FFA holds dog grooming day

Faculty & staff drop off animals for a day of pampering


Arden Ray

FRIENDLY FACES: A student drys off a dog after a bath. Through interacting and taking care of the dogs, students were able to make close connections and friendships with them. “Every dog has their own personality,” senior Ali Pool said. “I got to work with these dogs with the same sort of personality span as humans would. So it’s like talking to a friend and helping them with what they need.”

Becca Catlow, Photo Essay Editor

The aromatic scent of soaps and shampoo float over the cramped room in the back of H hall. Water runs along the floor, and the sound of barks and chattered instructions create a cacophonous symphony. Students work in groups, brushing dogs and bathing them on raised tables, laughing and addressing the dogs in sweet, gentle voices. 

The Veterinary Medicine and Practicum class is used to grooming dogs, but not with so many people around. On A-days, the students travel to local vet clinics to work with animals and gain experience in the field of veterinary studies. Kaitlyn Platt teaches Future Farmers of America and oversaw the Dog Grooming event, which was open to all staff, and was held on Friday, October 28. 

“It’s really a good way for Practicum kids to get hands-on experience,” Platt said. “Students are introduced to some practice at their vet clinics but for them to actually really know how to do nail trims themselves, bathe dogs with different shampoos, make sure they get the ears clean, that sort of stuff. That’s a really good way of gaining experience.”

FFA incorporates farming and animal studies but also has food science and natural resources pathways. For the Dog Grooming Day, FFA offered two different packages: a half-day and a full-day spa. The full-day spa package included bathing, brushing, trimming nails, and cleaning ears. Senior Practicum, Secretary Ali Pool was one of the students who participated in the dog grooming day. 

“We took care of the dogs, played with them, petted them, fed them. All of the above and it came with free grooming along with boarding,” Pool said.

Though students get practice through their work at local vet clinics, loads of challenges still presented themselves.

“Since I have dogs at home and I work at a vet clinic through Bowie, I have been learning how to properly wash dogs and take care of them,” Pool said. “This is the first time I’ve done it here at Bowie and realized how difficult it is to do without a supervising veterinarian or Vet Tech. It was still very fun to be able to groom teachers’ dogs and help with that though.”

FFA plans to hold more dog grooming events in the future, but for now, they’re continuing their passion and learning through their internships at vet clinics. They can’t wait for the next time they can work to help the Bowie community by caring for animals, according to Pool. Senior Student Advisor Falyn Crenek, has been in FFA all four years and also participated in the Dog Grooming Day.

“We had 13 dogs and only eight kids in our practicum so it was fun being able to split up the dogs between all the kids and get to interact with large and small dogs and trying to bathe all of them and trim their nails,” Crenek said.