Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Day In The Life Of Singapore's Rabbit Groomer

Day In The Life Of Singapore's Mobile Rabbit Groomer

Singapore Rabbit Groomer Review
Perfect capture of Angie and the necessities of her work
Pet ownership doesn’t just entail providing a safe home, food and healthcare, pet owners are constantly trying to seek out the best suited groomer for their beloved pets, but what kind of service are you getting exactly? The golden question of TRUST is often a hit AND miss, or trial and error for most pet owners, even after going through countless Facebook reviews. We decided to spend 2 days with Angie’s Pets, for first class seats in experiencing the service provided by a popular mobile Rabbit groomer, as featured on The Straits Times in 2013.

Angie’s Pets

If you are a Rabbit Owner, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of Angie the Rabbit groomer, if you haven’t, then you ought to read on about this lady with 8 years of experience in the industry. This is a straight up interview and behind-the-scenes look into the Rabbit grooming service she provides at your doorstep!

Angie's Pets Review
A Bun so white, just like a little Snow Mochi
I used to have a storefront at Farmart, but I’ve realised being mobile allowed more interaction with my clients, at the same time, I could have a look at the Rabbit’s living conditions…

Angie (owner of Angie’s Pets)

Affirmation of quality from a pet groomer like Angie doesn’t come with a fancy storefront or flashy equipment, but you can be rest assured of her knowledge and skills, at years of practicing this craft. We were treated to an educational experience with every client visit.

This isn’t a groomer that just grooms your Rabbit(s), she does it while answering any questions you may have regarding Bunny health, maintenance, and diet. (Bunny Welfare 101!)

What Does Angie’s Pets Specialise In?

I groom specifically Rabbits and Guinea Pigs only, with free Rabbit-care advising (laughs).  Sometimes I join Pet events to give educational talks on Rabbit welfare and Rabbit Care.” 

– Angie
Angie's Pets Groomer Review
"Consultation Table" Grooming while owners watch on.

Indeed, for our first encounter with Angie was at Nee Soon Pets Fiesta, where Angie herself conducted talks and live demonstrations. Rabbits aren’t tough to handle, but they are pretty fragile. Most importantly, her educational efforts at events as such are for boosting awareness amongst the public, on Pet responsibilities and proper Rabbit handling.

What To Expect?

My Customers are all used to my nagging and bluntness. I’m very blunt, especially if it involves a Rabbit’s well-being, I say it like it is.” 

Angie, on being upfront and real

Angie's Pets Inter and Review
The crowded exchange of tips and tricks

It isn’t all fun and smiles for this particular Rabbit Groomer, with that much attachment and love she has for Bunnies, comes great heartbreaks (and annoyance) when she has to face Rabbits in terrible conditions. If you know you haven’t been a very hardworking or responsible owner to your Bun or Cavy, be prepared for a round of productive nagging.
Angie's Pets Review
Give Angie at any location, she'd get the job done
 We’d admit that Angie’s straight-forwardness may seem off-putting at first, but our thoughts stand corrected upon learning that some Rabbits have bad toilet habits, i.e. stepping/resting in their own urine and waste. Even though Rabbits are known to be fastidious at self-grooming, this is a common behaviour that is tough to “alter”. These Buns need a lot of extra attention, (urine burns/infections are no joke). Untended Buns suffer from sores and horrible balding patches.

I get upset when I see a Rabbit in very bad condition, I can repeat advice as much as I can, but ultimately the execution has to come from the owners. I can only clean and provide treatment for the Rabbits when need be, for as long as I’m with them. That’s another reason why I prefer mobile grooming, It’s not just a one-on-one session with the Bun, it’s also a session with the owner”

- Angie

Angie's Pets Review Singapore
Angie meticulously brushing out loose fur
 Since there were no glass panels, these grooming sessions were always at close proximity, issues pertaining to the Rabbit(s) can be pointed out immediately, bridging communication from the pet, to owner(s), and Angie herself. Let’s be frank here, pure concern is a trait you don’t find in every groomer, and we were thoroughly pleased and touched by this Rabbit groomer. Aside from the serious matters, you can expect a good laugh and chit chat with her while she is giving your Rabbit(s) a little grooming therapy.

So What Equates To A Good Grooming Experience?

A lot of love, care, patience and a stress-free time for the Buns, horrr (right) Habibi?”

– Angie replied, while grooming Habibi, one of Angie’s regular Buns.

Angie's Pets Review Singapore
Angie and Habibi sharing a little convo
Have you ever stuck around a grooming session and witness someone else speaking to your pet in a kind tone, like they’ve been pals for eons? We caught that scene at every single grooming session, with or without their owners around, to every single bunny she had to service. Every Bun received a signature “Mama Angie’s Bunny Hug” after grooming, which she taught a few Bunny owners. These moments were a sort of genuine bond we felt that should not be interrupted 
(we quietly snapped some photos instead ☺)

Let’s not forget how happy and relaxed these Buns always look after grooming, they were either calmly nestled in her lap, or being the happy explorers that they are. If you thought Cesar Milan was cool, Angie’s the Rabbit Whisperer.
Angie's Pets Review Singapore
Charcoal, in Zen mode right after grooming.

No “Trancing”, Please!

We attended one of  Angie's workshops at Sembawang HomeTeam! We also heard she doesn’t practice putting Rabbits in trance during grooming, She's our first groomer and we stuck with her ever since...

– Sim and Mia, on Angie’s service

Rabbit Groomer Singapore Review
YunYong, and his very doting Pawrents Mia & Sim.
Putting a bunny in trance often looks like they are relaxed, because they are laid down on their backs, usually with eyes closed. Most Rabbit owners are against “trancing”, only because a Rabbit trance is a defence mechanism induced by fear, and fear = stress. Don’t forget, Rabbits are preys in the wild.

(Oh wait, aren’t those Bunnies on their backs some of the pictures?)

Singapore Rabbit Groomer Review
Angie supporting a Bun's back with her raised thigh.
Okay, calm your horses! Yes they are, supported by Angie’s lap, just for a swift nail clipping, and if you look close enough, you’d notice their eyes are not fully shut. Some of the fidgety Buns were able to flip upright again!

What Did The Customers Have To Say? 

In case you were wondering, this interview and day in Angie’s life was not made known to her customers beforehand, we wanted to capture the realness of the Rabbit community. This meant none of them had time to “prepare” nor attempt to prettify anything for ThePetsDialogue. We pretty much sprung this up on all of them, alongside with our arsenal of questions *chuckles*
These customers were a variation of regulars and also first-timers, a perfect mix to get an accurate overall review.

Rabbit with hat
Yee-Haw! Doesn't Casper look smashing?
 Buying and Adopting is easy, maintenance is the tough part. Don’t say buy, some nice people adopt on impulse, with minimal or no knowledge, cause animal lovers have a hard time passing up on those poor Bunnies after seeing them…” 


Did you know that Rabbits are one of the most commonly abandoned pets in Singapore? That has also affected the “quality” of adopters or potential Bunny parents, Shelters and Rescue groups have it tough getting an honest gauge of Rabbit knowledge from these folks, but Angie believes there’s still hope.

Angie's Pets Review 2017
Mama Angie's gonna hold your head ; Rorschach getting a little brush on!
We can frankly say that her personality brings out openness and honesty in people, so customers aren’t afraid of asking or admitting to their lack of knowledge, in which Angie’s only too glad to help by giving her two cents on matters.

We Asked Them: Why Angie’s Pets Out Of All?

We were looking for an experienced groomer, whom specifically deals with Rabbits. Our experiences with Angie further proved that she did not only have the right skills and knowledge, she also had true love and passion for animals and what she does.”

- Irene & Aaron

Sherlock & Rorschach, with their lovely pawrents Aaron & Irene

It’s tough finding a good groomer, for the first 3 months Kira was with a different groomer, I saw Angie's Pets on Facebook and decided to give her a try, and stuck with her ever since!

- Olivia

Olivia & Kira ; Kira used to be severely thin, before Olivia rescued her! 

“Saw Angie giving her talk at Nee Soon! Rabbits were recently adopted, we have trouble trying to groom them ourselves, somehow with Angie they seem like completely different Bunnies...

- Happy Siblings, on their first try at Angie's

Cookie, a recently adopted Bun ; finally allowing owners a long awaited hug.


What Does Angie’s Pets Aim To Achieve In Future?

This was a fairly logical question, anyone with this much love and passion for what they do have definite goals, ridiculous sounding or not. And we asked Angie just that.

I’ve got two apprentices at the moment, but I have no thoughts on expanding the business, I like a more personal touch with what I do. It’s just like restaurants, after you pass on recipes too much, the food starts to taste different (laughs) 

- Angie

Angie's Pets Singapore Interview and Review
Just one of the many flight of stairs Angie has to work with
While Mobile pet grooming is picking up rapidly in other countries with an extremely receiving crowd, it’s a little different here in Singapore, and unrealistically speaking? Angie has always dreamed of having a van entirely decked out with grooming tools, table and chilling corner for bunnies and owners. To that, we couldn’t help but smile, why, isn't that an adorable dream!?

Blunt people can turn out to be the most caring ones, don’t you agree?

Our Take On Angie’s Pets

The 2 days we’ve spent with Angie’s Pets wasn’t glamorous or fancy, it was a lot of sweat and long hours. Whilst snapping photographs, we couldn’t help getting hit by a tinge of loneliness (whenever owners weren't there to watch and chat) as Angie sat at various locations, snipping and brushing a Bunny. But her dedication and passion made our tag-a-long a lot more satisfying, as opposed to feeling the immense fatigue.

Angie's Pets Review Singapore
How are you today Bun? I'll be quick on the nails, promise.
 "It's not about my comfort, it has to be comfortable for the Rabbit, I'm alright sitting in an awkward angle, as long as they are relaxed"

Angie, as we questioned about back-aches

A hairdresser asks if you’re happy with your haircut after every session, yes? Well Angie does the same for your Rabbits, making sure you are okay with your Bun’s cleanup. Not only that, she explains what she has done, and teaches you how you can maintain it. 

Angie's Pets review and interview
All groomed and relaxing. One Zen Bun done, more to go!
What we found most amazing was her impeccable time management, to groom as many Buns as she could, and making sure your money’s worth at the same time. We tip our hats off to Angie, and thank you for having us around

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