Christina Buck grooms Bruin, a 4-year-old Pomeranian, at her new pet grooming salon on Columbia Street in downtown Bangor which is set to open on Sept. 1. Pleasantly Pampered is the first fear free certified grooming service in Maine. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

A new pet grooming salon on Columbia Street in downtown Bangor is set to open on Sept. 1, and is the first “Fear Free” certified grooming service in Bangor. 

Pleasantly Pampered owner Christina Buck will groom both dogs and cats from her new storefront at 43 Columbia St., Unit 14, offering baths, nail trims, ear cleanings and full haircuts, in addition to other specialized services. She will also offer home visits for pet owners who don’t want to bring in their animals.

Christina Buck grooms Bruin, a 4-year-old Pomeranian, at her new pet grooming salon on Columbia Street in downtown Bangor which is set to open on Sept. 1. Pleasantly Pampered is the first fear free certified grooming service in Maine. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

The Fear Free certification is a course veterinarians, trainers, groomers and other animal professionals can take, in which the provider is trained in how to recognize body language, and prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety and stress in animals.

A trip to the vet or the groomer can be frightening for dogs in particular, with unfamiliar smells, the handling of sensitive areas, and the scents and smells of other animals.

“[Fear Free] allows anyone in the animal industry to sense when an animal is nervous, and see what signs they exhibit when they are stressed out or anxious,” said Buck, who is also a certified groomer with the National Dog Groomers Association of America.

Buck, who recently moved to Maine from Phoenix, Arizona, initially trained as an aquarist, or aquarium keeper, at a zoo, before moving into the field of pet grooming. She spent seven years operating her own mobile pet grooming business out west. She and her husband and two small children moved to Maine in May, and she shortly afterward began working on the plan to open a permanent storefront.

Christina Buck’s new pet grooming salon called Pleasantly Pampered on Columbia Street is set to open on Sept. 1. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

She said moving from Arizona to Maine during the pandemic was interesting, but not as difficult as she thought it would be.

“It’s definitely let us learn how to really love our house,” she said.

Buck knew from a young age that she wanted to work with animals. As an only child, she said her best friend as a kid was her golden retriever-Labrador retriever mix, Harley. Today, she and her family have a Pomerianian named Bruin. The logo for Pleasantly Pampered features both dogs.

Buck said she is taking appointments for grooming sessions now. Pleasantly Pampered will open on Tuesday, Sept. 1. An open house event is set for Saturday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Pleasantly Pampered is the first Fear Free certified pet salon in Maine.

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.