I have to confess… I have been absolutely terrified to groom Hush. I bathe her, and I trim her nails, but that’s about where I draw the line. I know that Golden Retrievers need regularly trimming – their tails need to be trimmed a certain way, their feet should be trimmed to look neat and tidy and cat like, and their ears should be trimmed to emphasize their heads. I even have excellent step-by-step instructions that are a great starting point for grooming. But, while I’m comfortable doing all of Milly’s grooming and trimming myself, just the thought of raising my thinning shears to Hush’s ears puts a big knot in my stomach!
I do want to learn, but no matter how much I read, I feel that I’m really going to need to learn in a hands-on manner, and no book will show me the proper technique. As a result, anytime I put pictures of Hush on Facebook her breeder always comments “SHE NEEDS TO BE TRIMMED!!!” And, I hang my head in shame, for having the pick of the litter, and being too petrified of messing up to do the necessary trimming.
Before I got Hush, I learned of the Olde Towne School for Dogs, a well-respected training facility, pet boutique, and grooming salon in the heart of Old Town, Alexandria. In fact, this place has such a solid reputation the First Dog, Bo Obama himself, has his spa treatments performed there. But, with celebrity canines and White House woofers frequenting the establishment, getting an appointment is nearly impossible. I’ve been on the waiting list for months, and feared I would never get “the call.” Of course, having researched the place before starting handling class, I needed to confirm this was a solid place to send a show dog. I asked around, and numerous top breeders from a variety of breeds all said, “this is the ONLY place to go with a show dog.”
Well, this afternoon, I got the call! There had been a cancellation, and if I could get Hush there in the next 20-minutes, I had an appointment! My heart skipped a beat, and of course, I said I would be right there. But, I know to be cautious of groomers, so before heading over I printed out my grooming/trimming instructions and brought them with me. Much to my surprise, when I dropped Hush off I was greeted by an old college friend, and fellow Hollins University alum, who explained the owner, is also a Hollins grad!
When I arrived I handed over my instructions, and was told they have excellent groomers, and I need not worry. I explained I had heard nothing but great things, but I wanted to make sure whoever would be trimming Hush was familiar with the breed standard, because she is a show dog. My friend called over the owner to introduce me, and mentioned Hush was a show dog. With this, Hush was immediately swept away, after the owner wrote in huge letters on the grooming sheet, “SHOW DOG!” and assured me only their top groomers, familiar with breed standards, would touch her!
I will post pictures after the appointment!