Phoebe’s DIY Doggie Makeover

(Note from Laura: I apologize for the lack of post yesterday, but I had a paper to write,  had my last class of the summer, was dealing with a popped tire, and was just generally in a cranky mood.  Now that classes are done until the fall, I should be less crabby and have more free time for posting!  So please enjoy the post below, which falls under our new category, “Makeshift Life.”)

Phoebe has always been a fan of the doggie spa.  Or rather, I’ve always been a fan of sending her.  But at a little over $50 a pop, her monthly haircuts were costing me a fortune.  So one day, I woke up and decided to cut her hair all by myself.  It helped that I had seen a 5-star dog clipper online for $29, which is much less than just one month’s worth of grooming.  And I already owned the $10 PediPaw, and even though Phoebe had practically tried to throw herself from the balcony the one time I used it on her last year, I felt confident that I could master nail clipping as easily as the folks on the PediPaw infomercial.

My little love bug is definitely capable of looking polished and cute after a day at Diggity Dogs’ spa, but lately she’d been looking a little bit more like a ragamuffin.  And all that fur makes her too hot in the summer.  This side-by-side comparison should help you see the ragamuffin transition (please ignore the devil eyes in the third photo… I swear she isn’t actually possessed):


As you can see, whether she is groomed or au naturale, she is one of the world’s best looking dogs (obviously G-man is right up there with her!).  Especially when she accessorizes with dandelion necklaces:

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So my goal was to get her looking runway ready once again while shelling out as little dinero as possible.  I was all ready to go electric shaver shopping when Mike kindly donated an old one of his.  And just like that, I was ready to groom my dog for free.  My favorite price!  And in an even more fortuitous turn of events, Mike offered to help shave Phoebe!  So the three of us headed out to the garage (Gus slept inside, probably out of fear that we would also try to groom him), where Mike took control of the shaver and I used scissors to trim up the hair on Phoebe’s head while simultaneously pinning her down on the workbench.  Here is the only “during” photo that I was able to snap, as well an after-the-fact goodbye hair photo.  Too bad there isn’t a little doggie locks for love company for donation!

And now for the post-grooming reveal:

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She’s a little shocked at how much hair we removed.  And she was also snapped in the middle of a freak out session, thus the awkward pose (do any of your dogs randomly start running frantic/excited laps around the room for seemingly no reason at all?).

Overall, I think we earned a B- grade for our first grooming session.  Mike’s shaving job was straight A+ quality, as you can see from this close up:

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But I was a little less wonderful with my trim job.  In the below picture, you can clearly see one too-long strand on her ear (I promise I later took care of it):

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True to typical male form, her brother did not seem to notice her stylin’ new do.  Here they are, caught on video inspecting the yard/driveway bug situation (as you can see, Gus is totally ignoring how hot Phoebe looks).

Now, as for more specific details on how this makeover happened… It took about an hour for Mike to meticulously shave Phoebe (using a 1/8 inch attachment), and for me to simultaneously snip her face and ears.  She was wonderfully behaved for the first 15 minutes, and then she must have started panicking, because she turned into a wiggle monster.  I held her down on the workbench, and then later held her vertically suspended in the air.  After Mike finished shaving her, I took Phoebe into the backyard to trim her leg hair and tail while Mike rubbed her belly.  After another half hour, I was finally done.  Well, except that we definitely gave up before trimming her nails… That will have to wait until this weekend, when we will tackle all 8 paws on both dogs.

And that is how our first doggie makeover went down.  Do any of you handle your own dog grooming?  If so, have any advice for how we can make the process run more smoothly next time?

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