Daddy's Aunt Bev was the catalyst for my parents getting a dog. Mommy had mentioned offhand that she wouldn't mind a small fluffy dog. Daddy remembered Aunt Bev recently had a Lasha. He rushed mommy to her house, and Aunt Bev convinced mom to get a dog. Fortuitously, there were Shih Tzu puppies listed in the Globe the next morning. Mommy was skeptical about going to see them, but when they did, Blake ran up, put her paws on Mommy, and looked at her with deep brown eyes. Mommy was in love. That love for dogs continued for a quarter of a century.
Once they had Blake, they had to figure out how to care for her. Mommy had a lot of dog questions, including where to go for grooming. Aunt Bev suggested a business, in Middleboro, half an hour away. Thankfully, my parents did not look for a closer alternative. Aunt Bev had never steered them wrong, and they were confident her grooming recommendation would not be the piece of advice that would break that streak.
If not for Aunt Bev, I could be getting groomed at a big box store. I shudder to think about it. I don't have an issue with how they groom, but, because the groomers do their work behind windows, and everyone can see what is happening, we don't get the perks we do in private salons.
If you go to a private shop groomer, you will get your haircut and shampooed, your nails done, and a nice bath. It is beautiful, but no frills. A private groomer offers is so much more.
At our groomer, there is an exclusive backroom where our parents can't see. We spread out on fainting couches and sip wine or Foleytinis. Then we receive a mani-pedi as the sound of dogs sweetly howling in unison adds to the ambiance. Next comes bath oils made from green tea and shampoos made from watermelon and peppermint. Then a full hot rock massage which eases our tension. We lay back and have cucumber slices placed on our eyes until we get hungry and eat them. That is followed by rejuvenating steam. By the time our parents pick us up, we are ready to deal with all their problems and give them the support they need.
During Foley's first year with my parents, the groomer opened her own business. It was run out of a small building on her property. Her mom worked the desk, her father cleaned up, and they kept the same groomers working for them for years. People loved knowing the person who did their last grooming would do the next.
Earlier this year, we were shocked to see a for sale sign outside their shop. Our groomer's mother, Pat, who owned the building and the adjoining property, wanted to travel the country with her husband. We wanted her to be happy but wished she would not sell.
Sadly in what may be a case of being careful what you want to for Pat suddenly went to the Bridge last month. She was always so sweet to us. She had gentle hands and a kind disposition. We looked forward to our spa days so we could see her. I know she is petting Foley and many other dogs right now. I am sure she has about a thousand of them at the Bridge
There Is still a for sale sign in front of their establishment, but no one in the family knows if they're going to sell. They're going to have to travel the road through grief first. I would gladly go to a big box store groomer if Pat could be home with her children and pups again.
For our parents, it isn't just how the grooming looks on us but who does the grooming. A good groomer is every bit as valuable as a good vet.
We have been blessed with the best.