Our Valuable Team Members

Karen

Owner

Melissa

Manager

Crissy

Bather / Groomer

It’s the love of animals from having pets throughout her entire life that lead Karen to open the doors of Happy Tails. Those years of experience helped cultivate the knowledge used to create helpful recommendations for unique pet-related concerns and shenanigans. She loves getting to know the customers and their pets. Her family includes Gabe, a Chocolate Lab who is currently living with cancer, Reno, a big hound mix rescued from local animal sanctuary Caring for Creatures (his favorite hobby is collecting allergies), Lily, a nutty and fun Golden Retriever, and Buster the cat, who thinks he’s “top dog” in the house.

Following many rewarding years working with children in counseling and teaching roles, Melissa (a self-proclaimed “dog dork”) changed course to follow her love for animals at Happy Tails. After starting in 2009 as a groomer, Melissa moved to the store side of Happy Tails in 2014, taking over management of the day-to-day operations. With a wealth of knowledge developed over a lifetime of living with pets and taking classes, she has become a tremendous source of information on food, treats and other products. She’s eagerly willing to help customers choose the best products for their pets. Melissa is “dog-mom” to Indie Anna Joan, a formerly-abandoned Lab mix puppy who ran in front of her car on a rural road over eight years ago. Miss Indie is currently vying for the crown of “most expensive free dog ever” – her loving personality and absolute adorableness allow for this.

Crissy began work at Happy Tails as a bather after moving to Fluvanna from New Jersey in 2012. Since then, she has been trained in haircuts. She came to us from New Jersey with over 10 years of professional dog experience in animal care and dog training, and is Canine First Aid certified.
Her family includes a German Shepherd, Paige Turner, and a rescue Chihuahua mix named Minnie, who has elevated her status from “street girl” to high fashion custom clothing model!

Gail

Groomer

Regina

Groomer

Maddie

Sales Associate

Professionally trained, Gail has been grooming dogs in Colorado and Virginia since 2004. A self-proclaimed “lover of all animals”, she has bred, trained and shown Appaloosa horses for 10 years. Her family includes 3 dogs: a Cocker Spaniel named Ziggy, a Border Collie, Dasie, and Dingo, a Blue Heeler. She also has a horse named Apache and 2 parakeets, Powder and Snowy.

Regina has been professionally trained by one of Richmond’s best groomers, and has been working with dogs for more than 10 years. One of her favorite things to do is ride horses. Her family includes 2 dogs, Mario the Pit Bull, Chester the Schnauzer, and 3 cats – Tang, Fat Cat, and Astrid.

In 2013, while in high school, Maddie joined Happy Tails as our Saturday dog bather. Fueled by either dedication or mild insanity, upon graduation Maddie opted to keep her Saturday bathing job – despite having landed a full-time position elsewhere. In 2014, when a Happy Tails Sales Associate position became available, Maddie was our first choice. Maddie’s compassion for animals and enthusiasm to learn about our products have made her a highly-appreciated member of our family. Maddie makes her home with a Newfoundland named Max, and Fluvanna SPCA alumni Maine Coon Cat, Ellie Mae, who has declared herself “head of household” regardless of being the newest member.

We Don’t Always Need Advice

Sometimes, all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heat that understands. Sometimes, all we need is a dog.