Sherman, a Labrador retriever and pitbull mixed rescue dog, tucks his tail between his legs and gets scared when he hears the sound of the doorbell.
For him, any noise increases his anxiety.
After his landlord opens the door, Sherman is greeted with a bright smile as Katie Johnson patiently settles him into his trailer. Although it may seem like a small feat, Sherman prepares to seek treatment.
Johnson, owner of Sittin Pretty Mobile Dog Grooming, has worked with dogs like Sherman to help alleviate the stress many pets can experience when traveling in a car or when placed in large groups. She opened her mobile pet grooming business on July 9.
“It’s much more personal. It’s a service I can provide for busy pet owners who may not have time to foster their pup,” Johnson said. “This can be helpful for pet parents who have trouble getting their pup into the car. It’s a lot less stressful for some dogs and I can be one-on-one with each pup.
Johnson, who serves the Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove area, works from his self-contained, custom trailer that comes straight to you.
“With a mobile salon, I can go to my customers,” Johnson said. “They have time to do things around the house knowing their pets are right outside. I am able to be one on one with pets and give them the attention they desire. I can also get puppies back inside their homes faster so they don’t get stressed.
Johnson, who attended grooming school and studied under a master groomer for three years, provides services such as bathing and brushing, blowing (treatment to reduce shedding), haircut, sanitary trimming, ear cleaning, tooth brushing, nail clipping and filing, and anal gland expression on demand.
She said she was delighted with her career choice.
“As I was going to college to get my degree in business management and criminal justice to become a police officer and work with a K9 unit, I got a job at a local pet store,” Johnson said. “After two months of working at the pet store, I was sent to grooming school. That’s when I realized I was falling straight into my dream job. completed my degree in grooming school and have maintained a rewarding grooming career.
Johnson, a native of Canal Winchester, Ohio, moved to the central Texas area with her husband, who is a soldier in the Army.
And the community is happy that she is there.
“I am very satisfied with his services,” said Killeen resident Johanna Crupi. “She is very professional and friendly. Katie is great with Sasha (my dog) and Sasha always looks forward to seeing her.
Sasha is a rescue dog who became a duty medical alert dog for Crupi.
“I love getting to know each pet’s unique personality,” Johnson said. “They are so much more than just a customer to me and I’m so lucky that their parents trust me while grooming them. I’m so excited to see them every time it’s their turn to get groomed.
While mobile pet grooming is rewarding, founding the business came with a unique challenge: learning to drive a trailer.
“I’ve been a groomer for over 15 years, but recently learned to tow a trailer with the help of my very patient husband,” Johnson said.
And with the trailer in tow, Johnson can be seen around town taking care of her furry friends.
“I treat dogs of all breeds with no weight limit,” Johnson said. “I take care of dogs from the smallest to the largest.”
Johnson also cares for dogs with special needs.
“I take care of quite a few older puppies — some with arthritis, anxiety, and skin allergies,” Johnson said.
Sittin Pretty Mobile Dog Grooming is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at 254-577-2580.
For pricing, please call and get a quote.