Victoria “Tori” Palmer, a 22-year-old dog groomer, stumbled into the industry by accident. In high school she was looking for a summer job and found what she thought would be a temporary position. Palmer moved around from position to position within the company trying to decide what was the best fit for her. She ended up in dog grooming and then began to train the dogs. “I got a part time job as a cashier somewhere, and it just happened to be a pet store and it fit really well,” says Palmer.
Today she is the manger at Oh My Dog! Pet Salon, but has not set down her clippers just yet. She continues to groom and train the dogs at the privately owned salon and finds the work much more rewarding. She genuinely cares about every dog that prances through the door and says the salon reflects her attitude. “You don’t have to pump out 12 dogs a day if you don’t want to,” says Palmer “it’s more about the animals here.”
Palmer has always had a passion for animals and grew up surrounded by pets. She now has three dogs of her own, two foster dogs, a cat, and a fish. The dogs come to work with her everyday. The salon has turned into a small neighborhood where all the dogs are used to each other. “We have a lot of regulars, and I have a lot of favorites that come in and feel super comfortable here,” she says.
The canine lover cannot see herself anywhere else in life, but she does not see her job as being a career. She wants to pursue a life long dream and start by going back to school. Palmer wants to keep the dogs and the salon in her life, but keep the grooming job on the side. “I’ve always wanted to be a medical examiner,” says Palmer, but the timing has not been right for her to return to school for twelve years to get her license.
Even though she hopes to some day move away from dog training and grooming, it will always be a part of her life. She hopes to be able to always work with animals as either a part time job or just as a hobby because “it teaches you so much about what’s important in life, no matter what goes on, its just this unconditional love that makes everybody feel good,” says Palmer.
As she bends down to scoop up a customer’s terrier with blue toenails, all the dogs pile on her and through the all the hair, tails, and barking the unconditional love is present. Through the entire grooming process the dogs hate what she is doing to them, but as soon as she lets them off the table they are in her arms licking her face with their tail wagging. “If more people were like [dogs] in the world, it would be a much better place,” says Palmer, “even after you’ve done everything they didn’t want done to them, they just love you”