Longtime Cheshire pet groomer: ‘You have to have a knack for it’ – Meriden Record-Journal
CHESHIRE — An award-winning standard breed poodle named Jett often acts as greeter as customers enter Beauty in the Beast, a local pet grooming shop.
Jett is the animal companion of shop owner Allyson Eliason. With the official name of Majessa Walk on the Wild Side, Jett is all black, beautifully-coiffed, and very friendly.
Inside the Cornwall Avenue business, another friendly dog appears to be enjoying the shower station, where he is in mid-rinse.
Eliason said, “He’s Brody. Did I tell you Brody belongs to a former NFL player?”
That would be Rob Ninkovich, who many will remember from his days with the New England Patriots. Ninkovich’s golden retriever is a regular at Beauty in the Beast and seems quite content as the shop owner bathes him.
Eliason has been grooming dogs and cats for decades. After getting her start with well-known Cheshire groomer Ann Fisher at Elite Clips, in 1993 at the age of 26, Eliason decided to open her own place in town.
Eliason figures she got her entrepreneurial spirit from her parents, both of whom owned businesses.
“You have to have a knack for it,” Eliason said of being a groomer.
And you have to love animals. “You cannot be afraid,” she said.
Most pets Eliason tends to begin getting groomed when they are young, and get used to being handled.
Eliason and her assistant groomer, Marjorie Segzerman, work together on many of the animals.
While most animals are well-behaved, Eliason recalls a certain feline early in her career who was not at all happy.
“One of the first cats I ever washed. He was looking mad. He jumped on my head—and promptly sank his nails into my scalp,” she said, pointing out that there were no hard feelings afterwards – at least not from her perspective.
According to Eliason, everyone with a pet should use grooming services, regularly. Grooming helps animals with socializing. Plus, it’s a check-up of sorts, where growths and other signs of illness may be detected.
The standard grooming visit works like an assembly line, Eliason said.
“For a dog, we clip the pads free of hair, clip nails, pull the hair from inside ears – we gently twist it out – to keep their ear canals clean,” she explained. “We clean their ears, comb them out, and take care of matted hair. In the tub, they get two shampoos, and they get a blow-out with a hairdryer. The animal is finished with a stand drier. They don’t mind at all.”