NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J. -- North Arlington's Bow Wow Salon celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday, April 23, and owner Barbara Gleeson said she couldn't be prouder.
"I've become very close to my customers," Gleeson said. "I'm married to my business." Looking around her corner shop, she added, "I'm the luckiest person to be able to come here every day. It's always been my dream to work with dogs."
Involved in dog grooming since she was 12, it was only fitting that Gleeson jump right in after high school. She attended the New York City School of Dog Grooming, and she was able to open up the salon with the help of her sister, Cathy Gleeson Rafferty.
The shop also offers a boutique, with dog clothing, bakery items made at a bakery company and a selection of toys.
Gleeson's mother, Barbara, was also an integral part of her daughter's success. She spent about five years helping Gleeson, until her sudden death a few years ago. Everyone in the family helps out, though, said Gleeson. "It's like a family-run operation. And family means everything to me."
"Her heart and soul is in this," her cousin Deidre Sullivan said.
Many customers came to help celebrate Gleeson's special day. There were raffles, pizza from Pizza Land, various desserts and refreshments, and even champagne.
Ken Vargas, a 12 year customer, said, "I've never had a problem here. Barbara is amazing with both big and small dogs." Nat and Monica Tripodi, who have also been customers for a dozen years, take their Shih Tzu, Emma, and their Pomeranian, Peanut. "You can just tell she loves what she does."
And Tom Liebold has only ever taken his Shih Tzu, Dori, to this salon.
"We're very happy celebrating here today with Barbara her business after 30 years," Councilman Richard Hughes said. "It's an integral part of our business community."
Bow Wow Salon's hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays book up fast, so customers may want to book in advance. For more info, check out the shop's Facebook page or call 201-997-4320.
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