Pet salon

A Dog’s Life Pet Salon & Boutique

Carol Fellbaum opened the show 10 years ago.

Carol Fellbaum said she has seen pet grooming become more mainstream over the past decade, allowing her business, A Dog’s Life Pet Salon & Boutique, to grow with the trend.

Fellbaum opened the Spring-based salon 10 years ago, seeking to become his own boss and capitalize on the region’s growing pet grooming subculture.

“This area has exploded over the past 25 years, [and I know] because I lived here, ”Fellbaum said. “I lived here when FM 1960 was just a two-lane road.”

About 25 years ago, she moved from her native Wisconsin to Houston to work with Michael Kemp, who was a prominent figure in the dog show community. He owned what is now known as the Kennel at Champions.

Eventually, Fellbaum got bored of traveling on the dog show circuit.

“I decided the dog show, the wanderer lifestyle was a bit difficult, so I got into pet grooming,” Fellbaum said.

She developed a passion for pets from her parents, who raised dogs and participated in dog shows.

Today, Fellbaum and his 10 employees have created a business that offers haircutting, bathing and nail trimming in what was once a niche industry. Dogs and cats that visit the salon may also receive other services, such as blueberry facials, colorful nail polishes, and oatmeal shampoos.

Most grooming options at A Dog’s Life take less than two hours, unless the animal needs a full haircut, Fellbaum said.

Customers can find high-end sweaters, treats, dog-themed paintings, and umbrellas at the store. Fellbaum said it was a retail outlet that includes products not found in big box stores.

“Our industry – the grooming industry in particular – has really stepped up its game,” she said.

Fellbaum hasn’t completely given up on dog shows. She occasionally participates in grooming competitions with her two dogs, Keno, a 14 year old Bichon, and her 4 year old daughter Minnie. Last year, Fellbaum said she won the Best in Show award at the 2015 Houston World Series of Dogs and also traveled to Las Vegas to participate.

Despite three back surgeries caused by constantly picking up dogs and spending nearly three decades in the industry, Fellbaum said she still enjoys working with her four-legged clients.

“They are always happy and never respond,” she said. “It’s that unconditional love no matter what kind of day you’ve had.”