It has been three years since I've had Duncan professionally groomed. It's not that he hasn't had a ton of baths and good brushings since then, or even the occasional trim around the tail feathers, feet and ears, it's that his papa is cheap and lazy and didn't want to drive all the way across Denver to see Diane, the groomer who worked with him last time. I've managed myself, alternating between our tub and the ones at Wag n' Wash––which has had its share of adventure––just up the street, but I figured it was high time we got him cleaned up, especially because we'll be leaving for Idaho on Wednesday morning and Dunc needs to look extra cute for Grandma. Unfortunately Diane's schedule was full and we couldn't get him in to see her, so I called Chelsea at Hero's Pets to see who in the area she recommended. She praised It's a Dog's Life, which is right up the street, so yesterday morning, after a nice long walk and plenty of rolling in the wet grass trimmings at the park––one last opportunity to get nice and grungy––we headed over there to get the deed done. Knowing there would be plenty of treats involved and an opportunity to show off his rugged good looks, Dunc was more than happy to hurry down the stairs to the car and head out.
They were very kind and patient when I explained that there is almost nothing he hates more than the roar of the big driers and the best way to calm him is with the big fat bag of Coconut Cruncher banana treats and Gus's Green Bean treats I brought along just in case. They insisted they'd never had a problem with the driers but humored me and took them anyway. I gave him one last scritch behind his ear, kissed his nose and watched them lead him back into the grooming room. He paused in the door, looked over shoulder at me with an uncertain raise of his eyebrows and vanished inside. A moment later as the door closed behind him the relative quiet of the reception area was shattered with his loud wails and one or two plaintive barks. "Yeah, I think you'll need those treats," I told them as I hurried out the door.
I spent the next two hours getting the car detailed, figuring that if Duncan deserved to be shiny and clean for the trip the car did, too. It took them forever to get rid of all the red hair that had collected in the backseat from Duncan's travel there but eventually they handed me the keys and I climbed inside. I hurried home to wash the blanket I keep back there for Dunc to sit on and then Ken and I got the call that it was time to pick him up. They led him out, bright and clean, a big wide wag on his tail and a matching smile on his face, a blue bow secured around his collar, the bag of treats nearly empty when they handed it to me.
"Got some use out of those, did you?" I asked with a smile.
And so he came home, happy and thirsty, smelling clean, his coat soft and smooth, ready for the long drive to Idaho and his grandma waiting there for him with treats and hugs and lots of love.