Malinda Malone loves animals, especially dogs and cats.
And that’s why the long-term Ahwatukee resident left her job at a local veterinarian 18 years ago to open her own grooming studios, first Malinda’s Pampered Pets, then Diamond Cut Pet Spa.
She ran her successful brick and mortar pet salons from 2003 to last March, most recently at 4825 E. Warner.
Malone had launched a new mobile venture, Diamond’s Full of Fur Mobile Grooming, as a part-time gig starting in 2019. So, when the state shutdown occurred, she was able to stay in business by going mobile full-time.
Malone also teaches others how to save their lives.
In 2009, she became a certified pet tech instructor, teaching pet owners and professionals CPR and first aid for their animals.
The following year, she attained the level of “Pet Tech Master Instructor” of the CPR and first aid program and now instructs others so they can teach their own classes.
She is one of only 10 Master Instructors worldwide.
Pet grooming is familiar to owners, but CPR and pet first aid may not be – and it should, according to Malone.
“Choking in dogs and cats is one real reason pet owners should learn CPR,” said Malone, who moved to Ahwatukee more than 20 years ago. “Pieces of toys or bones can lodge in a pet’s throat and like people, should be given CPR immediately.”
She found the skill invaluable when one of her own fur babies suddenly needed it.
“My dog Bella, a Pomeranian, actually started to choke from eating her own food. She couldn’t breathe, and she passed out immediately.
“With my training as a Pet Tech CPR/pet first aid instructor I was able to help her without even having to think about it,” Malone recalled. “I just gave her chest thrusts which actually helped to push the dog food out of her mouth and onto the floor. She became conscious almost immediately and didn’t even realize what happened.”
As Malone points out in her Pet Tech CPR/first aid classes – in both the five or eight-hour training sessions – “there is no doggie 911, but after the class, you will be.”
Mike Caston, owner of Poodini Pet Waste Removal in Ahwatukee, and a former student of Malone’s class said he found the training valuable when he was able to save a client’s dog.
“The course truly prepared me for real world situations,” said Caston, who has owned his company for more than 10 years.
“I was amazed how little I knew about taking care of an animal in the event of an emergency. Malinda was patient and made sure that we thoroughly understood the course material,” he said.
“I believe the course is a necessity for pet owners and anyone who works with pets for a living,” Caston added. “In fact, I was so impressed by the course that I arranged for all my employees to take it as well.”
The classes also offer instruction on handling bites, stings and snake bites, poisoning and heat stroke, said Malone.
Tuition is $100 for the five-hour course, which covers CPR and first aid for pets, or $125 for the eight-hour course that also includes tips for dental and geriatric care.
Though her CPR/first aid classes are filled when she offers them, it is her all-breed dog and cat grooming that keeps her busy as she serves Ahwatukee and South Phoenix.
Her mobile grooming spa was created with the pet’s comfort in mind. Malone treats her four-legged clients with the care she lavishes on her own fur family – six Pomeranians and one yellow Labrador.
“They’re the joy of my life, and everything I do is so they’ll have a better life,” she said with a smile.
Convenience, of course, is the key to Diamond’s Full of Fur Mobile Grooming, a full-service pet grooming salon contained within a fully-equipped 26-foot Toyhauler that she pulls behind her Dodge 2500 offering to-your-door service at home or office.
“We work with clients who prefer a personal touch for their fur-babies,” she said. “The dog or cat is groomed in a safe, anxiety-free and relaxing environment with one-on-one loving attention.”
Within her well-equipped mobile pet spa is a bathtub with temperature-controlled running water, blow dryers, a grooming table with all the professional grooming tools and the popular organic and natural products she used at her brick-and-mortar pet spas.
Air conditioning and heat are also available depending on the season, and all power and water are provided.
Malone said most groomings can be done within an hour to 90 minutes. She currently works with dog breeds under 45 pounds.
She doesn’t bathe cats but does provide haircuts or deshedding, depending on the feline breed.
Both dogs and cats receive nail clipping and ear cleaning.
“Together we customize your pet’s style, skin, and coat needs,” she said. “Most of our fur-clients actually look forward to their grooming day.”
Some pets can be more reticent when going to spas, often unnerved by the proximity of other animals.
“Although we as humans think of going to a spa as a relaxing get-away, pets often may find the experience nerve-wracking. With the mobile grooming experience, they have less stress, there’s no cages, and no exposure to other barking dogs resulting in your pet having a much more positive grooming experience,” she explained. “We offer convenience, quality personal service and peace of mind.”
Having groomed Ahwatukee pets for two decades, Malone has a host of fans, two of whom – Gene and Cathy Kochert – have been with her for 22 years.
“My wife and I met Malinda 22 years ago when she was grooming for a veterinarian. The quality of her work was always impeccable, as was her customer service. When Malinda moved to start her own business, we followed,” said Gene Kochert.
“Malinda has been helpful identifying ways we could better care for our pets, things that we should look for as the pets age. She provides the input that is valuable for you to not only proactively care for your pet, but to have meaningful conversations with the veterinarian. We personally know these things because Malinda has been with us from puppy to elderly dog, rescues and full breeds,” he added.
Malone is also a certified dog trainer and can offer in-home instruction.
Malone said for pet grooming service requests she suggests texting her at 480-689-1261.