By Grace Jones | posted on April 6, 2018
FROM aspiring to be a vet when she grew up, to rescuing stray dogs off the streets in South Africa and finally opening up her own dog grooming business, Yvette Miles’ passion for pets of the barking variety has culminated in an award-winning performance at the recent Rescue Roundup Grooming Competition in Perth.
The competition is hosted by the Dog Groomers Association of WA and Ms Miles was tasked with grooming a rescue dog she had never met before.
“I was given a Pomeranian-Chihuahua cross to groom,” she said.
“When I heard what I was allocated I was very worried. I really hoped the dog took after the Pomeranian for its longer coat.
“Grooming dogs is all about building up trust with the dog, which you don’t have a lot of time to do in the competition.”
Despite some small issues with ticklish feet, Ms Miles managed to groom her way to success, coming home with the awards for Best Coat Preparation and Best Transformation.
“I really am so grateful to have my work acknowledged,” she said.
“To be grooming for 10 years and then win two awards like that really is amazing.”
But it almost didn’t happen – when Ms Miles realised she was going to be in Perth on the weekend of the Rescue Roundup, applications had already closed.
“I sent them an email with the hope that there may have been a space free,” she said.
“I immediately got an email back saying they were full, but they would let me know if a space became available.
“When I got the email a week before the competition asking if I was still interested, I immediately said ‘yes’.
“I wasn’t nervous, I just really wanted to do something nice for the rescue dogs since it’s for a good cause.”
Prior to emigrating to Australia from Jeffreys Bay in South Africa five years ago, Ms Miles built a reputation in her local area for rescuing and rehoming dogs.
“People would drop off strays they had found and we would get them healthy and rehome them,” she said.
“Some of them came in with quite matted coats and had skin conditions, so we would have to groom them.”
When the opportunity arose to be professionally trained to groom people’s pooches, Ms Miles didn’t hesitate.
“I’ve always loved animals and dogs in particular,” she said.
“So being given the opportunity to groom and work with dogs everyday is amazing.
“I’m living my dream.”