Next up in our Made in Cork series is Avril owner of Gabby & Mileys Grooming Studio and fur Mama to Gabby, Miley and new pup Dwayne. Sue, my own little doggie, voted that we had to feature Avril as she is just smitten with her, Sue spends three hours kissing and playing ball with Avril when she visits I don’t know how Avril fits any grooming in!
1. Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Avril Hurley, dog-mother to three & resident canine stylist at Gabby & Miley’s Grooming Studio in Ballincollig, Cork. I live & breathe all things dog & dog-related which is funny considering I was petrified of all things ‘dog’ for the first 18 years of my life.
When I’m not looking after our own three dogs or working in Gabby & Miley’s Grooming Studio you can find my fiancé, our dogs & I on the lookout for new Dog Friendly businesses, events or facilities in Cork which we do our best to keep other dog lovers abreast of on our Facebook page “Dog Friendly Cork.” I’ve also co-founded a little charitable organisation called “St Vincent De Paws” where we co-ordinate several collection points around Cork & Kerry each month on behalf of nominated Animal Rescues, what makes us unique is that we don’t collect any monetary donations but quite simply items the nominated rescue require such as food, blankets & cleaning products & deliver them direct to the rescues.
2. How did you start Gabby & Miley’s Grooming Studio?
I developed quite a keen interest in dog grooming when we got our first family dog Miley, a Shih Tzu but never pursued it as I was happily working in our family business at the time. Unfortunately, my mother developed ovarian cancer & subsequently passed away after a long battle. So when I went back to work Miley & Gabby faced long days all alone. Our mom was a stay-at-home mom which meant Miley in particular got quite attached & got separation anxiety anytime he was left alone. At the beginning, I used to send Gabby to Doggy Daycare as she thrived there & Miley came to the office but this wasn’t a long term solution. So when the chance arose again to go back & study the art that is dog grooming at leapt at it & I never looked back. It was the best decision ever. In May 2014 we – Gabby, Miley & I opened the doors of Gabby & Miley’s Grooming Studio & have been pampering dogs ever since.
3. What are some of the best places in Cork to take your dogs?
Ballincollig Regional Park (it’s right on our doorstep so we love it)
Doneraile Wildlife Park (it also has a tearooms with some fab food)
Donkey Sanctuary Liscarrol (we always end off our trip to the Doneraile Wildlife Park with a trip to the Donkey Sanctuary)
Fionnbarra on Douglas Street, Cork City
Cogans Bar, Carrigaline
Myo, Popes Quay, Cork City
The Bulman, Kinsale (if you want to enjoy some fine dining with your dog)
Glebe Country & Coach House Apartments, Ballinadee
4. What are the best tips and tricks you’ve learned working with pups every day?
Each dog is unique, each have different likes & dislikes, each have come from different backgrounds. No dog can talk but they can give you subtle hints in their body language so be patient & observe what a dog tries to tell you. Dogs love being reassured, talk to them. Most of all be patient, oh & most dogs love roast chicken