How in the name of God did someone with a fear of dogs end up running Gabby & Miley’s Dog Grooming Studio, you may ask?
From as far back as, I (Avril Hurley, your resident Canine Stylist here at Gabby & Miley’s Grooming Studio) can remember I had an absolute debilitating fear of dogs to the point that I would not leave the house alone for fear I’d meet one on my travels. With that said I also rather strangely always begged my long suffering parents for a dog of my own. It wasn’t until I reached the ripe old age of eighteen that my parents realised that my desire for a dog was not just another of my teenage passing phases. In November 2006 my family and I welcomed our new arrival into the house that would change my whole outlook on life forever, the apple of mine & my mom’s eye, the sweetest little man who you guys now know as one half of the Gabbys & Miley’s Grooming Studio duo, Miley. My fear of dogs quickly dissipated and my biggest passion in life was ignited.
Miley was, and still is the most amazing little dog. He suffered terribly from separation anxiety but luckily enough my mom Bernadette (Bernie) was a stay at home mom so he really attached himself to & idolised her and he seldom had a moment alone. These two simply adored one another, they had their own little ridiculously cute routines including watching the Paul O Grady show – Miley would growl, stamp his hind legs and wag his tail every time Buster, (Paul O Grady’s Shih tzu) would make his onscreen appearance and as soon as his favourite TV show was over he would go sit on the third step of the stairs and await my brothers and I to return from college and work.
In December 2008, my Mom & best friend, was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. She fought and fought as hard as she could, bouncing back from each bout of chemotherapy or whatever operation that was thrown at her, always full of positivity as she was adamant she’d never leave her ‘babies’ – both the two legged and four legged ones. Whilst all this was going on Miley lay by her side day in, day out – we would have to force him out of the bed away from our Mom just so he would eat, or go for a walk but he’d always run straight back to her.
In early 2011 our Mom’s condition deteriorated, I was luckily enough in a position to become her full time carer which meant spending a lot of time at home, at this stage we had also welcomed the lovely Gabby into our household the previous year. Whilst my Mom was resting I spent more and more time brushing-out and maintaining Gabby & Miley’s coats something I quickly developed a huge passion for, which you could say was the start of my foray into the world of dog grooming. On the 4th of July 2011 the woman Miley, Gabby, my brothers, father and l & so many others idolised and adored passed away. She was the lady who showed me how to truly love and look after dogs properly – and paved the way for what is now my career and for that I’ll always be eternally grateful
Shortly after our Mom passed away, I returned to my job in accounts – Miley due to his severe separation anxiety used to accompany me to the office whilst Gabby attended a local Dog Daycare which she adored. Miley at this stage was still grieving, refusing to eat and spending the majority of his days sleeping. So I knew this was not the most ideal situation for him and I had longed to start a professional course in dog grooming and with Miley in mind what better reason & excuse could I possibly have not to. I found an amazing course in St John’s Central College in Cork, submersed myself in all things dog grooming – graduated the course with a distinction and spent every spare moment I could grooming dogs of friends and family as well as my own two favourite ‘test subjects’ Gabby and Miley – oh what hairstyles they didn’t have whilst I was training.
On the 31st of May 2014, I nervously & excitedly opened the doors of Gabby and Miley’s Grooming Studio with the memory of the lady who taught me how to love and care for dogs to the forefront of my mind. Since the opening of Gabby & Miley’s Grooming Studio I have and will continue to further my training, just recently adding a Canine First Aid Responder to my growing repertoire of canine related qualifications & I do not intend on stopping there. I am extremely thankful for each and every customer, both human and canine that has supported me in this last year. With all the new dogs I have met and grown to know I feel as though I have added to my own little canine family. I take pride in each and every dog I groom and I hope that shines through in my work, some of which you can check out in our ‘portfolio’ section.
One thing that is extremely important to me when it comes to dog grooming which I hope will stand to me for the rest of my days as a groomer is that I remember being a dog grooming customer. To me there was nothing more apprehensive than dropping my own babies off to a strange grooming salon, especially seeing them getting locked into a cage and having to wait their turn for grooming. This is a feeling that I hope no person will ever have to experience when they drop their fur-babies off at Gabby & Miley’s Grooming Studio. For this reason Gabby & Miley’s Grooming Studio is crate-free, cage dryer free and we do not block book appointments – all dogs are given the full one-on-one attention that they deserve.
Most important of all – We Are Gabby & Mileys’s Grooming Studio and We Love Dogs!!!