There were many things I wanted to be when I grew up, one of which was veterinarian. Science was not a good subject for me so the closest I came to practicing in an animal hospital was as a veterinary receptionist. This was not complicated. Answering phones, calming agitated pets, occasionally their persons, running a cash register (the worst part of the job), and taking specimens back to the lab. Once in a while a vet would ask for assistance wrestling a dog or cat still to clean ears, give a shot or trim nails or something.
Often clients would ask for recommendations for shampoos, food, or groomers. Hands down, Blue Velvet Poodle Parlor got top recommendations.
This was not easy for me to do. Just saying the name sounded comical. At the time I had a West Highland terrier. My dad had given me a professional dog clipper to groom her. The problem with grooming Westies is they have 2 coats: a soft, downy undercoat and longer, coarse outer coat. The professional method of grooming them is called “stripping” with a special comb/razor blade tool that actually stripped out the undercoat and then they tackled the outer coat, face and legs. This sounded too painful so Dad gave me the clippers.
Having clippers and knowing how to properly use them are not the same.
This does not taste like peanut butter
I did try to trim Piper’s hair but she got so many curious looks and “what breed of dog is that?” that I gave it up. And decided to try the ‘Poodle Parlor’ having been assured they groomed dogs other than poodles. This establishment was behind and beneath one of the foremost bridal salons in the city. A tiny strip mall of only 3 shops in an exclusive neighborhood, I knew it would be costly. But I made an appointment.
I brought Piper inside and placed her on the grooming table the groomer indicated. She sized me up as much as Piper. Then she examined Piper, her head to her tail. Looking steadily at me she said, “$35.00?” I nodded, relieved I could afford to do this and left Piper in her care being told to return for her between 4 and 5 pm.
Aside from the blue satin bows behind her ears Piper looked picture-perfect beautiful. She even smelled powdery fresh. She bounced and pranced knowing how nice she looked and likely felt good with 3 pounds less hair.
She enjoyed her visits at the poodle parlor. I don’t even know if it is still there but since I have grown to mistrust American dog breeders, and there are so many healthy dogs in shelters and city pounds in such need of homes I adopt rescues now.
And Lily and Lulu have made it pretty clear they are happy with a brushing and occasional shampoo.
But no clippers.
“ Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?” –Luke 12:27-28