GEORGE WEST – Since 2017, Shelby Blevins’ family has exponentially grown since moving to town.

But those new family members are part time.

“I’m crazy about my dogs,” Shelby laughed. “I just try to treat everyone else’s dogs the same way I want mine treated. They are all my dogs just part time because I don’t have to feed them at night.”

Shelby started as a dog groomer in Beeville five years ago.

“I went to college for a year and a half with over one hundred apprentice hours,” Shelby said. “I just recently joined with the Live Oak County Vet Services and it has been great.”

Shelby didn’t relocate far from her previous address just down the highway.

Paired with Shear FurEnzy and the LOCVS, clients can keep their pets closer when groomed.

“We have been told it’s a one-stop shop,” Shelby laughed. “The safety for our clients has increased when you have an amazing veterinary at hand ... you can’t get any better than that.”

With COVID-19 conditions in place, Shelby can’t offer every service provided before the pandemic.

“We had to stop having certain services,” she said. “We don’t offer transportation, dog walking and house sitting. We also had to change the way we welcomed animals. Clients pull up in the parking lot and we go outside with masks to pick up the animal. A large portion of clients are elderly, but some have underlying conditions. We want to take care of the owners as well as their pets. We are doing that in a beneficial way to everyone.”

One observation in particular stood out for Shelby during COVID conditions over the past few months.

“People are forced to stay home with their pets,” she said. “With people working at home if possible and when we had a shelter in place order, people are spending more time with their pets. And they are noticing their nails are long, or need a hair cut. We have seen a growth in business because people are staying home and have more of an ability to drop their pets off.”

Shelby offers discounted rates for clients since the COVID virus has had an affect on people in the area.

“I work with people to make them and their dogs happy,” she said. “I’ve helped with discounted rates temporarily due to COVID. Right now we are in a dark time and there is nothing that can genuinely make someone more happier than their pet.”

Shear FurEnzy was ordered to close due to the COVID virus for several weeks.

“We really tried to stay open and keep it running,” she said. “We were shut down for a couple of months. We have both positively and negatively been affected.”

Despite having struggled with being closed, Shelby remained positive with a devoted following that has helped with business.

“I have a lady that comes down from College Station to visit her family,” she said. “I have clients from Corpus Christi, Victoria, Pleasanton, Beeville and even Colorado.”

Shear FurEnzy also takes care of the Live Oak County Sheriff Department’s K-9 officers.

Last year, Shelby joined the International Board of Grooming Cosmetology, which has been a valuable resource.

“It’s about furthering the education process as well as having your business verified. They released guidelines how to handle COVID with the pets and animals.”

In the few short weeks of moving next to the LOCVS, Shelby has been thrilled with the opportunity provided to many clients.

“It gives me a sense of security knowing I have the best animal provider down the hall,” she said. “They help me with any questions I may have. Possible issues can be solved in minutes when in an emergency situation. That gives me so much comfort and a lot of pet parents feel the same way.”

Chris Filoteo is the editor at The Progress and can be reached at 830-254-8088, or at karnes@mySouTex.com.

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