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Dog grooming business holds ribbon cutting for grand opening

A year ago, Savannah Bruce started her dog grooming business in her garage. Now, she’s expanded that business in an actual building in LaGrange.

Bruce celebrated the grand opening of her business, Grooming by Sav, Wednesday afternoon, surrounded by family and LaGrange-Troup Chamber of Commerce members, just one day after she opened the new location on West Point Road.

Bruce started grooming in 2012 after she graduated high school and began working with PetSmart in Newnan, but she soon paused to raise her family. Shortly after, she came back to LaGrange to work with Furry Friends, and after leaving the position around May 2020 began to pick up her own clients at home.

“I’ve had a lot of people who will reach out to me,” Bruce said. “So far, I have about 300 customers.”

Grooming by Sav offers grooming services for dogs of all ages and sizes on top of boarding and training. Bruce and her staff, consisting mostly of family members, work hard to understand a dog’s specific needs and how extensive training should be, Bruce said.

Most training with her clients’ dogs is basic, Bruce said, as staff focuses on “kennel manners” by teaching their client’s dogs to go in and out of their kennels and doors.  Bruce also assists the Troup County Humane Society with their grooming needs, especially when a dog is on its way to a new home.

“I really want to continue what I’m doing and really just be an outreach in the community,” Bruce said, adding that she would gladly help those who may not have the means to groom their dogs.

Bruce also keeps in touch with other groomers in the area who may work with the clients. When Grooming by Sav is booked up, Bruce will ask other groomers if they can take the client on and vice-versa.

“We’re all usually very busy, and summer’s usually the busiest time,” Bruce said.

Grooming can sometimes be a “manipulative process” Bruce explained.  Dogs may have to be maneuvered or touched by people they do not know, and that coupled with the stress of bathing may make the dog panic.  In some cases, when Bruce and her staff have a particularly hyper dog, they assess the dog and its needs.

“If a dog becomes too much or becomes too stressed out or too anxious, we just stop the service and give them a break before we start again,” Bruce said. “Sometimes we’ll recommend [the client] talk to the vet and give them something to help calm them down … just something that will calm them down so that the stress of [being] groomed doesn’t traumatize them. We always try to get their health record so that we’re more aware and we can carve out time for that animal.”

Bruce runs Grooming by Sav with her husband, sisters and mother. Her 2-year-old golden retriever, Opie, doubles as her daughter’s therapy dog, and Bruce plans to train her newest golden retriever puppy, 8-week-old Indie, as a service dog as well.