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Hants' Faces Friday — Janet Matheson

FALMOUTH, N.S. — A Falmouth woman's lifelong love for canines has turned into a rewarding career opportunity.

Janet Matheson grew up on a farm and has cared for dogs for as long as she can remember. After working at several local jobs — including at Avon Valley Greenhouses, the Falmouth Irving and the Hart department store — she became an entrepreneur and she couldn't be happier. Matheson opened Firehouse Dogs Grooming in August 2017.

“I grew up on a farm out on Wentworth Road so I've always had animals; I've always had a dog. I don't ever remember not having a dog. I've always kind of looked after my own as far as their grooming needs but I never had a dog that needed haircuts, per se. About five years ago, I needed a job so I thought what can I do that maybe would involve dogs. I put an ad on Kijiji looking to work at a grooming shop. A lady in Tantallon, who owned Mutt Cuts, contacted me and offered me a job as a bather. So I started there and I bathed all the dogs that came in for grooming — bathed and blow dried them. That was my job. While I was there, of course, I watched Shannon, who owns the shop, and her groomer Angela. I thought 'oh, that looks interesting.' So I worked there for about six months and I found I needed more work than she could offer. I got a position with Dapper Dogs in Bedford as their receptionist. I'm still there part-time.”

“I've learned from other groomers — I've watched them, I've pestered them, I've hung over their shoulders, I've asked a billion questions. That's how I've learned, and then doing friend's and family's dogs.”

“Two local groomers, Sonia Edwards ( owner of Edward Scissorhounds in Brooklyn) and Virginia Deering (owner of Diamonds in the Ruff in Hantsport) have been invaluable in helping me grow my business. Their support and knowledge and client referral have made it so much easier for me to grow my own business.”

“I've always loved dogs. When we were kids, my sisters were getting horses and I wanted a dog. I got a Saint Bernard. I love that dogs are 100 per cent honest. They tell you who they are, no reservations. You know exactly who you're interacting with. So that's what I like. And I like when you have them and they need a little spa day and you know that they feel better after they've gone home.”

“It's probably the most rewarding job I've ever had. I really like it. I like running this business because I can control the work environment, I can control how many dogs come in a day and when they go. I can still have time for my own dogs. It's really nice that way.”

Faces Friday is our weekly online feature highlighting members of our community: their strength, challenges and humanity.

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