About Me


Hi, I’m Michele Peterson, a Springfield, VA resident and Owner/Founder of Classy Canines — serving friends and neighbors since 2004, helping them keep their dogs happy, healthy and good looking.

Mobile dog grooming is actually my third career and the one I personally find the most satisfying. After graduating high school in the Boston suburbs, I headed to Johnson and Wales Culinary School in Providence, Rhode Island.  I quickly found out that while I love cooking, doing it in a restaurant setting was not as enjoyable. I transferred to Framingham State University and followed another interest – earning a B.A. in English with a minor in technical writing, and embarking on a publishing career. Starting at Test & Measurement World magazine in Newton, Mass., I later headed to the Philippines to teach ESL for a few years. Once back in the states in 1998, I settled in Northern Virginia and took editorial positions with Pro Audio Review and Radio World magazines, where I also met my future husband Alan. We married in 2001.

Life was good but I was restless. Anchored to a desk and computer all day, having to answer to bosses, and being trapped indoors 8:30 to 5:30 every day for 17 years – especially on really nice days – began to chafe. I needed a change, but to what?  Lumberjack? Trucker? Ice cream shop owner?

One day in early 2004, during a lunch-hour gym workout, I came across a magazine ad for a company that manufactured mobile pet grooming vans. I had never even heard of “mobile pet grooming,” but was intrigued. I loved dogs my whole life, but the only grooming experience I had was a notoriously bad haircut I once gave Jake – my Goldie/Gordie mix. So for anyone who calls me asking me to fix their dog’s bad home haircut, I definitely sympathize and will not judge you!

I enthusiastically began researching mobile grooming: schools, vans, techniques, tools … you name it. I worked up a business plan, spoke to an area groomer, connected to other groomers in online forums, and finally presented this plan to Alan:  I wanted to quit my job (always an attention-getting opener), go to grooming school, buy a decked-out grooming van and open my own business. For a few months, we would be a one-paycheck household and would need to watch the pennies for a while, but it would all be worth it. It seems I was persuasive enough – he said, “Okay, you’ve sold me. Do it!”

First, it was back to school. I enrolled in Canine Clippers School of Pet Grooming in Dumfries, Va., and gave notice at my publishing job. I ordered a custom-built grooming van from the company in Indiana which ran the magazine ad that inspired me. After a four and a half month fulltime course in grooming and grooming business practices, I launched Classy Canines Mobile Grooming. I found I had a real knack for both the grooming and the related tasks.

More than a decade later, I enjoy spending my time with so many sweet dogs, learning about my clients’ lives and interests, and being the “Go To” person for everyone’s pets’ needs.  I have learned which vets in the area are the best, what tools are best suited for maintaining your dog’s coat between grooms, and spotting issues of concern that a vet should look at: those small lumps owners were unaware of that brought early cancer detection and a good prognosis, those ear infections caught early enough for proper treatment … Grooming is not just an aesthetic concern, it keeps your dog healthy.

I even got husband Alan involved! He’s my mechanic, electrician and plumber, fixing anything I manage to break in the van, changing my oil in the generator and coming up with workaround solutions to various issues I encounter along the way. He has had a great deal to do with the success of Classy Canines over the years.

After more than a decade and a half of being Classy Canines I am quite certain that this is the job that will carry to me to retirement!!

Service Area

My service area is based in West Springfield, encompassing approximately a seven mile radius of the Rolling Rd and Old Keene Mill Rd intersection. I mostly service the towns of Springfield, and Burke. Limited parts of Fairfax (Kings Park West) and Fairfax Station (abutting Fairfax County Parkway).

Service Map

Call to schedule your curbside grooming appointment!