet nurse and then a few days before I filled out the CAO form I was watching one of those vet programmes and I saw the vet nurse helping out with surgery and all the things involved in vet nursing. I just thought no way that’s not for me. So I then went on to study a degree in Business with the hope of opening my own grooming business.
I finished out in college and tried a few different jobs and while I was content enough I was never quite happy. Just over two years ago I found myself with no job and with the recession, no prospects of getting one. So I decided I had nothing to lose, I did my training and just under a year later Gizmo’s Grooming was established.
I guess it just makes sense when you love animals so much why not work with them.
What do you love most about the work that you do?
I guess the best thing is getting to spend so much time with so many different dogs and getting to know their different personalities. It’s amazing to see how different they are.
It’s also great meeting so many lovely people. Dog owners all tend to be kind, caring people, otherwise they wouldn’t have a dog, so it’s great getting to talk to people hearing about their pets and hearing the stories they have to tell. Anyone that knows me knows I could spend the day talking about dogs so getting to talk to fellow dog lovers is like therapy in a way!
What’s a typical day like for you?
A typical day is an early start where I get all my own pets out and about for a run, I’m lucky to have the river track just beside me and also enclosed fields so they can run to their hearts content!
Then it’s usually an 8.30/9.00am start in the grooming parlour. When a dog comes in I check their coat thoroughly to check the overall condition and advise the owner on what I can do and what style would be best suited. Then the owners say their goodbyes and we get to work, each groom includes a wash and dry, clipping and styling, nails clipped, and ears cleaned.
The whole procedure takes 2-3 hours depending on the size of the dog. I groom no more than 4 dogs a day, I find any more than that I’m put under pressure and that’s when it’s easy to forget to do their nails and clean their ears etc. I like to ensure all dogs are in tip top condition before they leave. It’s also very important that I get some time to play with the dogs and give them cuddles.
You want your doggy customers to like being groomed and like you as a person! So they’ll be happy to see you again. Once the last dog goes home the grooming parlour is given a thorough scrubbing and disinfecting from top to bottom.
If your doggy customers could talk what do you think they would say about you?
I sometimes forget they can’t talk! I spend so much time chatting away to them while I groom. I find it relaxes them. If they could talk I’d like to think they’d have plenty of positive things to say! I know not all dogs enjoy grooming, especially getting their nails trimmed but once it’s all done they’re always so much happier and they know you’ve helped them. I’d like to think they might thank me for what I do.
Some dogs especially ones who are extremely matted do thank me in their own way. I remember one dog when I first started up was found straying by a lovely family who brought her for a groom. She was a bichon and she was so matted she couldn’t wag her tail or see properly with all the hair. So by the end of the long grooming session, she’d had a bath and a total clip back and she was all fresh. I popped her on the ground and this once dull, depressed dog came to life she chased her tail for ten minutes solid! She must have forgot she had it. She then dived up into my arms and gave lots of doggie kisses!
How can people get in touch with you?
People can get in touch by
Calling me on : 0851552516
Email : [email protected]