Dog owners everywhere will tell you how wonderful it is to take your beloved pet to a grooming salon for that much needed haircut or maybe just a shampoo to clean them up a bit.
Mona Cline White has just the place for your four-legged sweetie to get a shampoo or maybe a bath and a cut. It is Monalisa Doggy Day Spa and she can be reached at 406-899-6369.
Mona is the lady grooming those fuzzy-coated “kids” and operating the new business in Cut Bank. She became a groomer three years ago while living west of Vaughn with her husband Owen. She received her grooming training at Happy Tails Lodge in Great Falls and even worked for them after her training was finished.
“It was an eight-week course of intense learning each day. After graduation, I was hired as a groomer as well as an instructor for the Methods Class. I worked there for three years before our property west of Vaughn sold and then we moved to Cut Bank,” Mona said.
Mona is a Cut Bank native, having been born and raised here, graduating from Cut Bank High School in 1971. She married Owen White six months later.
Her husband was drafted and both of them ended up joining the Air Force and were stationed at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. They later were stationed at Malmstrom. After she was discharged, she went to the College of Great Falls until 1980. It was then they moved to Devon and farmed and ranched for the next 20 years.
When that farm was sold to some cousins in the family, the Whites moved to a piece of property west of Vaughn and lived there for 17 years.
“We were thinking of downsizing and I started looking into jobs that no matter where we lived, I could have work. One of my husband’s cousins talked to me about dog grooming. I felt like that would be a good fit for me, so I enrolled in the dog grooming school at Happy Tails Lodge in Great Falls,” she explained.
Mona really enjoyed her job at Happy Tails Lodge, but “I knew that at my age I could not keep up with the pace of the workload there. Having my own business allows me to set my schedule to the number of dogs I feel I can handle each day and take the time to work safely and give the dogs the extra care they need,” she said.
Starting a new grooming business means Mona is working with dogs she may not know or be familiar with, which means some of those “kids” might be a little nervous, scared or even a bit hyperactive.
“They all take extra time and it is a process in figuring out the scheduling to accommodate those conditions. It also means having a discussion with the owner before grooming to figure out what they have in mind for the groom and then get those instructions right, so they are pleased with the end result,” shared Mona.
If you talk to any of the clients who have already used Mona’s grooming services, you will hear nothing but praise for the work and care this lady takes on each of those dogs coming to her salon.
Mona loves the time she spends with the dogs in her “spa.” Each one is a unique and wonderful individual in her eyes.
“The best parts of being a groomer are getting to work on a wide variety of dogs and spending time getting to know their personalities and quirks. I love taking before and after pictures so I can see the difference not only in their appearance, but in their whole demeanor. When I notify the ‘parents’ their dog is ready, I try to text both the before and after pictures to them, so they can see what I see,” she said.
She added, “Grooming is a joy, but it is also hard work, but still a joy. My goal is to make each dog feel safe and loved, so lots of kisses and hugs are involved in the grooming process. The kisses and hugs are free.”
Mona and her husband have two children, Donya and Troy. Her daughter and granddaughter, Lela Emma, who is five, live in Bayfield, Colo., and her son lives and works in Dickinson, N.D. Her brother, Rod and his wife Lisa, live here in Cut Bank and it was those two, along with her children, that encouraged Mona to start her own grooming business.
“Having my own grooming salon enables me to do what I love and finally have some time to see my children more. It is definitely a win-win situation.”