Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Creative" Grooming...

Ok, back in September the news hit that a girl in England, Natasha Gregory, dyed her little cat pink to match her hair. Read the story here if you haven't already seen it:

Now, I am a trained animal groomer, I have the certificate to prove it and I love the work. It's hard and messy and I've been bitten before and scratched all to hell but it's well worth it, it gives me a sence of acomplishment at the end of the day.

But one thing I refuse to do is the so-called Creative Grooming...where you dye your dog or cat in multi colors, cut the fur in all sorts of weird ways and maybe even paint the claws. The story above pushed me to write this entry after it stewed in my head for a while, festering and becoming what I'm sure is a tumor.

A) As with any hair dyes, it can cause allergic reactions, pain, or severe itching.
B) Painting nails (which I have done before but didn't like doing) is hard, messy work and causes stress on the dog.
C) If you want a multi colored dog or cat, buy a stuffed animal.

But does this stop people? Nope, not in the least. They actually hold competitions on how creatively you can groom your dog and probably not unpredictably, poodles are usually the overwhelming majority, though westies are also popular.

I said I painted a few dog's claws...I'm digging up bad memories for this one guys.

*takes a moment to collect myself*

Ok, so the two dogs I did this two belonged to different people. One was a boxer and he, yes HE, hated it. His owner wanted his nails to be bright pink. Now, they have 'dog friendly' nail polish that's supposed to be non toxic, but they really have the same ingredients as normal human polish so go figure. Anyways, I had the dog up on the table painting away, a chore in itself since you paint one thens pray a drying agent on it, move to the next one, drying agent, next, etc. Boxers as a whole are pretty energetic and this process annoyed the bejeezus out of this poor thing, made a mess of the table and me and by the time I was done he was so stressed out he was panting heavily and trembling.

The second was a dachsund...and he was terrified before he even got on the table. In fact, he wouldn't stay so his owner, yes this was another BOY dog, picked him up and held him. I got three done and he was so scared he actually pissed all over her twice! But she said keep going so I did. I worked for a man that wouldn't have let me quit even if the dog had chewed through it's own foot to get away. So I kept the time I was done, she was soaked, the thing was shaking like it was having a seizure and all I got for it was $10!

Below is a pic of a pug with it's nails painted I got off Google:

In my search for images of all this ridiculousness I came across a woman that's won numerous awards for it during Creative Grooming contests...and admitedly her work is very good. I just wish it was on something other then the poor dogs...Her site, , has most of these pics and more, but I may as well show you a few to give your minds something to work over:

Like I said, good work. Everything is well colored and cut, good proportions and all that but seriously, it had to be done on a poodle? I cringe to think of the embarassment that poor thing had to go through for this...and not just her's but every dog that goes through it. I've had to do some odd groom jobs, one of which was a mohawk on a cocker spaniel, but nothing ever this crazy.

But it seems to be gaining in popularity, which is what gets me. Why do this to your pets when you could just buy a stuffed animal? If you want a toy that badly, toy stores are friggin' everywhere, take your pick!

But now there are not only dogs dyed in bright, ridiculous colors:

There are dogs dyed to look like other animals:

And it doesn't end there:

Yes, those are more cats and even baby chickens... *head hits the desk with a groan*

SERIOUSLY!? As a groomer, this just makes me gnash my teeth. The dye/polish is supposed to be non-toxic but they can still have the same bad effects that they have on us. But some people claim to use food coloring...not much better in my opinion, though probably not as toxic. It doesn't mean we should do it though. The dogs and cats don't look all that pleased to me, and the chicks are a novelty for kids for about a week until they get their full feathers in and are then just chickens.

I just don't understand what the appeal is...if you're not a six year old girl. And even then, you can buy a stuffed animal, it's that easy. But no...this is gaining popularity and frankly, I think it's a mild sort of animal abuse.

I hope that it falls out of favor soon, for the sakes of the animals it's done on.



  1. Imagine the process the little chicks had to go through to get colored. Their beaks and everything are dyed. So you know they were completely submerged in the dye. Poor things. :(

  2. Imagine the process the little chicks had to go through to get colored. Their beaks and everything are dyed. So you know they were completely submerged in the dye. Poor things. :(