A new pet paradise has come to Rockingham.
Aunt Tessie’s Pet Boutique first opened its doors on July 24, and less than two months later, business has been steady for owner and animal activist Tessie Caulder-Baldwin.
The colorful boutique offers pet grooming services to the public, and Caulder-Baldwin said she believes in a fast turnaround.
“I will guarantee an hour to an hour and a half for grooms on most dogs, within reason,” she said. She added that she wants to help prevent pet anxiety while at the groomer, and believes that a quick experience will cut down on the possibility.
Grooming prices at the boutique vary by weight rather than breed, and appointments are not necessary.
Caulder-Baldwin is a Richmond County native, and has several pets of her own, including nine dogs and three cats.
“I’ve always wanted to work with animals,” she said, adding that she previous worked at the Humane Society of Richmond County as a rescue coordinator.
Tessie also has 12 years of grooming experience.
So why Aunt Tessie?
“My dogs are like kids to me,” Caulder-Baldwin said. “Since they’re not my children and they don’t come home with me, I call them my nieces and nephews.”
Inside the boutique, customers will find a bright display of pet paraphernalia, including Keeper of the Light candles and tarts, bumper stickers, keychains and a special shelf dedicated to one of Caulder-Baldwin’s own causes.
“When I was at the Humane Society, I started Miles of Pennies for a Second ‘Chance,’” she said.
A shrine of photos shows many of the dogs that Caulder-Baldwin has helped to save in conjunction with local veterinarian, Dr. Will Cooley. The Second Chance fund, based off of a special dog named Chance, is reliant on public donations, and supports the treatment and care of dogs whose owners are unable to care for them under special circumstances, Caulder-Baldwin said.
Those interested may make a donation to Cooley Veterinary Hospital, located at 464 W. U.S. Highway 74 in Rockingham.
The boutique is located at 1300 E. Broad Avenue, Suite 25, Rockingham. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 910-461-0415.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.