Full Circle

14 years ago I talked to a man who asked me about hand stripping his young (under a year old) Cairn terrier, Fiona. He and his wife were retired and on a limited budget, but he wanted his dog to have the correct look for her breed. I suggested to him that I could do a "pet strip," seeing the dog every 6 weeks, stripping coat for a set amount of time in accordance to what he could afford, then using thinning shears, chunkers or a snap on comb to even up the length where needed to create a uniform appearance. He liked this plan and I have seen the dog like clockwork ever since. I grew to care for the owners and the dog.

About two years ago the wife died. I attended her funeral. The man, now in his late 80's, continued to come. Last fall he said, "I think I'm getting too old to drive here anymore." There are not any groomers near where he lived that I could recommend, so I offered to come to him and do a house call groom on my day off every 6-8 weeks. He was delighted. We set up the first appointment and he had to cancel because his dog ate a rock and had emergency surgery. We set up another appointment and he had to cancel because he was sick. A third attempt was cancelled when we had a blizzard. I kept calling, but never got any reply or even an answering machine. I worried and fretted.


Last week another customer called. She has a habit of taking in old, difficult, hard to adopt dogs. "I just adopted a 14 year old Cairn named Fiona," she said. The story is that my sweet customer had moved to an assisted living situation. His children didn't want the dog. But now she lives in a wonderful home and came full circle, back to me for grooming. I was beyond delighted to see her. She was well overgrown, and her new person wanted her to have an easy, short hair cut. I happily complied. After I have her a long cuddle.

I don't know about you, but I suspect that you become attached to the pets you groom as much as I do. It's hard when we don't know what happens to them. I am so glad to be able to care for Fiona in her final chapter.

In the Pink

Sometimes I like to dye Flirt, my toy poodle, some color other than her natural white. Technically she is a cream, but she looks pretty white if you just glance at her. In the past she's been deep orange for Halloween, purple, pink, blue, and more. Since she is small, dyeing her coat is not a huge project, but it's still messy and time consuming.

So, when I read that OPAWZ had come out with a tinting shampoo, you can bet I wasted no time in ordering some. It came out of the bottle PINK in capital letters. Flirt's "brother," Bravo had to give her a good sniff to see if it was still her under all that hot pinkness.


I got her wet, coated her in the shampoo, and set the timer for 10 minutes. Flirt pouted a little. When I began to rinse most of the HOT pink went down the drain, leaving a very soft bubble gum pink tint to her fur. The dye took best on the longer parts of her coat, (where it is doubtless more damaged.) The resulting tone is quite pleasing.


If you have an interest in dabbling with coloring dogs, this is an easy and inexpensive way to give it a whirl. The shampoo comes in several colors. It left her coat texture feeling nice, and has a light, pleasant, fragrance. I recommend wearing gloves to apply, it will stain your skin for a few days after using.


Bravo checked back in on the finished product to see how Flirt was doing. He found her to be "in the pink!" Flirt is all in favor of anything that gets her more attention, and so far she's been met with squeals of glee from everyone she meets. She's happy.

You can order this product at opawz.com