Partnering with local shelters, rescues, and black-owned pet businesses, the Pandemic Pup Relief Tour (PRT) is a nationwide initiative to help pups and pet owners who are experiencing hardships during these unprecedented times (click here to read our previous blog on the PRT). Originally including a road trip for pop-up grooming events to 6 cities, the PRT has now grown ever larger. Gloria Hardaway aka @GloriatheGroomer participated in the PRT and wants to share her experience with the grooming community.
Gloria, please tell us how you came into grooming.
I got into dog grooming because I have a huge passion for dogs and wanting to make them feel good. I love building a relationship with the pups and transforming them to a new look. I wanted to be able to help animals but in a different aspect of being a vet. I love seeing how the dog feels good after their grooming process and I feel like they know that they are clean, smelling good and looking fabulous. They always leave happy and so does their owner.
How did you find out about the Pandemic Pup Relief Tour and what made you want to participate in this amazing cause?
I found out about the Pup Relief Tour through a group that I follow on social media and I thought this was an amazing way to give back to the community. So many people have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and I wanted to be a part of helping these fur babies get back to looking and feeling their best.
What was your experience with the Pandemic Pup Relief Tour like? Tell us everything!
Being a part of the Pup Relief Tour was such an amazing experience, we came in not really knowing each other and came out feeling like a family. It was great seeing all these amazing groomers come together and take part in such a special event.
What was the best part of this experience?
My favorite part of this whole experience was giving back to the community and helping not only the pets but also the pet owners. I really enjoyed interacting with the other groomers and how well we all worked together.Do you have any plans to participate in the future or do your own community outreach?
I plan on reaching out to my community and getting with local groomers to do “Quarantine Cuts”. I want to help my community the way we helped so many others on the pup tour, so many are suffering the hardship of this pandemic and the way I can help is through my gift of grooming.
Is there anyone from the Pandemic Pup Relief Tour you’d like to give a shoutout to?
I would have to say Brian Taylor stood out to me during this tour. He is the one who organized and got this tour going and it all ran so smoothly. We were able to help so many people because of him. I was able to take in so much with this pup tour, meeting so many great people.
Was there anything you’ve learned from this experience?
Just making a difference in the community meant so much to me to be a part of it.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the grooming community?
All I want to say to my fellow groomers is reach out to your community and make a difference. People are struggling right now and if helping groom or bathe their dog takes one less stress from them let's take that one less stress and bless them!
We thank Gloria for sharing her story with us. It is important and is very fulfilling to give back to the community. We encourage you to “take care of people who take of pets” with us and find small ways to give back.
Speaking of giving back, Gloria was recently hit by Hurricane Sally. There was extensive damage to her shop, putting her temporarily out of business. Please donate to her gofundme and help out one of our community members in need!
@GloriaTheGroomer: "Alright grooming/dog community, it is time for us all to band together and give a helping hand or paw to one of our own! While some did not feel direct effects from hurricane Sally, Gloria Hardaway, a recent grooming graduate of Blue Angels Pet Salon, was impacted tremendously by this natural disaster. Having graduated this past May, Gloria aspired to hit the ground running in the grooming world and opened her own shop, Petcare + this past June. Not only is she an aspiring groomer and business owner, but Gloria is also an avid animal lover. Being a dog mom of two toy poodles, Bryce and Baby Joe, and groomer, Gloria knows just how important grooming is to a pets comfort, health, and welfare; therefore, when given the opportunity this past August, she volunteered for the Pandemic Pup Relief tour, grooming pets in need for owners experiencing hard times due to Covid-19. Recently, hurricane Sally hit Gloria’s brand new grooming business extremely hard. The building where her business is located was damaged so badly that the walls and ceiling shifted, causing roof damage which led to areas completely exposed to the elements causing several areas of water damage on the inside. Needless to say, Gloria has had to close her doors until further notice and until her building is repaired she is out of work. I call this fundraiser, ”Groom a dog for Gloria”, because we all have those days when we could take that last minute appointment or few extra walk-in nail trims... what I am ask from you is to think of Gloria and take that extra time to do the walk-in nail trim, bath, groom, tidy, whatever it may be, and donate the proceeds to her cause. As of now, Gloria is unsure when she will be able to open her doors again, so all the proceeds of this fund will help her with her shop overhead till the repairs can be done."
Update from Gloria: "REOPENING: Monday, September 28th. I appreciate all of you being more patient than i was, while my building was inspected for safety. I am excited to say IT IS SAFE and I am now taking appointments. You may book through my website and walk-ins are accepted on Saturday mornings at 8am-noon. Can't wait to see each of you."
Thank you for reading and thank you for being part of a community of strong, resilient pet professionals. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Message us if you are interested in sharing your story or a specific interest.