Groomer Boasts 25 Years Of Service

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Rosemary Chubinski has been providing pet grooming services to Rim country residents' four-legged friends for 25 years.

She also was the community's first certified pet groomer.

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The Critter Clipper's Rosemary Chubinski shows off one of her newer clients, a happy little girl named "Lee-cee" who came to her by word-of-mouth, like most of the dogs she sees.

When she was young, Chubinski loved animals so much she wanted to become a veterinarian. But when she found out how long it would take to get a degree she decided that was not the path in life she wanted to take.

Then she saw an ad about learning to be a pet groomer and knew that was for her.

"I graduated from grooming school in 1969 in California," she said.

She'd been in the business for 10 years when she opened her shop, The Critter Clipper, in Payson. It was the first commercial pet grooming shop in the community, she said.

Her home was in a commercially zoned area, so she had her shop built on her property and has continued her business in the same location all these years -- 1017 Westerly Road.

With so many years in the business, she has a good handle on its ups and downs.

Chubinski said poodles are probably her favorite dogs to groom, because of the challenges and skills required.

"It shows off your ability as a groomer because there's lots of sculpting and scissor work," she said.

Over the years she said she has probably groomed thousands of dogs. In busy times, she might deal with eight or nine a day, when things are slower, she sees maybe one or two a day.

In her early years as a groomer in California, Chubinski said she lived in North Hollywood and had the opportunity to work on the pets of a number of celebrities, such as those of Zsa Zsa Gabor, Rock Hudson and Eartha Kitt.

Her prices range from around $20 to give a small dog a bath to $125 for dogs between 150 and 175 pounds.

"Some take all day, some take 20 to 30 minutes," she said.

Chubinski has done clips for show dogs, but said usually people who show professionally have their own groomers.

"I can do custom clips and long scissor work," Chubinski said.

But her first concern is the safety and health of the dogs for which she cares.

"I will not brush out a matted dog and make it bleed," she said. "Grooming is a real necessity of health for dogs.

Chubinski's shop is open from 9 a.m. to whenever she is done, which is usually around 2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. During those hours, you can call The Critter Clipper at (928) 474-4195.

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