Dog groomers among first wave of businesses to re-open during coronavirus pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana is getting its first glimpse into what re-opening the economy will look like as the first wave of businesses gets the green light to open their doors.

“It was hard to schedule anyone because we didn’t know when an open date would be,” Fluffy Puppy Salon owner Bethany English said.

With doing business comes great responsibility. English and her dog groomers at Fluffy Puppy in Irvington are only allowing one customer inside and all transactions are made online.

“Once [the dogs] are in there, we take them in the back, and give them a bath. None of the dogs are to be worked on without a bath,” due to coronavirus possibly living on their fur says English. “So, no walk-in services anymore.”

They even have a plastic shower curtain as a partition separating clients from groomers.

“It’s a classy shower curtain,” laughs English. “It’s much different than the chatty atmosphere that we had before, and the connections that we made with our clients. We love our clients, and this is very different. It’s an actual separation from them.”

Every animal is placed in a sanitized kennel by their owner and removed once grooming is done. There is no person-to-person interaction. They call this the new normal.

“Typically, we have three groomers every day, but we have cut it down to two just because there is not enough space to distance,” English said. “I think I fulfilled 300 appointment requests on our first day back.”

Governor Eric Holcomb says they are not picking winners or losers, but allowing businesses to open based on the level of interaction between people and their location.

“Various things factor into that, where you are in the state of Indiana. The numbers in southwestern Indiana and northwestern Indiana are very different than central Indiana,” Holcomb said. “Very methodically as we layer in more business if it’s responsible, if it can be done safely, then that’s how we will do this.”

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