Hippie Hounds Professional Pet Grooming is one of the newest pet salon on the Southside, and owner/certified groomer Toni Snow does everything in her power to ensure that her clients – especially the senior ones and those with special needs – look like a million dollars when they leave her shop.
“I got inspired to open a shop after working at other salons. I felt I was always being rushed, and the dogs’ best interests were not always taken into consideration,” Snow said. “I don’t like the idea of dogs being in cages all day or even for a few hours at a time. Some dogs don’t mind it, but many of them have bad memories associated with cages and become upset.
“The only time we cage or pen dogs is for their safety ... like when they refuse the hand dryer or if they are determined to potty on everything they see. We don’t like to have so many dogs in here that it becomes chaotic and stressful for them and my staff.”
Snow, who says she has always loved pets, recalls bathing and taking pictures of her wet cat when was a child.
“I attempted my first shave down at age 12 on our chow-collie mix, which had severe skin issues. My clippers burned out about halfway through, and I’m not sure the groomer who had to finish her was amused by the looks of my dog when she walked in.”
Snow was a Shed-X tech at Noah’s Animal Hospital for a while and worked at Shadeland Animal Hospital, where she assisted the veterinarians and the techs. “That’s when I decided that the blood, shots, broken bones, surgery and even death was not for me. When I got Reesie, my shih tzu, that is when I started to learn how to cut and style. I had not been happy with the results from the places I had taken him and decided I could do it better myself,” she said.
But looking back, Snow said some of the early cuts that she gave Reesie looked pretty ridiculous. “To this day, he loves being groomed and getting his tail dyed.”
Much of Snow’s experience was gained while employed at a salon for a couple of years. “It was there that I decided that I wanted the grooming experience to be more enjoyable for dogs.”
She has achieved that goal by hiring a staff that works well with dogs, which translates into the dogs trusting her groomers. “Dogs do way better when they trust the people working on them,” she said.
Snow’s biggest supporter is Chris Means, her fiance; they have been together for almost nine years. “Our dogs are our kids,” she said, “and we like it that way.”
The shop is located at 3129 E. Thompson Road, and appointments can be scheduled by calling 777-5171.
“I love spending time with the animals and being able to make my own hours,” said Snow, who offers flea preventative and shedless programs, “I love how the shop turned out and the vibe that exists within.”