PITTSBURG — When the dog needs a spa day, it might end up visiting Karen’s Pooch Parlor.

The pink poodle sign lets people know they’ve come to the right place.
The business is owned by Karen Gilliland and has been open since 1968.

It all began when Karen was asked by her mother’s friend to groom her dog — a gray standard poodle.

“She kinda pushed me into it,” Karen said. “I’m so grateful she did, after all of these years it’s something I’ve been able to enjoy.”

She grooms the dogs in a little trailer, which has all the necessities. The trailer is complete with two shop supervisors — cats Maggie and Goldie. Maggie, especially, likes the dogs, Karen said.

Karen found Maggie at the Southeast Kansas Humane Society. During the spring and summer Karen often cares for kittens and their mothers from the shelter and Maggie had birthed a litter of kittens which Karen had cared for and rehomed.

Now Maggie and Goldie can be found at the shop, watching over the dogs as Karen grooms them.

Karen has groomed countless numbers of dogs over the past 50 years, from schnauzers, shih tzus, poodles and other small and medium sized dogs.

Making the pups look great is one reason she likes being a groomer and she has no plans for retiring any time soon, she said.

In her spare time Karen may be found at the Doggie Bag volunteering, which she said she does because she “loves kittens.” Proceeds from the Doggie Bag go towards the shelter. She said there, she has watched the generosity of those who donate to the store.

“You would be surprised at what people would donate,” she said.

From the store, she buys old sheets and cuts them into little handkerchiefs to put on the dogs after their grooming is complete.

Throughout the years, Karen learned many things and at the top of the list is patience.

“I learned patience,” she said. “The have to learn too … it takes time and patience.”

For more information about Karen’s Pooch Parlor, people can visit her Facebook page or call her at 620-231-0720.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.