Gilbert resident finds ‘perfect occupation’ as traveling dog groomer - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Gilbert resident finds ‘perfect occupation’ as traveling dog groomer

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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:30 pm

Following years spent pent up in corporate life, Gilbert resident Roderick Coffman has finally found his proverbial dream job, one that entails dogs, grooming and blueberries.

Originally from Indiana, Coffman’s job experience is broad, with years spent as an employee for FedEx and a gig as a juvenile corrections officer. Neither profession, however, fulfilled him as much as his time working with dogs.

“I’ve always been a dog lover, but I started taking it seriously when I got a German shepherd,” he said.

He spent about 10 years working as a trainer at AAA Obedience back in Indianapolis, and even did some training on the side once he moved to Arizona approximately 18 years ago. Coffman’s direction in regards to work with canines began to shift in the early 2000s after his sister became a dog groomer. It seemed to be a pretty good job, and Coffman, who received grooming certification back in 2002, ended up working with her for about four months after he left his fulltime job with FedEx.

From there, Coffman bought a truck in Michigan so he could create a mobile grooming service — he dubbed it, appropriately enough, Mobile Grooming by Roderick — to serve clients across the East Valley. The truck was up and running late last year, and he said business has picked up step-by-step since its launching.

The experience for the dog is akin to a trip to the spa, complete with the classical styling of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. There’s snipping and brushing and washing and all sorts of other luxuries to pamper the pet.

Another service Coffman’s company offers is a blueberry facial that uses a hypoallergenic substance consisting of blueberries, aloe vera and other ingredients. The substance is safe for the dogs to lick — a necessity given its smell and a dog’s natural curiosity — and the facial will remove the tear lines from the dog’s face, rejuvenate the face’s natural color and make the dog smell better.

The substance does all of that while giving the retriever or Chihuahua a pleasurable experience to boot.

“It actually seems to relax them … they seem to enjoy it when they get into it,” he said.

While the dogs receive a good time, Coffman said his new business has offered benefits for him as well, especially concerning his family that continues to grow. Coffman can now go watch his 3-year-old grandson play soccer, and he can stay home and cook dinner for his wife, Diane, on a nightly basis.

Those are a few of the reasons why the well-traveled man called his new job the “perfect occupation” as he inches closer to his golden years.

“I can set my own schedule, so I can spend more time with my family. As I’m getting older, I’m realizing family is more important,” he said.

Contact Coffman at (480) 857-3582 for more information.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-5647 or emungenast@evtrib.com.

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