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
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
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.
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!"
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.
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.
Dog's Best Friend
The Cat's Meow
525 San Pablo Avenue
Albany CA 94706