See all posts
13 January 2013 ·

Animal Carers and Careers: Linda Webb, Dog Groomer

A little settling in before the clip 

With a poodle cross who needs constant clipping, but suffers from separation anxiety after a very bad start in life, it was very important to me to find a groomer that he felt comfortable with. Luckily, we soon met Linda Webb– and her little dog Chloe. In fact, although I had already written the character of Nelly, Mona’s little dog who welcomes animals to the Rainbow Street Shelter, I hadn’t ever met a dog whose character was so exactly what I’d described.
Linda doesn’t have a web site, but she’s in Bittern, on the Mornington Peninsula. Her email is webby53(at) 
and her mobile is 0423 564 333.
How would you describe working as a dog groomer? 
A.    I find working as a dog groomer is both rewarding and challenging.   You need to have a love of dogs and be very patient.   I love seeing the transformation from when the dog first arrives to when I have finished grooming – it helps to be a little artistic and have a good eye for detail.    It’s not all bubbles and bows.   You have to have patience and a caring nature. Some dogs are very easy to groom, others not so – they can be boisterous, over exited, timid, stubborn or just down- right naughty.   You have to try different approaches with the different personalities, but with a lot of perseverance you can win them over and they soon realise that even though they would rather be digging a hole or chasing a cat, the hair cut comes first.  

What was the path – or the passion(!) –  that led you to it?
Do the clients actually have to sit on me?
                     A. I became a dog groomer by chance, although I had previously given thought to taking it up as a profession.  I had worked as a PCA in Aged Care and Dementia and was needing a change due to family reasons.   After visiting                                     a cousin who owned a pet shop she advised me that a staff member had walked out and left her short staffed over the busy Christmas period.   Next thing I know I was working in a pet shop and before long found myself in the grooming room washing and drying dogs.   I then did a bit of trimming here and there and it wasn’t long before I decided that I wanted to learn properly so I commenced a full time 6 month course and qualified as a groomer.   I then worked for a lady who has been grooming for 30 plus years.   The experience with her was invaluable.   After gaining my confidence and honing my skills I decided it was time to start my own little business at home.   I took over a third of my husbands’ shed, much to his dismay and L.J’s Dog Grooming began.

Some clients are grubbier than other
What is the best, and the worst thing about it?
But they come out looking beautiful
A.    One of the best things about being a groomer is when you know you have the dogs total trust.   When this happens they seem to understand that they are in safe hands and we form a bond.   They will put a paw on my arm or lick my face – it really is quite special.    It is also the best feeling after I have groomed a dog for the first time and the owners tell me how happy they are with the result.  The worst thing is seeing the state that some dogs arrive in – flea infested, mattered and in poor health.   It’s these dogs that get some special attention, because it’s something that they don’t normally get.
A sad part of the job is when a dog that has been coming for some time and we have developed a close friendship and then to be told by the owner that this might be the last grooming due to deteriorating health.

Even if the well-groomed look doesn’t last long

Did you have pets as a child? 

A.     I had several pets as a child, a Labrador named Penny, a Fox Terrier named George.   I had several cats over the years but unfortunately mum was inclined to back over them with the car.   I also had a tortoise and a number of budgies.

Chloe in her Christmas outfit
Does Chloe have a story, of how she came to you, or anything else?
A.    Our daughter Casey desperately wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel but we decided that we would try and get a dog from the Peninsula Animal Shelter.   We only wanted a small dog and enquired about a half a dozen times but unfortunately she had her heart set on a cavy.   Out of the blue one day, my husband rang them to see what was available and after going through the list they informed him that they had a 9 month old female Cavalier.   We raced down straight away and when we set eyes on her, we knew that she was meant for us.   The name Chloe came from the person who donated the enclosure she was kept in at the shelter.   She is a gentle loving little dog who has a calming effect on some of the more boisterous dogs who come to be groomed.   Yes she is on the payroll – she greets the client when they first arrive and then settles in for a nap.   If the need be, she will walk over and look up at them as if to say “we will not tolerate any of that nonsense here.”   It doesn’t matter what size of dog.  
My husband also says that when he looks into her eyes, he can see the spirit of our previous dog Lassie – a loving and faithful German Sheppard.  
Each Christmas holidays when we go on holidays with the caravan, Chloe always knows what is going on and sits at the front door waiting to be put into her travel cage in the car – she has been known to patiently sit there for 3 hours whilst we get ready.   She also knows when there is a luggage bag on the floor that someone is heading off, so not to be left behind she will hop into the bag and look at me as if to say “not without me you don’t”

What would your pet tell us about you?
A.     I think Chloe would say that I am a very caring person, who loves nature, spending time with family and friends, walking with her along the beach and providing a serene work environment for all four legged friends  
If you were an animal, what would you be?
               A.   I’d have to say a dog, living at 2623 Frankston-Flinders Road, Bittern – it’s a pretty good life for the fortunate ones that live in a caring environment and who are considered part of the family.
Any advice for people wanting a pet?
A.     Research.   Make sure you read up about the type you want, whether it be a mouse cat or dog.   They all have different needs.   If choosing a dog, things to consider are – will it fit into our live style and home.  Does it need daily exercise or a big back yard – is it suitable for young children.   Does it need regular grooming.   Will I be able to train the dog.   Another important consideration is how expensive will it be keep – food, grooming, vet bills etc.,   Never purchase a pet on the spur of the moment

Favourite animal books?
A.     There are many, but most recently read book that I thoroughly enjoyed was the true story of deaf, albino Great Dane called ‘Amazing Gracie” by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff.    Through her finicky eating habits she inspired her owner to start a chain of Dog Bakeries.   It’s a story with lots of laughs and lots of tears – it’s a lovely read.


  1. Denise That was a lovely interview. A friend at the dog park told me about Linda. I'm going to book my doggies in to see Linda.
    September 1, 2021 at 8:05 am · Reply
    • Wendy Orr Thanks, Denise. Linda is just lovely with the dogs - I can't recommend her highly enough! Mine are very much looking forward to seeing her again when this lockdown allows.
      September 1, 2021 at 10:36 am · Reply
Add a comment

← Back to all posts

Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio