Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 3, 2012

Grooming business proof love of animals can’t be quit

Noteworthy Neighbor

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — For all the intentions one might have to step aside after a career of contributions, there are those who never can quite give up doing something they really love.

This is the blessing Elizabeth Copeland found herself with after working with animals for more than 27 years and discovering how hard it was to stay retired. As a result she revived her passion a couple of months ago through Country Clips, an all breed grooming service at her home just outside of Pauls Valley.

“Working at Williamsburg gave me the most valuable experience I have,” said Copeland who spent 12 years doing grooming services for Dr. Carolyn Williams at the small animal hospital in PV. “My experience and gentleness with animals makes me better.”

Originally from Bishop California, Copeland has in one way or another always dealt with cleaning and styling dogs from her days going door to door as a child to being able to now work with clients at a pace she sets herself. Her efforts are made a bit easier now with friend and assistant-in-training Sherrie Price be it creative styling or simply something to help the animals stay healthy.

Turning the hobby into a career was a matter of happenstance traced back to a door opened when she was laid off from her job back in the 1980s as a electronics assembler in the airline industry. She has not looked back since and regularly keeps up with learning new tricks of the trade, even earning at one point first responder status for animal emergencies after Hurricane Katrina.

“I just started it as something to do... dogs have always been a part of my life,” said Copeland, who has five dogs of her own and started the business so local people can stay in the area to find grooming. “We want to keep it small and intimate.”

Calling Pauls Valley home was something else which came by chance since Copeland originally had moved to the area with the intent to only stay until her son finished high school, but turned into a place she could not let go of. This is in part due to a desire to be involved in the community, including regularly collecting donations for the PAWS animal shelter through selling homemade goods or ideas like the Christmas dollar tree where she was able to give $187 to the entity.

“It’s just unconditional love you get from dogs... one of God’s greatest gifts,” said Copeland. “It gives me a sense of pride.”

Her hours vary, but Copeland prefers morning hours and will pickup/drop off animals in the area. She prides herself in using the safest practices in grooming be it shampoo or daily disinfecting holding areas and will even offer discounts for those like PAWS members, low income or military families.

“I fell in love with Pauls Valley and the people,” said Copeland. “The sense of community is really awesome and I love small towns.”

The grooming service is located four miles west on Royal Oaks Road until it becomes County Road 1585 and can be reached at 405-207-9678. For those who wish to attend, there will be a ribbon cutting for the business to welcome it as a PV Chamber member Jan. 12 at 4:30 p.m.