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Animal lover opens dog, and cat, grooming shop in Malagash

Shelly Canfield holds Sasha, her mother's dog. Shelly's love of dogs led her to becoming a groomer and opening her own business.
Shelly Canfield holds Sasha, her mother's dog. Shelly's love of dogs led her to becoming a groomer and opening her own business. - Lynn Curwin

MALAGASH, N.S. – Shelly Canfield knows every dog has a story, and she’s ready to adjust her work according to what each dog needs.

Canfield is opening her new business, S&S Dog Grooming, in Malagash on April 1.

“I groom respectful of what the dog tells me,” she said. “It’s all about the dog, or the cat. I groom cats too.”

She was a social worker, living in Ontario, for much of her life. After retirement she and her husband, Bernie Archambault, bought her mother’s house on the North Shore Road, in Malagash. (Her mother moved to Wallace.)

She volunteers with Freedom Drivers, a charity that moves pit bulls from Montreal to areas where they’re not banned, but knew she had to be busier.

“I really don’t know how I came up with the idea of grooming, but when it did come I thought ‘Ohhh!’” she said. “I’m really excited about this now.”

After looking at what was available, she chose Elite Dog Grooming & Academy, in Moncton, for her training. She’s also completed courses in canine first aid and CPR.

“I hear there’s a need for large dog grooming, and I’m happy to work with large dogs,” she said. “I have a hydraulic table to get dogs into the tub.

“I don’t dye or do show dogs; I groom family pets and rescue dogs.”

Although she’s new to professional grooming, Canfield has owned and cared for many animals over the years, including pot belly pigs, alpacas, goats, sheep, miniature horses, dogs and cats.

She named her business after her dogs: Squirt, a 14-year-old Yorkie, and Sophie, a pit bull who was with her for many years. Since moving to Nova Scotia she has adopted another Sophie, a five-pound Yorkie, from Litters ’n Critters.

A couple of years ago, she was in Dubai while her husband was there teaching firefighting, when they adopted a street cat and brought her back to Canada, calling her Nova.

“There’s never been a time when animals haven’t been part of my life, and my dream is to be a hospice foster home for animals,” she said. “Yes, I’d cry. Yes, I’d get sick, but every day I would get up and feel I could hardly wait to care for the animals.”

Canfield is already taking bookings for grooming, and offers some evening and weekend appointments. People can call 902-324-3257, and leave a message, or email shellycanfield32@gmail.com  

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