by Chris Filoteo
THREE RIVERS – Since 2011, Angie Ponce has made countless new four-legged friends.
And starting from day one, Ponce has remained busy with grooming various breeds at Doggie Do’s by herself. She offers full grooms to mini-grooms for small to medium sized dogs.
“Sometimes I was overwhelmed with so many dogs,” she said. “I’ve had people help me, but my biggest challenge was working Monday through Saturday then helping with my granddaughters. Before I knew it, I was flooded with calls. There wasn’t a groomer in town and I became busy when I opened. I had up to 10 dogs a day.”
With a long-standing passion for dogs, Ponce’s mother noticed early on her daughter’s love for animals that later translated opening her business.
“My mom always told me when I wasn’t normal when it came to animals,” she laughed. “I was working in George West when I opened and had a coworker that met a customer that took an online course in grooming. I looked further into it and completed my certification in October 2011.
“I gradually taught myself with more techniques and practiced for free until I became confident enough to charge.”
Despite grooming hundreds of various breeds over the years, one in particular stands out.
“I went to Tejas grooming and walked in for training,” Ponce said. “I started with a schnauzer and was told I was a natural. Ever since then I love to do them and do a perfect job.”
Just as many small businesses around the area when COVID-19 first broke, Ponce had to add precautionary safety measures in order to remain open.
“I closed for three days at first,” she said. “But I felt COVID-19 made me busier. I still haven’t had a customer that said they’ve had COVID. I have sanitizer, masks and keep social distancing in place with customers here.”
After a few years of being open Ponce added another room around 2015 specifically for grooming, which helps her continue providing service with products her customers go to her for.
“I have special products for ticks, fleas and for sensitive skin,” Ponce said. “My customers love the products.”
On top of running her business, Ponce remains busy with helping others.
“I’m extremely involved in the community to lend a helping hand,” she said. “The biggest challenge through COVID-19 was making time for sewing over 2,500 masks for the community. Many were shipped all over the states and I used the money to buy a cargo trailer for my granddaughters and I to sell crafts at market days.
“Jesus comes first in my life than everything else. I enjoy being involved with many church functions as well.”
Doggie Do’s is located behind 503 Thornton Street and is open Tuesday-Thursday and half a day of Friday.