The Groomers

Dog grooming is an occupation which requires artistry, technique, knowledge of health issues and their effect on skin and coat, as well as behavioral knowledge and skill handling animals. Our staff members have chosen to participate in advanced education in these fields. Each staff member is a Certified Animal Hygienist (CAH). All of our groomers are Certified Master Groomers (CMG), Certified Groomers (CG) or are currently pursuing these credentials. We regularly attend seminars on animal health and behavior as well as dog shows, grooming seminars and contests. We strive for a balance between artistic vision and practicality.

Tomoko Hirakawa CMG has been grooming dogs in Nigata Japan for over fifteen years after starting her career in dogs as a Vet Tech.  She is a certified master groomer in both Japan and the US.  She first traveled here to study with Nancy in the late 1990's.  Tomoko returned to Japan in 1999 as an instructor at a Tokyo grooming school. She also groomed and showed her Bedlington Terrier, Atlas, to become the #1 Bedlington in Japan.  Tomoko returned to Dog's Best Friend in 2003.
Rachel McAdams began working at the shop as a volunteer in 1998 while still in high school and was hired within a year. She started out cleaning crates, sweeping up hair, doing laundry and cleaning the self service, then moved on to bathing and eventually grooming. Most recently, she added the role of receptionist to her repertoire. In her own words... "I love it!  I'm very lucky to have found a job that I love so early in life.  It's both challenging and rewarding to work with our customers and their beloved pets.  I learn something new every day.  My favorite part of the job is seeing dogs excited to be here for their day at the spa!" 
Kumi Tachikake has been grooming dogs for the last 18 years, since the age of 16. From 1992-1995, she attended Yamazaki Grooming College in Japan. After graduation, she worked with different terrier breeders to learn how to hand-strip dogs for the show ring. In 1997, she returned to Yamazaki College as a grooming instructor while simultaneously working at a grooming salon and a veterinary hospital. She visited the United States in 2005 and 2006 to compete in the Carolina Groomfest grooming competition in North Carolina. In February of 2007, Kumi returned to the American scene to go to the Grooming Expo in Burbank, CA. In June of 2007, she began five years of working and studying under the tutelage of Nancy Han and Tomoko Hirakawa at Dog’s Best Friend. 
Elmer Rivera CAH has been bathing dogs and cats at Dog's Best Friend for over ten years.  He took a turn at grooming, won 1st place in a grooming competition, but soon returned to his love of bathing.  Elmer's patience and compassion help ensure your pet's visit will be a positive experience throughout.

About Us
What We Do
How We Do It
Where We Are

The Owner
The Groomers



Dog's Best Friend
The Cat's Meow

525 San Pablo Avenue
Albany CA 94706

Appointments Needed

  CAH   Certified Animal Hygienist
  CMG   Certified Master Groomer
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