Two paws up: New Cleveland Heights grooming shop puts dogs first

It’s only been one week since Linda McFadden opened Lee Road Dog Grooming, but she has already built a customer base and potential customers are stopping in. After all, it’s hard to miss the hand-painted pictures of a ladylike pup donning a flowered hat and the pink and purple hues that adorn the small storefront on one of the newest additions to the Cedar-Lee District.

“People pass and they come in and say, ‘I just saw your shop,’” she says. “[Or] they say, ‘I was driving by,’ which is very nice.” When they do stop in, they most likely will get to meet McFadden’s two toy poodles: YaYa, an American Kennel Club (AKC) champion show dog, and Alice.

Linda McFaddenMcFadden was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and went to school in Jersey, Channel Islands of England. She grew up around show dogs and has a “lifetime of professional dog grooming experience,” having followed in the footsteps of her mother—a recently-retired Pekingese breeder and toy breed judge in dog shows. McFadden also trained as a veterinary nurse in London before coming to the United States to show dogs.

While McFadden owned a successful dog grooming shop for more than 20 years in Mill Valley, California (near San Francisco), she moved to Cleveland Heights one year ago in search of a change. “I got tired of the traffic, it was really getting on my nerves,” she says of life in the Bay area. “I always loved Ohio. I came here first when I moved from England to show dogs in Medina.”

After a year of searching, McFadden purchased her new Cleveland Heights home about four minutes away from her new shop. And, after getting everything up to code with city officials, McFadden opened for business last Tuesday, September 18.

The focus is on providing a relaxing atmosphere in the 650-square-foot shop. “We aim to keep the atmosphere relaxed by not taking too many dogs and not rushing the grooming,” McFadden says. “I take pride in listening to the customers’ requests and using my lifetime of experience to make the dogs feel that they are in safe hands. Dogs have good intuition.”

McFadden says she keeps up on the current trends in dog grooming and always listens to her human customers’ requests and needs—even giving mohawks to a few dogs (at the customer’s request, of course). Her canine clients can choose from a variety of waiting areas, including relaxing on dog beds. “Some dogs prefer the little playpens, other dogs prefer the security of the kennels,” she explains.

Right now, McFadden can only accept dogs under 60 pounds, but has her eye on an all-in-one stainless steel hydraulic lift wash tub that could accommodate larger breeds. “You can walk the dogs in, press a button, and put it to whatever height you want,” she shares. "It’s really nice.”
 

Lee Road Dog Grooming
2246 Lee Rd

Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

In the meantime, McFadden has a washtub in the back area (along with the kennels), with plans to add a washer and dryer for cleaning towels. In the front of the shop is a grooming table, and McFadden plans to install a second grooming table as Lee Road Dog Grooming grows.

McFadden is quite happy with her choice of Cleveland Heights for both her business and her home. “Cleveland Heights is a city of dog lovers, and Lee Road is centrally located and a fun place to have my business,” she says, citing the patios at Boss Dog Brewing Company and Anatolia Café as two especially dog-friendly spots.

When McFadden isn’t running Lee Road Dog Grooming or exploring Cleveland Heights, she is showing YaYa and Alice at American Kennel Club shows. “It gives me the opportunity to watch different breeds and keep up with the latest styles,” she says.

This year, YaYa won “Best of Opposite Sex” in the “Best of Variety” category at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in New York. Alice, who McFadden says prefers the outdoor shows, is on her way to also becoming a champion show dog.

Prices vary at Lee Road Dog Grooming, depending on the amount of work and frequency of the grooming needed, says McFadden. She provides customers a price range when they call to make an appointment and can give a firm quote when she sees the dog. McFadden doesn’t have a website yet, but can be reached at (216) 675-4455.

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Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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