Tag Archives: Covid 19

Dog grooming in the time of corona

Tango is looking a little scruffy these days. Grooming in the time of Corona Virus is problematic, to say the least. We don’t know why dog groomers haven’t been considered “essential” – most of what groomers do is absolutely vital to dogs’ health and well-being! The AKC is keeping a chart to update us on the status of dog businesses and services in each state.

Picture of a Brussels Griffon dog who needs grooming

Our own situation is a bit different at the moment. The groomer who’s been taking care of Tango (a rough Brussels Griffon and our only long-haired dog), closed her shop at the end of 2019 in a planned retirement. We knew we’d be facing this year without our Tango-support staff. We just didn’t know every groomer in the area would be closed when it was time for Tango to get a touch-up!

So, Fran’s Brussels Griffon boy didn’t get a haircut for his 11th birthday. He did get his face washed, teeth brushed, nails buzzed, beard/mustache tidied, and a sanitary trim. But he’s still a scruffy dude.

Shut down grooming

We understand that Google searches for “dog nail trimmers” are up tremendously. We’ve also seen some incredibly creative people posting their solutions on social media. Our favorite was the incredibly clever woman who wrapped her head with plastic wrap, slathered peanut butter on her forehead, and got to work trimming her dog’s nails. Fortunately, the video showed she was doing it outside. We can’t even imagine the mess attempting this anywhere else for the first time. 

It seemed to work for her – but she had a big retriever on a grooming table. Our usual position for nails is Fran holding the current victim upside down on her lap while she sits in a chair, and Hope doubled over grinding away with the Dremel tool sanding drum. It works for us, but does require two people.

Oddly enough, our best dog for nails is Simon, who takes a nap and lets us do whatever we want. Tango is next best for behavior accolades, but he flexes his toes constantly. He has adorable, tiny round paws. You wouldn’t think that the flexion would be a big deal, but Hope’s hands get sore trying to keep him in place and uninjured.

Tricks of the trade

We wish we had some magic formula for grooming, but there isn’t one. There are highly-skilled professionals who are excellent at what they do and we hope they can safely return to work in the near future. All of the people with long-haired dogs, we’re sure, agree.

Whenever Fran brought Tango home from the groomer, you could always tell he felt altogether spiffy. He’d stick his little butt up in the air, give a little yell, and go tearing around the house like he was all that and then some. Does your dog seem to know when he or she looks particularly terrific? Isn’t it funny that they know and they’re pretty pleased with themselves?

The dark side

For the moment, Tango doesn’t have a lot to be proud of, appearance-wise. We’re keeping him clean and making sure he can see, but our scissor skills are minimal. It seems that our complete lack of skill in cutting any kind of straight line is magnified with fur. Or you can totally see every single, too-straight line where the scissors weren’t quite where they should have been. 

The nice thing is that, while Tango knows when he looks particularly great, he doesn’t seem to be at all vain now that he’s a scruffy beastie. He doesn’t care that his ears look crooked, or his beard is uneven. Much like age, if he doesn’t mind, it doesn’t matter. But we do hope that it’s safe for grooming to start up again around here. There’s only so many bad haircuts a boy should have to endure.

Strange times for dogs, too

Whether you’re in a mandatory “stay home” area, or practicing “social distancing,” we’re certainly living in strange times. 

We have absolutely no medical expertise, and we avoid talking politics, so our major topic of conversation (as usual!) is dogs.

So very many dogs out for walks!

Our shop is just north of Chicago in an extremely urban suburb, developed in the 1950s. The lots are small and there are many multi-unit buildings in our town. That said – even when we’re out walking our dogs, we rarely see anybody else doing the same.

Now, with most local businesses shuttered for the duration – people and their dogs are everywhere! It’s wonderful!

Lots of Bostons

The weirdest thing is, for us, that we keep seeing different Boston Terriers. We had no idea there were others in the area, both at home and at work. It could be that our eyes are just focusing on things we’re interested in, but since we’re pretty much interested in all dogs, we don’t think so.

And Shih Tzus! And a couple of Poodles! And two Airedales, not with the same people. Of course many Goldens, a couple of Min Pins, Pit Bulls, Boxers, German Shepherds, and the list goes on and on!

We have a feeling that a lot of these dogs have never had as much attention and exercise with their owners in their lives. These poor dogs are going to be so happy when their 16-hour naps are back on the schedule!

Of course the up-side to this is that the dogs are going to be in better shape than they’ve ever been in their lives. They may be sore for the first couple of days, but they’re going to love it!

Great outlet

We dog people are all so very lucky to have our best friends with us, even in these strange times. Technology allows us to stay in touch with the people who matter most to us, but having the warmth of our dogs next to us is vital, too. 

Dogs, like this pug, give comfort in strange times

If your life has changed drastically in the last couple of weeks (and whose hasn”t?), chances are you’re feeling somewhat stressed, anxious, and perhaps even afraid. Keep in mind that our dogs not only are capable of these same emotions, but are also well-attuned to us, and could be absorbing your stress, too.

If you’re fond of music, keep some favorite tunes playing. It really does have a positive effect for both people and dogs.

Dogs adore routine! 

Try to keep your new schedule as regular as possible.

Dogs absolutely know when it’s time to eat, walk, and play. They also know when it’s time for someone to come home, or leave. They have powerful internal clocks that can even predict when it’s the weekend, or a regular day off. That’s one of the reasons they may seem unsettled now. A “staycation” can be just as upsetting to their routine as mandatory stay-at-homes, like we have now.

Take comfort in your dog

All the health studies conducted about human interaction with dogs prove that our dogs are good for our well-being. Take advantage of your best friend’s presence. While you’re binge-watching a favorite television show, trying to keep yourself calm, invite your best friend to share the couch. And the popcorn. Dogs love popcorn.