Thank you for supporting the Pooch Parlor!
Customer of the month:  Eddie Clark and student Kayla ScottKayla and Eddie

Hours:  For the convenience of our customers, we are available Mon thru Friday, 8:30am to 3pm (many days until 5pm) and Saturdays from 10am -2pm.  We are always available for early and later appointments as needed, just ask:).

Convenience Upgrades: The doggie drive-thru is a huge success!  The window has been installed for our customers that have dogs that are smaller than 20 pounds, and for owners that want a quick and safe check in or check out. Come try out the Pooch Portal!

Students:  Kayla is local to Sandpoint and is doing great! Liz is from Montana, and brings her little Shih Tzu, Oliver, and Whitney is from CA.  Claire is from CA. You can ask for students M, W, Th, and Friday for up to 50% off the normal grooming price!  Congrats to Ethelene who has just graduated and is up an running in Bonners Ferry. Congrats to Karen who has just graduated and is now helping professionally at the Pooch Parlor!

Certified Professionals: Ally loves the northern breeds and is also great with cats!  Theresa owns two miniature Aussies and is great with all smaller breeds. Karen has two King Charles pups and loves to groom large dogs.  Carol works twice a month and loves grooming schnauzers and springers! DuAnn is the owner and specializes in grooming dogs with medical issues and anything that requires speed grooming.

Shop Specials:  50 percent off of all slicker dog and cat brushes through the month of March.

Shop Updates: We are computerizing our grooming files!!!  This should cut down on lost or misfiled cards. Yahoo!

Are your dog’s nails too long?  Find out if they are and what to do about it.
Can hear your dog’s toenails clicking on the floor as he walks? If not, your dog’s nails are the right length for his health and longevity.  Keep up whatever activity is keeping them worn down. If the answer is yes, and you can hear clicking, then your dog’s nails are too long. Is this a big deal? Yes, at the very least, it causes pain for your dog and possibly, a vet bill.  At the worst, it can cause arthritis and premature death for your dog. 
It is a common misconception that just clipping the tips of a dogs nails once or twice a year is enough.  If you can hear clicking, it’s not doing the job.  Just as in humans, dogs’ nails never stop growing.  But, unlike humans, their quicks (the part supplied with blood) keep growing out.  If the nails are not clipped or ground down naturally by the dog on a regular basis, the quicks get longer and longer, and eventually this will cause the dog to step on his feet incorrectly and/or can cause the nails to grow directly into the pad of the dog.  Nails that grow into the pad can cause a painful infection, that left untreated, can take the dog’s life.  Long straight nails cause an incorrect step, throwing the hips and back out of alignment and causing premature aging and arthritis.  How many old dogs have you seen that have super long nails that cannot walk or get up normally?  These dogs suffer terribly, and if they can’t walk, they soon die. 
You have three choices when it comes to clipping your dog’s nails.  You can start to exercise your dog on asphalt or hard surfaces to grind down the nails naturally. You can clip your own dog’s nails at home.  Twenty percent of dog owners are able to keep their dog’s nails clipped at home.  Check out for how-to articles and videos on nail clipping.  Most likely, you are part of the 80% of owners that take their dog to a professional groomer or vet to have the nails trimmed.  If you have a dog with nails that curl (like a cocker spaniel or shih tzu), exercise will not be enough if your dog has dewclaws.  The dewclaws have the highest probability of actually growing into the pad or skin of the dog.  If your dog has straight growing nails (shepherds, boxers, labs), then exercise alone can do the trick.  There are a number of types of clippers( and dremels) that you can choose from to clip your dog’s nails at home.  If you do hit the quick and the nail is bleeding, you can use styptic powder (available from the groomer), or starch or flour packed on the nail to stop the bleeding. Whichever method you use, it is helpful to know that the quicks of the dog will recede from the edge of the nail by 1/8 to ¼ of an inch naturally within days of being clipped.  This is why dogs that run everyday never have bleeding nails and never need their nails clipped back.
How do you get the nails to the right length humanely?  Have the nails clipped back (that means ¼ inch in front of the quick) every 5 to 10 days until the nail length is back where it should be – not clicking on the floor when the dog walks.  It is a normal occurrence for the groomer to clip the nails too short if the goal is to get more than ‘just the tips’.  It is better for the longterm health of your dog to have a groomer that consistently clips too short, versus the alternative.
Clicking nails are an easy telltale sign for all dog owners to judge whether or not their dog has optimum nail length for his long term health and happiness.  It is up to the owner to take action for the well-being of their four-legged friend.  Once your dog’s nails have receded to the optimum length, keep your dog’s nail length maintained.  The average maintenance schedule for the average dog owner is monthly clipping.  Each dog has a different growing pattern and exercise habit.  Remember, be a conscientious dog owner, enjoy long life and optimum health from your dog – listen for the clicking.
Copyright 2010 DuAnn Lustig-Chambers
Reprint Rights:  You may reprint this article as long as you print ‘about the author’ information and keep all links active.

The Pooch Parlor: Not Your Average Pet Groomer Academy
By Carissa Sindon

A steady stream of customers filled The Pooch Parlor Pet Groomer Academy in Ponderay, each with a dog in tow.  All six grooming stations were quickly filled with every breed imaginable and students eager to learn the art of pet grooming.

Owner and instructor, DuAnn Lustig-Chambers, made her rounds, wisely guiding students in grooming techniques and principles of customer service, peppering instruction with jokes and encouragement.

On the surface, this scene may look like a typical “classroom” where the teacher is helping her students learn, but after digging a little deeper, there is something much more transformative taking place.

“Dogs are mirrors for the strengths and weaknesses of each groomer and because they learn so much about themselves while grooming, their lives change magnificently,” said Lustig-Chambers, who has been training students at The Pooch Parlor, which is also a full-service pet salon, since 1998.
She explains further that the struggles groomers have interacting with dogs are the same areas in which they struggle with people.
“I can show someone, this dog is reacting like this because you’re treating him this way which comes from this place in your heart,” Lustig-Chambers said.
“When you learn to groom, you learn about negotiating.  Humans and dogs are so closely related in communication styles and feelings, that once you figure out how to negotiate with a dog, then you can do it with humans, too,” she said.
Lustig-Chambers, 41, notes that not all of her students are interested in learning about themselves, but those that are, come away with knowledge that propels them forward in their lives.
Lustig-Chambers came to open The Pooch Parlor, the only groomer academy in the state licensed and bonded by the Idaho State Board of Education, in a roundabout way after earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington in 1993.
After graduating, she was living in Priest River with her husband, Michael and was having difficulty finding a groomer for her Miniature Schnauzer.  She knew there was a need which led her to attend grooming school until she determined in which direction to take her life.

Lustig-Chambers discovered that, although it was not easy, she learned much about herself, during and after earning her certification.  The dogs taught her that instead of feeling angry that they would not adjust to what she wanted, she changed instead, by adapting to the dogs’ needs, and was no longer angry. 
“Grooming helped me to understand that if a relationship is going to be successful, it requires mutual tolerance and respect,” Lustig-Chambers said. 
"I found that if I was the first to initiate tolerance to the dog, starting with my thinking, the dog in turn, reflected a corresponding attitude towards me, and a positive grooming experience was then possible for both of us," she said.
One of Lustig-Chambers’ students, Theresa Bryant lives in Newport, Wash, and is now a certified groomer working at The Pooch Parlor.  Bryant, 48, has learned about setting boundaries which she thinks will help her navigate the dating world more effectively.

“I had a dog come in that was extremely aggressive and normally the old me would have just pushed through and really thought in my head, ‘I can’t stop until I do a complete job,’ ” said Bryant who was in her training program last fall when interviewed for this article.

“I have learned from DuAnn that it’s O.K. to reach a point and go, ‘This is unacceptable.  I don’t have to allow this dog to attack me,’ ” she said.

Many residents of Clearview Horizon, a therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 13 to 21 near Sandpoint, also volunteer at The Pooch Parlor washing dogs which is designed to help them with their recoveries.  Some eventually sign up for one of the Parlor’s three training courses designed specially by Lustig-Chambers to meet the needs of her students.   
Liz Midgett, 18, a classmate of Bryant, came to Clearview from Ocala, Fla., and had been volunteering at The Pooch Parlor for several months before beginning training.  Being involved with the Parlor has taught Midgett how to be more assertive.

“A lot of the dogs have the same issues that we do and being able to assert yourself with animals is the same way it is with humans,” Midgett said.

“As I progress I will feel more certain that what I’m doing is the right thing, instead of backing off, and eventually say with confidence, ‘This is really what’s happening,’ ” she said.
“I feel like DuAnn wants to help people so much that she’s willing to teach them anything that might help them be more successful in the future,” Midgett said.
One of DuAnn’s many graduates, Ally Manning, is now working at the Pooch Parlor Pet Salon in a professional capacity.  When asked what catapulted her into the world of animal grooming, Ally said, “my story is so long and too complicated to tell,” but she went on to say that in the process of learning the art of being an effective pet groomer, she learned much, much more, and credits DuAnn with having “saved her life.”
Lustig-Chambers trains five students at a time with most originating from other states.  Many come long distances because they are looking for a teacher who can train those with special needs and learning disabilities.  Grooming has taught Lustig-Chambers about listening to the dogs’ cues and how they give them in different ways whether physical, audible or mental, which allows her to pick up on social and learning cues outside the norm. 
Miranda Rizzo has disabilities resembling those of Asperger’s syndrome and was having difficulty finding employment before graduating from The Pooch Parlor in 2011.  She now owns her own grooming business, Rizzo’s Dawg Spa in Nikiski, Alaska, with her mother, Pauline Rizzo.  Miranda excelled under Lustig-Chambers’ teaching style, Pauline said.

“Miranda was able to work at her own pace and get help when needed, and challenged, too,” said her mother.   “Things were explained in a way that she could understand and rephrased if she did not understand,” she said.
Lustig-Chambers’ students also describe her by using words such as passionate, funny, accepting, kind, insightful, generous, encouraging and loving.
Not all of DuAnn’s students go on to become pet groomers. Ursula Dodge is an artist who owned her own business for 20 years before it dried up in 2008.  She decided to take up dog grooming with the intent to try a new career path.
Ursula credits her time training with DuAnn with providing the fuel she needed to restore her now flourishing art career.  She used the valuable knowledge she gained of dogs and intentional thinking, to design magnets featuring a variety of breeds that sell nation-wide. 
“DuAnn is a fearlessly confident person and I marveled at it every day,” Dodge said.

It is no surprise that Lustig-Chambers has had such a positive influence on so many of her students.  Although she was not sure how everything would line up, she knew she wanted to make a difference in the world.
“I did ask and pray that I could have the highest impact on the highest amount of people in the highest way possible for me,” Lustig-Chambers said.

“I feel that the more people that choose to think in the highest possible way and live their lives and do their thinking with tolerance and love, it will have a more constructive influence on the world in general, whether dealing with people, things, or conditions,” she said.
To learn more about the training programs and grooming services offered by The Pooch Parlor, go to

Copyright 2013  Carissa Sindon
Carissa Sindon
Freelance writer/photographer
Boise and McCall, ID
cell: (208) 315-5220



The Pooch Parlor is a place for pets and their people that want a clean, safe, professional and family environment for grooming, where professionalism and customer service are held to the highest possible standard.  

We offer the following services:

*doggie drive thru window for dogs under 20 lbs.
* full service grooming for all breeds of dogs and cats by state-certified groomers    
*student grooming discounts      
*offer ‘no-kennel’ grooming by request        
*owner stay grooming by request       
*self-service bathing stations       
*walk-in appointments        
* teeth scaling  and/or teeth brushing          
* nail trimming  and dremeling (filing) on a walk-in basis      
 *anal gland expressing         
* bird nails and wing trimming 
*retail grooming tools       
*doggie day care          
*owner grooming training by request   
 *doggie and family portraits (free)                                                                                           

Pooch Parlor Groomers/Staff.  Every groomer has undergone rigorous training  to attain their certification at the state level.  The training includes more than instruction about the technical aspects of grooming and scissoring, it includes strict codes of conduct and tight guidelines for ethical treatments of pets and their owners, safety practices, and cleaning standards.  This certification is something we are most proud of, as the grooming industry is not regulated, and only 5 percent of all groomers spend the time and money to train under any qualified guidelines.  All employees are drug-tested and undergo criminal background checks. 

The Pooch Parlor Pet Groomer Academy, is the only grooming school licensed and bonded through the Board of Education, in the State of Idaho.  We offer training to students that come from all over the nation to acquire certification.  We offer reduced student grooming rates for those customers that want to help groomers-in-training. 

 We also have a camera handy and LOVE to take pictures of our staff, students, customers, and their dogs.  There is no charge for family portrait and we email it to you, just ask.  Pictures of your 4 legged kids are really important, since our time with them is never long enough during our lives. 
The Pooch Parlor in Ponderay is owned and operated by DuAnn Chambers and her husband Mike.  Mike is not a groomer, he is a remodeling specialist,

with Git ‘er Done Construction LLC., and helps out in the grooming shop with all repairs and upgrades (unless the upgrade is granite –thanks again Idaho Granite, we love the new countertops!).  Mike and DuAnn have been married 20 years, and have no human children.  They share the love of dogs, owning a mini schnauzer, 3 year old ‘Grouchy Greta’, a Standard Poodle, Montee, 8 years old, and an adopted Rottweiler cross, Marlie, 9 years.   In our spare time, we scuba dive to visit with all the underwater animals.   We thank all of you our friends and customers for making it possible for us to LOVE what we do!  Thank you!


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To provide a clean, safe, fun, family environment for dogs and their humans, where integrity, customer service and professionalism are held to the highest possible standard.