VALDOSTA -- Brittany Black is a young woman on the move.

A few weeks ago, Black, an 18-year-old Lowndes County resident, opened her own business -- a mobile pet grooming salon called "At Your Bark And Call."

Her shop is a large recreational vehicle remarkable for the logo and dog-paw graphics decorating the exterior. Inside the vehicle, Black has a grooming table, a bath for pets, a kennel case for customers who have more than one dog, and other accessories and necessities for grooming pets. The vehicle is completely self-reliant with its own electrical generator and water supply.

Though she has been parking recently in local shopping plazas to attract attention to her business, the grooming operation is completely mobile. In other words, if a customer needs a dog groomed, Black and her business come to the customer. At Your Bark And Call provides a convenience to customers as well as a service for pet grooming. If a pet needs grooming, a customer calls Black and makes an appointment. Instead of the customer having to drop off the pet at a shop on the way to work and then pick it up later in the day, Black drives to the customer's home to groom the animal. By making advanced arrangements, she can groom the pet even when a customer is not home; all Black asks is that the customer be there for the first meeting so the animal gets to know her through the pet owner.

Brittany Black, a 2002 graduate of Georgia Christian, is the daughter of Glenn and Selina Sturgis. A few years ago, Black's love of animals had her interning at Valdosta Veterinary Hospital, with hopes of becoming a veterinarian. Realizing that she was not interested in the veterinary field, she decided to become a dog groomer. She enrolled in classes at the Florida Institute of Animal Arts, Orlando, Fla., where she spent six months learning the trade of grooming as well as animal anatomy, skin conditions and other details of her chosen field, certifying her to groom pets as well as show dogs registered with the American Kennel Club.

With help from her parents, she purchased the specially equipped vehicle for her mobile grooming salon and, since driving it down from North Georgia in March, has been building a clientele in Valdosta and Lowndes County.

At Your Bark And Call can be reached by calling Brittany Black at 251-3654.

To contact Dean Poling, please call 244-3400, ext. 258.

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