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Mobile Dog Groomer Combines Business with Philanthropy

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  • Mobile Dog Groomer Combines Business with Philanthropy

    http://www.dailyinterlake.com/flathe...ccbc97659.html

    Robyn Maisch has done a little bit of everything in her 53 years.
    She’s been a home-care provider, a farmer, a shoe department manager and a pet groomer. It’s the latter vocation that has become an absolute passion for her.
    While working as a pet stylist at Petco for two years, she tapped into an interest that would position her around dogs all the time.
    “I fell in love with pet grooming,” she said. “I thought if I could only get my own business...”
    Maisch now has her own business. Glacier Peaks Mobile Dog Grooming launched in September, thanks to a low-interest business loan through the Montana Community Development Corp. That financial boost allowed her to buy a fully equipped dog-grooming van from a former groomer in New Orleans.
    “This lady sold her business lock, stock and barrel,” Maisch said. “I’ve got 20 pairs of shears, clippers, shampoo, towels. It was all included.”
    She is using Facebook and a web page at crm.pawfinity.com to get the word out about how to set up appointments or call for requests.
    Many of Maisch’s clients are either senior citizens who find it difficult to bring their dog to a groomer, or pet owners with senior dogs who are difficult to transport.
    There are several other mobile pet groomers in the Flathead Valley, but one niche sets Maisch apart from the rest. She founded the nonprofit Small Critter Food Exchange two years ago to help provide pet food for animals whose owners have fallen on hard times and are having difficulty finding money for pet food.
    She knows firsthand about such struggles. Several years ago she found herself without a job and had four dogs to feed. The local food bank provided a small amount of dog food, but it wasn’t nearly enough. She ultimately had to give up two of her dogs.
    “I’m trying to make sure there’s enough dog food for people to make it to their next paycheck,” Maisch said. “If we can keep these dogs happy and healthy in their forever homes, that’s saving money in the long run.”
    A talented seamstress, Maisch sews bandannas for all sizes of dogs and sells them through her mobile service.
    “I give every penny to the Small Critter Food Exchange,” she noted.
    The bandannas sell for $10 for small dogs; $12 for medium-sized dogs; $15 for large and $18 for extra-large dogs.
    Maisch is working to get a 501(c)3 nonprofit designation for her outreach program.
    And it’s not just dogs that benefit from the organization’s generosity. Rabbits, cats, guinea pigs and even lizards can get food through the Small Critter Food Exchange.
    Maisch carries extra pet food in her mobile van, and hands it out every Thursday night from 4 to 6 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Evergreen during the church’s weekly food and clothing distribution.
    For more information about Glacier Peaks Mobile Dog Grooming or the Small Critter Food Exchange, call Maisch at 406-257-0025 or 406-270-5675.
    Coordinators post updates to the message for grooming events, members contests, PG.com Classified Ads, GroomerTALK Radio shows and PG.com Magazine online.
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