The Groom Room owner Jody Grizzell loves dogs, and her customers in and around Pratt love her grooming services.
When clients and pets enter The Groom Room at 620 South Main in Pratt they are welcomed by Jake, a 65-pound lab mix dog with no tail. He makes everyone feel welcome and at ease. The Groom Room, owned by Jody Grizzell, is a place where pets and their people come first, and the busy schedule proves the point.
“I am usually booked for four to six weeks in advance,” said Grizzell.
Since opening in the summer of 2006, Grizzell has provided a needed service for Pratt pets and their owners. An animal grooming session starts with a bath, followed by brushing, haircut, nail trim and attention to ears. She doesn’t do scissor-cuts. Prices vary according to the services rendered. Grooming hours are from 7:45 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon.
“I’ve been peed on, puked on, pooped on and bled on,” Grizzell said. “But can’t think of anything else I would want to do. This is the only job I’ve ever had.”
Grizzell is a self-confirmed dog-lover, likely why she enjoys her job so much. Her earliest memories include family dogs, particularly, Peppy, an English Springer Spaniel.
“Peppy literally taught me to walk,” said Grizzell.
Though Peppy accidentally knocked young Grizzell into a pond, into very chilly water, her memories of that first dog are colored with love.
The Pratt native took a six-year hiatus from Pratt following her graduation as a member of the Pratt High School Class of 2000. She attended University of Kansas at Lawrence for a year and worked as a dog groomer in both eastern Kansas and in Tulsa, OK in the interim. After being a tenant for a few years at The Groom Room’s Main Street location, she purchased the property from her landlord.
“It’s pretty much exactly what I need,” the groomer said. “There’s good parking and we’re right here on Main Street.”
A fenced area in the back of the building gives visiting pooches and her own pets a place to “take care of business,” when necessary.
The décor inside the shop leaves no doubt that this place is for the dogs. There are doggie paw prints marching across the walls. Plus, there are plaques, such as “I want to be the person my dog thinks I am,” that bring smiles to her two-legged patrons.
The reception area has a display of unique “metal dog art” that she has been gifted over the years by her brother Brad McDonald.
“Finally, I have a place to display it all,” Grizzell said.
Grizzell said her long-time friend Tiffany Bailey, partner in KT Signs, created the theme for the office and designed Groom Room shirts and other promotional items, including business cards.
Bumps in the economy seem not to have much of an effect on Groom Room business, according to Grizzell.
“People will sacrifice a lot to take care of their dogs,” she said.
Grizzell, her husband, Kyle (a body shop technician for Doug Reh Chevrolet), and their two sons, Jameson, 4, and Beckett, 18 months, have time and space for the special dogs in their lives.
Jake, the Groom Room door greeter, came into Grizzell’s life as a foster dog, as did Hollister and Monster.
Both Hollister and Monster were rescued by Grizzell through the Pratt Area Humane Society, where she volunteers from time to time grooming pets for new homes. The family sometimes fosters pets for Hands of Hope Rescue out of Great Bend. And, as with Jake, sometimes fostering leads to adoption.
“My poor husband,” Grizzell said. “He just goes with the flow, but he might draw the line if I brought home a whole litter of puppies.”
Grizzell limits her work schedule to Monday through Thursday, leaving Fridays for time with the boys and any medical or other appointments as they occur. Weekends are family time.
There is a Groom Room Facebook page where reviews reflect pet-owners’ gratitude, including a post by Misty Piester.
“Jody goes that extra mile to make my dogs comfortable and relaxed during her grooming sessions,” Piester said. “[The Groom Room] is a great place – great service.”