By Jon Schroeder
The Cove Herald
The goal at Brandi Grooming is to make clients feel comfortable away from home. Her clients — as Brandi Pietras calls the pets she grooms, not their owners — generally do, although sometimes it takes a few visits before they get to know her.
“You have to let them get used to you,” she said, noting that she already has an established clientèle.
Pietras opened shop Oct. 1, and she’s been booked every business day since then. She offers all sorts of cleaning and trimming for dogs and cats: Brandi Grooming is a “full-service grooming salon,” which means baths, ear care, styling, hair cuts, nail care, flea and tick treatment, tooth brushing and cologne and aroma therapy.
Pietras’ family has been in Copperas Cove off and on since the 70s. Her father, Tom Foster, served three tours at Fort Hood, and by the time he was finished Cove had become home.
He and his wife, Cindy Foster, let Pietras have many pets when she was little — a fact that has now paid off in the form of a career.
Pietras says she’s always dreamed of opening her own pet place, and she’s worked hard to make her dream a reality.
Pietras has groomed out of her house, and she’s worked at Petsmart, but some of her most important preparation work was done at the Michigan Academy of Dog Grooming in Detroit, where she spent 500 hours learning the business of pet cosmetology.
While there, she volunteered at the Michigan Humane Society, as she still does when she’s needed here in Cove, indirectly finding dogs homes by washing and trimming their matted fur, making them more desirable for adoptions.
“I would take them all home and adopt them if I could,” she says. Unfortunately, Pietras can’t do that, but she said she’s taken in animals before, including a pit bull that animal shelters would have had to euthanize. The pit bull’s name, while it was in her loving care, was “Dog.” Pietras said she didn’t want to name it — once named, she wouldn’t be able to give it away. Instead, Pietras kept “Dog” for three weeks, bringing it up to date on vaccinations, then she found a good home for it.
Safety and first-aid courses rounded out Pietras’ training, but she said there’s more to it than that — grooming requires patience, and “there’s some gross stuff involved.”
Even so, whether she’s brushing Lilo the Rottweiler’s teeth or taking care of her own two dogs, Lola and Charlie, above all Pietras remains an animal lover.
Contact Jon Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 547-0428