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Finally, the Groomer is Essential

 

I was getting very jealous when I started to see other dogs on Facebook posting their after-grooming pictures last week, so we called our groomer, thinking she might have a recorded message letting us know when she might be back in business. Instead, she answered the phone and told us that she had received the okay from the local fire department to re-open, on a limited basis, and she could give us an appointment in a few days. I continued my constant watch on Cricket’s mats, and sneak attacks with the comb and scissors, until Grooming day finally arrived.

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“I looked fine, Mommy. I liked the way none of the hair on my face could move in the wind.”

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Ellie, on the other hand, was ready for a trim.

We handed the dogs off to the groomer in her parking lot – me on one side of the fence, wearing my red face mask and blue-alien-skin gloves, and the groomer on her side of the fence. The girls know the groomer well, so they were (mostly) okay about going with her. I, on the other hand, had to go home to a dog-less apartment. The echoing silence was so exhausting that I slept for most of the time they were gone.

The pick-up was basically the same in reverse, tossing the leashes over the fence in exchange for an envelope full of money. I was worried that we’d have to pay double for Cricket, given the state of her hair, but we paid the same price as usual. The girls jumped into the car as if they were fleeing the scene of a crime and then Cricket climbed onto my lap in the passenger seat, and then behind my neck, leaving a cloud of white hair in the air and all over my clothes.

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“Oh, the shame.”

 

Poor little Cricket has had her worst fears realized. The groomer had to shave her really, really close to the skin; she’s not pink, but the film of white hair barely covers her nakedness. Miss Ellie, on the other hand, looks fine. I tried to explain the situation to Cricket – that because Ellie let me brush her hair and cut out her occasional mats, she didn’t have to be shaved down to the nubs. But Cricket couldn’t hear me. It’s possible that she still has hair in her ears, because only the vet has the courage to pull out that stubborn hair and risk murder and mayhem, but more likely Cricket just doesn’t want to hear what I have to say. She has very good selective hearing skills. She can even hear things that aren’t there.

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“Can you see what they did to me?!!!!!”

Both dogs were starving when they got home, as if they were trying to fill up the empty space where their hair used to be. But then they were exhausted and slept through most of the afternoon and evening, barely noticing my Zoom meetings and only waking up to beg for more food and walks.

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“I could eat.”

To cap off grooming day, we watched a segment of Stephen Colbert’s show where one of his producers let his ten year old son give him a haircut. First, the boy clipped off clumps of his father’s hair with what looked like kitchen shears, and then he moved on to the clippers. The Dad/producer ended up looking like a plucked chicken; kind of like Cricket, though she has slightly more hair left on her head than he did. Unfortunately, I can already see tiny mats trying to form in Cricket’s hair, so maybe she would have been better off if she’d been completely plucked.

I feel better now that Cricket doesn’t have any more mats on her face and belly, clumped with goop and food, breeding who knows what kinds of infections. Cricket, on the other hand, still believes that she was fine the way she was; and she’s sticking to it.

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“Harrumph, Mommy. Harrumph.”

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out my Young Adult novel, Yeshiva Girl, on Amazon. And if you feel called to write a review of the book, on Amazon, or anywhere else, I’d be honored.

Yeshiva Girl is about a Jewish teenager on Long Island, named Isabel, though her father calls her Jezebel. Her father has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with one of his students, which he denies, but Izzy implicitly believes it’s true. As a result of his problems, her father sends her to a co-ed Orthodox yeshiva for tenth grade, out of the blue, and Izzy and her mother can’t figure out how to prevent it. At Yeshiva, though, Izzy finds that religious people are much more complicated than she had expected. Some, like her father, may use religion as a place to hide, but others search for and find comfort, and community, and even enlightenment. The question is, what will Izzy find?

 

 

 

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

96 responses »

  1. My daughter is tking her golden in on Monday for his first grroming. He is 9 months old and a handful. She was going to ge a trainer when all the chaos started. She has done to best to get rid of mats, but poor guy is mess. I am worried that his first experience will be hard on him because of the way they will have to drop him off to an unknown person.
    Your dogs are adorable. I love how they talk to you. Annie has quite the vocabulary alos.

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  2. Glad you were able to get them groomed. I’m sure Cricket really feels a lot better, she just doesn’t want to admit it to you.

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  3. Life is slowly returning to something we once knew well. I hope we’ve identified and learnt lessons to keep us safe into the future.

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  4. That is the one thing I do not miss about having cats. Now if there was a way to make nail trims easier….

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  5. justaseniorwholovesjesus

    We had the vet trim our beagle’s nails and he gave them an impossible time. Then, when I picked him up I asked him how mommy’s little baby was doing and he practically jumped into my arms. And all they could say was “is this the same dog?”

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  6. I am in a comparable situation–due for my monthly haircut on April 13. Thanks to the lockdown, the date kept being pushed back–the latest estimate being May 18. To my great joy (and hers, too, I’m sure) my hairdresser called the other day to say that she is now allowed to reopen on Monday, May 11, and I have an appointment–really looking forward to getting rid of this mess. I plan to pay her double!

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  7. The picture of the 3 of you in the car is so precious. Ellie smiling in the backseat and Cricket so relieved to be safely with you again. I always enjoy the captions you put with your pictures.

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  8. Ann Schwartz

    I’m having some trouble catching up in my grooming shop. My energy level has stalled out. Good for you for your excellent pet care, Rachel, and your fine writing too.

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  9. It never seems like it will grow back. I say this every 6 months when I get a haircut. I understand, Cricket. I think.

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  10. They are so beautiful, and you capture their thoughts with the sure ear/hand/heart of one who knows them so well. They are adorable. I’m guessing you must have told Cricket about a hundred times that ‘it will grow back’. Hugs to both of them and to you for easing the trauma of it all for them.

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  11. Please reassure Cricket that she does look kinda cute. I gave my poor husband a quick trim. Sadly he doesn’t look as good as either of the girls. Hairdressers can rest easy, it’s clearly so not one of my competencies.

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  12. They’re so cute! 💖

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  13. They are too cute!🤗🐾

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  14. Groomers are finally taking appointments here, too. Our Scampers need their annual vaccinations, though, before seeing the groomer. So, the vet on Friday of this week, and groomer the following Friday. They really look a mess, the two of them. And they by no means want the hair around their eyes rinsed out. I despair at getting Thadd’s eyes cleaned up before Friday. (That will call for scissors, I think.) Al has discovered that his Charlie enjoys having his matted hair combed out, which gives them both a pleasurable “together” time. Yours clean up so well! 🙂

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  15. Looks like we are going to have to bath Ollie, as our groomer is still not allowed to open yet. At least his hair doesn’t grow, so trimming isn’t necessary.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  16. Poor Cricket. She looks so weeny without her hair! Secretly, she must surely feel better though.

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  17. My sister gave her dog a home-made haircut and the poor wee thing looks terrible… Lockdown has given us a fresh appreciation for the skills of groomers (and hairdressers).

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  18. Luckily Maggie doesn’t have to be clipped, but she does have the occasional trim of her spaniel feathers. Poor Cricket. It’ll soon grow back sweetie. ❤

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  19. She looks so tiny now, DogS is the same when she’s wet.

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  20. I love this. My dogs don’t need grooming but you can sure tell after a bath. They hate them. I get all sorts of grumping and dirty looks.

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  21. HaHa awwww ❤ this post

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  22. The dear little dog I groomed yesterday had to be shaved like that, too. I’m so glad he was a good sport about it. Ellie looks beautify. Cricket looks like she is thinking up revenge.

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  23. I’m glad and you’re relieved that the dogs are better now. And they are. Reading about them reminds me of the Cat Who mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun. The hero has two Siamese; one of them solves crimes by talking at his human while the other looks pretty. Sorry if the comparison to cats is not suitable (don’t tell Cricket). I think they both look fine and must be in healthier condition. I hope you’re doing better, too, with two spruced-up pals. Now you may all rest easier. And I hope safely.

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  24. “It will grow back.” The anthem of the Covid 19 dog haircuts.

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  25. Happy Mother’s Day to you and the dogs.

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  26. Isn’t it astonishing how little the dogs are when they have had their hair clipped? As for here, my husband does all the dog grooming. I just trimmed a little of my husband’s hair and I managed to snag the little curls on his neck. Yeow! I just read that the beauty parlors may open but cannot use blow dryers. The only reason I go is for the once every five week cut with a blow dry that makes me look as if I have a full head of hair. So much for rushing to the beauty parlor.

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  27. Too bad my dogs can’t wear hats like I’ve been doing. Hopefully we’ll get through this without major shaving on anyone’s part. 😁

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  28. Maverick had a bath yesterday and luckily, he’s not in need of a groom often – although he is getting hobbit feet. I told our groomer, who is planning on opening soon, to take others who need it before us. I’m still trying to wrap my head around you watching Colbert – I have to turn the channel as soon as he comes on, his unrelenting hatred just totally turns me off. But I still like you ❤ (And Cricket looks lovely, but she could use some extra treats to deal with the trauma)

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  29. Poor Cricket…our dogs are going to the groomers on Tuesday and I think they will have to give Casey a ‘puppy cut’, her hair is so long and matted.

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  30. Have you considered trying HandsOn Pet Grooming Gloves or another such product? That way you could just pet Cricket.

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  31. Aw…they’re adorable 🙂 x

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  32. Thanks for stopping by Dixie Dog Tails. 🐾 🐾 🐾. I am following you with my parent blog Supper Plate.

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  33. Oh Rachel, your pups look happy!

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  34. In comparing the plot of your young adult novel to your dog’s grooming experience, I seem more convinced that dogs are much easier to raise than children.

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  35. All the saloons are closed here since the past 2 months. How are you all ?

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  36. Great book, Yeshiva Girl. Posted positive review on Amazon and Goodreads. Hope there is a sequel!

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  37. ‘Feel sorry for Cricket, but it will grow back (clumps, mat and all), lol. 🐶💟

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  38. Murray needs a good summer cut. I hope my regular groomer gets back soon.

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  39. So cute. I got the clippers out and groomed my dog.

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