Photos Provided by K. Jean Bolanos
“I think I was a dog before I was human,” K. Jean Bolanos, owner of Dog Mom Pet Care and Grooming by Jean, jokes. “I’ve had dogs since I was seven years old and have always been a dog person.”
Her love for dogs is evident in the glowing Yelp reviews: “She gave him rest breaks where she picked him up off the table and held him like a baby,” says one happy customer. Another says, “I love that K. Jean sends pictures of my Angel while she is grooming her!”
In Yonkers, NY, K. Jean handles around 20 dogs on weekdays and 35 on Saturdays.
“I have 2,300 active clients and 12 part-time assistants, including brushers, bathers, and two secretaries. One secretary schedules the customers while the other takes photos and videos to send to the parents and post on social media,” she shares.
A large number of K. Jean’s clients are considered “difficult dogs,” which she has become known for handling.
“I’m very patient. I believe every dog deserves to be groomed, which is important for health. I’ve groomed traumatized dogs, geriatric dogs, and fur babies of all sizes. I’ve studied dog psychology and understand dogs’ demeanors,” she continues. “It helps me understand and feel more confident while grooming, whether it’s a Doberman or small Poodle mix. They know me after three to four grooms, and the dogs trust me.”
Of course, it’s not all happy licks: “Some dogs are really difficult and can be dangerous. This is when I might ask the parents to take them to the vet and get help from the vet, like medication, but that’s maybe 1% of all the dogs I groom,” K. Jean adds.
Besides skill and patience, there are other things that set Dog Mom Pet Care and Grooming by Jean in the busy Yonkers area apart from the rest. For one, she’s arguably the only area groomer who handles pit bulls: “My clients have told me I’m the only groomer who’ll groom pit bulls,” she said.
Besides taking all breeds, her business also stands out from the rest with her photo and video updates: “One of my secretaries takes photos and videos to send to the parents while their dog is with us,” K. Jean shares.
In addition to keeping her clients up to date on what’s going on with their pets, she also goes above and beyond with her customer service by booking around people’s schedules: “We encourage people to book ahead to have regular grooming appointments. But I work around people’s schedules. Sometimes I’ll groom on my days off because I know that’s the only day the dog is available. We use Google calendar and send reminders the day before.”
K. Jean also expressed that customer communication is very important in her business. She’s helped customers identify skin allergies and even Lyme disease: “When I see a coat and skin problem, I recommend the pet parents see the vet, and they call me and thank me that I was right.
“I had one customer call and described her dog as lethargic,” she continues. “I asked if the dog was vaccinated for Lyme, and she said no. I recommended she take her dog to the veterinarian because it sounded like Lyme, and that’s very dangerous if untreated. The veterinarian saw the dog and confirmed it was Lyme disease. The dog could have died without treatment.”
One benefit of working for K. Jean as an assistant is the extensive training that they receive: “I train them by coming to work earlier and showing them how I use the clippers. They start with the comb and not the blades,” she continues. “Every day, they follow the structure of the dog’s body from the head, neck, and tail with a comb attachment on the clippers. If they use the blade and are not trained enough, it’s possible that it could nick a dog.”
The top priority of K. Jean’s bathing and brushing process is to check for any skin issues. If there are any, she notifies the pet parents so they can call their veterinarian. She also does a pre- and post-grooming inspection form to clarify any potential issues.
In addition to caring for and grooming a large percentage of the Yonkers-area dog population, K. Jean has two dogs of her own. Her Chihuahuas, Minnie and Cooper, who are named after her car, are well-traveled. They’ve been to Madrid, Portugal and Mexico in recent years.
K. Jean credits the Barkleigh shows with helping hone her grooming skills: “I’ve learned so much from the continuing education seminars with Barkleigh. I am grateful that you are there for groomers like me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she concludes. ✂️