Midwest School of Pet Grooming
“Dogs do speak but only to those who know how to listen”
Who we are
The Midwest School of Pet Grooming was founded in 2010 by Patrick and Liah Anderson. It started with a single student and a handful of dogs and turned into a respected and thriving school. After it originally opened in Barrington, IL, business and demand grew, and the school was moved to Long Grove, where it resides today.
As its location changed, so did its ownership. I am Aimee Gibbs, and I am dog crazy. I have had a lifelong love of dogs. As a little girl, I used to walk through the neighborhood and knock on my neighbors’ doors and ask to play with their dogs. Dogs just make sense to me.
My career in the animal industry started as a volunteer shelter worker. I began in high school, giving up my Friday nights to care for the animals at the local shelter. It was hot, dirty, back-breaking work, but I always said it was the only job I could ever have where I received a hundred kisses a day. Once out of high school, I went on to other endeavors but again found my way back to the shelter, becoming a paid employee in charge of several areas of animal care.
Liah Harris-Anderson and George
Not long after, a family situation prompted me to move to the Northwest suburbs, and I found myself in need of work. I had seen the movie “Monster in Law” in which Jennifer Lopez was a dog walker. I had never heard of a dog walker before and was amazed that someone could actually do that as a job. I set out to find a position and struck gold with a fantastic company out of South Barrington. I had found what I thought was my dream job. I was paid to spend my time with dogs — how could it get any better than that?
It did get better.
Knowing my love of dogs and my desire to know as many dogs as I could possibly in a lifetime, a friend suggested dog grooming. Given I have zero talent for cutting human hair, I had my doubts. But I was curious, so I investigated a few schools and found myself in the lobby of Midwest. That is when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to become a groomer.
I fell head-over-heels in love with grooming and Midwest. My time in grooming school was some of the best in my life. Every day I was excited to come in and put my hands on dogs that some people will never see in their lifetime. I ate, slept and lived grooming with every ounce of my being. It was all I thought about and all I talked about. I was in love.
Not just with the dogs, but with the people as well, the school, and the professional salon next door. Pat and Liah became more than teachers; they were my mentors and friends. Upon my graduation, I found myself in tears, not wanting to leave my new grooming family behind. As luck should have it, not long after, Pat offered me a job at the Grooming Lodge, and the rest is awesome history. Working for the Lodge, I naturally gravitated toward the classroom, as I also have a professional background in teaching and education. When the opportunity to take over the school was presented to me, I knew that it was what I had to do.
It is my intention not only to teach you the technical aspects of grooming but also, I will teach you how to be a groomer. Grooming is a difficult, demanding and often chaotic job. Grooming involves much more than breed cut patterns and clipper technique. It requires an understanding of self and of dogs. Grooming challenges both your mental and physical ability. It is artistic. It is technical, and it changes for each individual dog that sits on your table. Grooming is hard work, but it is deeply rewarding work.
So here is a warm welcome to Midwest. It is my hope that you will love this place as much as I do and that you always, no matter where your professional path shall take you, call us home.
Khaleesi is our resident model for creative color and current diva dog trends, you may have seen her running around the place with her pink and purple puffs and flowing mane. A bit of a Queenbee, Khaleesi works full time to keep her dog bed occupied, and any bits of dropped food from lunch off the floor. She welcomes photo ops and selfies, but if you really want to get on her good side, bring food.
Louis AKA Louie AKA Lou Lou is our official Midwest Grooming School greeter and full time snuggler. All puff and fluff, Louis is the first one to say hello to new friends and is easily the most popular guy in class. Louie’s other duties include barking, marking and general mayhem or at least that is his idea of a hard days work. Come meet Louie today, one snuggle and we guarantee you will be hooked 😉