All Pet Grooming in Edgewater: Four decades of keeping dogs trim – Daytona Beach News-Journal

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EDGEWATER — For her sixth birthday, Chloe is getting the full spa treatment —  canine style.

A snow white Goldendoodle, a breed that mixes Golden Retriever and Poodle, Chloe is one of many satisfied regulars at All Dog Grooming, where owner Bev Hornby marked her 40th year in September coiffing the four-legged set at a cozy shop in a blink-and-you-miss-it plaza on North  Ridgewood Avenue.

“It just came easy, ” said Hornby of the profession that she stepped into at age 20, after working for a short time as an office manager for a truck rental company and finishing an AA degree in business with the vaguely envisioned goal of a toiling in an office somewhere.

“Now, I’m so glad that I didn’t, ” she said of that abandoned career path. “I’m in the most rewarding job. I get to make everybody look beautiful. ”

By her own estimation, at a rate of roughly 10 dogs a day, five days a week, give or take a few vacation weeks each year, that will comes to about 100, 000 customers.

“How many toenails have I clipped? ” she said. “Millions plus millions of toenails. Think about that. ”

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On a recent afternoon, Hornby’s craft involves running electric clippers slowly around the perimeter of Chloe’s face, then along her belly. With several different pairs of scissors, Hornby also trims straggling white strands of fur dangling unevenly from her ears and clips a rounded furry frame for her face.

At Hornby’s feet, tufts of white hair dot the floor like cotton balls. Nearby, Chloe’s brother, Parker, watches quietly, patiently awaiting his turn. Both dogs are utterly mellow.

Unlike many groomers, Hornby works without using any harnesses or restraints. Instead, she just talks to her canine customers in a soothing voice, sits on the floor with them and nudges them into needed positions by hand.

“I’ve never seen anyone who can relate to dogs the way that Bev does, ” said Bobbi Barlow, Chloe and Parker’s owner. “She just has a magical way about her. When you bring your dogs here, you know that she loves them almost as much as you do. ”

In terms of customer loyalty, Chloe and Parker are part of an extended family tree that represents three generations of pet owners in the Barlow’s extended family. Bobbi’s father, longtime Edgewater resident and business owner Bob Poland, started bringing his Schnauzer mix, Penny, to the shop more than 30 years ago.

Now, Barlow’s daughters bring the girl “granddogs” to shop, traveling from Orlando and Boca Raton for monthly visits, the girl said.

“They feel comfortable here, ” Barlow said of the animals.

‘Great therapy regarding me’

For Hornby, her connection to animals and the people who love them is an emotional one, the bond that has been intensified within the wake of Tropical Storm Ian .

Bev and her husband of 33 years, Pete, lost virtually everything —  appliances, furniture, bedding —  in their New Smyrna Beach home when Ian dumped 16-18 inches of water on the couple’s Ellison Acres neighborhood off State Road 44.

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When that news reached longtime customers, a stream of donations arrived to help them recover.

“One of my customers gave us a bed, ” Hornby said. “I never thought at 60 years old I’d be grateful to have a bed to sleep in. I’m so humbled by what everyone has done. It’s overwhelming, the kindness from everyone. ”

Despite the damages from Ian, Hornby returned immediately to the shop, buzzing and clipping away at canine clients as she has done for four decades.

“Just being able to come to work to do this is great therapy for me, ” she said. “They say dogs are emotionally supportive, and it’s true. ”

An old-school approach

It’s hard for Hornby to explain how she relates so effortlessly to dogs.

“I guess it comes from within, ” she said. “When I need to calm them, I just tell them it’s OK. It’s like they’re all my kids. ”

Forty years ago, Hornby took an impulsive leap into the grooming business when a favorite aunt had a hard time locating someone in Volusia County to clip her pet Schnauzer.

“My parents asked me if I’d be interested, ” Hornby said. “There were no schools to teach you, so I went to a local groomer and he taught me how. ”

That crash course, at a shop called Poodles By Dana, lasted roughly a month, Hornby recalls. Although she doesn’t remember the owner’s name, the lessons lasted a lifetime, she said.

“The way he did it was the way I was taught, using no restraints, ” the girl said. “It’s less traumatic on the dogs. ”

Her old-school approach extends to other aspects of the business. There’s no website, no Facebook page. Instead of a computer, she uses a well-worn school binder to record appointments that generally keep the girl booked weeks in advance.

The cost ranges through $45 for small canines to $60-$70 for larger dogs for sessions that include shampoos, nail trims, haircuts and other services, she said.

Not every dog is a model customer, however.

Over eight years of regular visits, customer Susan Polizzi’s Yorkshire Terrier Meeko has earned the particular nickname “Jaws, ” for his tendency to attack the blow dryer and clippers, Polizzi said.

Nevertheless, typically the monthly grooming appointments are always happy occasions for Meeko and Polizzi’s second dog, Tucker, a Bichon-Shih Tzu mix, she said.

“She’s just very loving to them — and they love to go, ” said Polizzi, 63, of Edgewater. “She spritzes them with perfume and, oh, they smell so good. They’re nice and fluffy and always have a bowtie on.   These pets are her family. These are her boys. ”

Hornby’s family members approach at the shop doesn’t extend to cats, even though she has 10 of them as pets at home, part of a menagerie that also includes a pet Boxer, Louie, and — at least briefly — an animal land crab.

The felines wore out their welcome more than 30 years ago, when one sank its teeth into Hornby’s shoulder during a grooming session, an encounter that required a hospital visit.

“I don’t do cats anymore, ” the lady said.

When it comes to dogs, Hornby can’t imagine ever retiring from All Pet Grooming.  

“I had to close for six weeks during COVID and I missed it so much, ” your woman said. “You’re making over the dogs and it makes them feel good; and that makes me feel great. I want to keep doing it as long as I can. It’s who I am. ”

Timeline: 1982

When All Pet Grooming opened its doors in 1982, here’s the snapshot of what else was happening in the world:

• Michael Jackson released his groundbreaking “Thriller” album.

• The debut episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” aired on NBC.

• Walt Disney World opened its future-minded theme park, EPCOT.

• The box-office hit “E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was released.

• Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide killed seven in Chicago.

• The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D. C.

• Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands.

• The first issue of USA Today was published.

WHAT: All Pet Tidying

WHERE:   105 N. Ridgewood Ave.   Edgewater

HOURS:   7 a new. m. -5 p. m. Tuesday-Saturday, by appointment

CALL:   386-423-8452

Made Just Right: About this series

The Daytona Beach News-Journal is spotlighting area businesses that have been around long enough to be an important part of our collective history. If you are the owner of a business that has been in operation for at least 25 years, or if you want to nominate a business for recognition, please contact reporter Jim Abbott at jim. [email protected] com Be sure to include your name, phone number and a little bit about the history of the company.

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