When Greg and I were newly married, we went to the pound to look for a puppy. We fell in love with a sweet little dog who had been shaved completely bald. In hushed tones, the workers explained to us that her abusive, neglectful former owner had allowed her fur to grow so tangled and matted, there had been no other choice but to shave her. The cruelty! We scooped her up, named her Molly, and vowed never to let that happen again. For years we kept her coiffed, beribboned, and smelling like baby powder.
Until we had kids. Then little by little, things like Keeping the Children Fed and Keeping the Children Clothed pushed Molly's hair care needs out of the family budget.
Today, eleven years later, I walked into Petco with the most matted, tangled, filthy dog they had ever seen. I quickly signed the paperwork, including a special form about risks for grooming exceptionally matted dogs, and ducked out of there in disgrace.
Okay, I'm a terrible dog owner. I admit it. She only goes to the vet when her shots expire, and I only take her to the groomer after she has started looking like a walking tumbleweed.
It's gotten to the point now that the poor dog never even gets her fur brushed (hence the giant dredlocks hanging off her tummy). I occasionally feel guilty about this, but quite frankly I have four heads of hair to brush every morning, and I just don't want to mess with hers. We have a pretty good arrangement now: I let her sleep behind the couch all day while everyone leaves her alone, and in return she tips the trash can over and rifles through it any time I leave the house.
It's working for us.
When I came to pick her up, she looked almost exactly like she had that day at the pound. A little fatter, slower, and crankier, but just as excited to leave that awful place. Just as I was about to walk out, the head groomer waved me down and lectured me sternly on how difficult Molly had been to groom.
Apparently, Molly was completely out of control. She snarled, she snapped, she dodged and darted and all the groomers had to stop their work to come and lasso her and hold her down and muzzle her. I was also informed that the next time she comes back, I will be charged a handling fee if it takes more than one groomer to control my little monster. And she was writing that in my file.
I apologized and made for the exit as quickly as humanly and doggily possible. I feel certain that they were in the process of printing my photo off the surveillance footage with the label, "WORST DOG OWNER IN THE WORLD" to hang on the bulletin board near the front.
So obviously, I'm now in the market for a new groomer. Hopefully one that uses sedatives. And maybe I won't wait so long before the next appointment.
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