By Marissa Religa
Niagara Gazette — A smile forms across Theresa Reynolds’ face as she describes her late mother’s unforgettable lifelong passion for dogs.
She recalls how her mother would frequently bring home lost or homeless dogs she came across to give them a bath and something to eat until she found their owners. Reynolds admits she too has inherited this love.
“I find myself doing the same things my mother did when I was a child. If I’m driving down the road and I see a stray dog I’ll make my husband pull the car right over so we can make sure it’s okay and being taken care of,” she said.
Reynolds has recently taken this labor of love a step further with the opening of her Diva Dogs pet grooming business on Niagara Falls Boulevard this past month. She offers fellow animal lovers the opportunity to bring in their pets for a quality grooming experience, including a haircut, bath, pedicure, and manicure.
Reynolds is no stranger to the business. In 2001, she helped her mother Renee Carpenter run Clippendales Dog Grooming on Cayuga Drive and eventually took over when her mother relocated to Fort Myers, Fla. to open up another pet spa in 2007. Reynolds joined her mother down south to help her run the business for a short time but moved back to her hometown of Niagara Falls.
With her mother’s passing in 2010, Reynolds sought a way to cherish and honor the special mother-daughter bond they shared and couldn’t think of a better way than to carry on the family tradition and opened her very own grooming business.
Formerly a vitamin shop, Diva Dogs underwent a great deal of renovation to prepare for its pets. New flooring, plumbing, and walls were just the beginning for the new shop and it has since been transformed to a bright and cheery spa, bursting with pinks, greens, and purples when you walk through the front door.
Reynolds believes the two main ingredients for being a successful dog groomer is passion and patience.
“You need to have a love for dogs and this will help you to be patient with them when they may decide not to cooperate,” she said.
Although she says the work is challenging, especially considering it’s a one woman show behind the scenes, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love working with different breeds and meeting different customers,” she said. “Everyday, I’m learning something new. Every day I groom at least eight dogs or other animals. Each one takes anywhere between two and three hours.”
Diva Dogs also has a retail section which offers spunky attire for furry friends. Owners can find a variety of outfits from sundresses with flip flops and sunglasses to a Harley Davidson biker outfit. The shop also offers travel bowls, fancy collars, and outlandish photo frames.
Although walk-ins are welcome, Reynolds suggests its best to call ahead to schedule a pet for an appointment. For more information call her at 283-4220 or visit Diva Dogs at 7307 Niagara Falls Blvd.
“All are welcome. If it has four legs and fur, we’ll take it,” she said.