worked seven years as a veterinary technician before opening Coastal Canine
Grooming & Boutique in Devon last month.
“I always had a
passion for the medical side,” the 27-year-old Stratford woman who grew up sled
dog racing says of the veterinarian profession.
believes her time as a vet tech sets her apart from other groomers.
have no medical background,” she says. “We’re trained here to notice the signs (of
a possible medical condition) and how to care for that dog individually.”
If there is a
skin issue, for example, McDonnell says she can perform treatments previously
recommended by the animal’s primary veterinarian or else “guide you in the
woman says her medical experience also enables her to work well with fearful or
aggressive dogs. She cites a 100-pound lab that comes in for prescribed bathing
because the animal’s too hyper to be cleaned at home.
Prior to opening
her business, McDonnell dog groomed on the side at The Natural Dog on
Bridgeport Avenue, about a mile down the road from the new shop at 253
She did that for
a couple years while working as a veterinary technician at Countryside
Veterinarian Hospital in Shelton. She also has been a longtime volunteer at the
Stratford Animal Shelter.
But now it’s just
her. And while McDonnell says she’ll look to hire help as she gets more
customers, she doesn’t want her shop to turn into a bustling place with a bunch of different groomers milling about.
“I want it to be
calm and inviting where the dogs are comfortable being here,” she says.
Coastal Canine Grooming & Boutique
offers medicated baths, nutrition and supplement solutions, gourmet biscuits,
hypoallergenic options, apparel, leashes and collars, and more.
The hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Friday
and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop can be reached at 203.693.2333.