Grooming day is not Harry’s favourite day. I am convinced he knows where we are going as soon as we walk the other side of Holland Park roundabout. By the time we get to Notting Hill Gate he is ducking and diving towards the traffic and trying to turn every corner or board a bus in an attempt to avoid the groomers.
Sadly, I think this is our fault. We did not heed the advice we were given to get him used to the groomers from a young age and establish a grooming routine. Instead we embraced our yeti dog and his unkempt look. As much as we loved our shaggy canine, when we finally realised he was more fur than dog and took him to be groomed, his matts and knots were painful to remove. On one occasion they had to resort to the shave of shame and he came home almost bald with his tail between his legs. There were tears. Although we now have him groomed regularly, it must be an unpleasant association for him.
Billy assures me that once he is there, Harry just stands and takes it and he’s always glad to see me with his mini shank treat. Unfortunately soft gorgeous smelling fur you want to bury your head in does not come cheap. Inevitably I get the usual outrage at the expense from Ed, my human beloved, despite the fact I have halved the actual price and insisted that we can afford it, because of all the money his male pattern baldness has saved us over the years, but it is definitely worth it. I think he knows he is looking hot when he struts home down Holland Avenue. Harry that is, not Ed.
So, top tips for getting your longhaired dog groomed.
- Take your dog to visit the groomers from a young age, so they are familiar with the environment and arrange for the groomer to get them used to be handled, especially around the ears.
- Get advice from the groomer on what brush to use and brush your dog at home regularly (4-5 times a week) to get them used to it and keep their puppy fur in good order. Hopefully they will enjoy it and not hide under the table like Harry.
- When the adult hair comes in around 8 months, book an appointment for a full groom. Ask other dog owners for recommendations.
- Take advice from your groomer on when to next bring them in and make the appointment before you leave.
- Do as much cuddling and snuggling of their divine smelling fur as humanly possible, before they swim in the river, dive in a ditch or roll in fox poo.