Saturday, December 17, 2005

Scruffybutt Gets An Estimate

I'm sinking further into depression because the effects of the ECTs have worn off. The agoraphobia is returning and I'm having a hard time doing. anything. but sitting in front of the screens -- computer and TV. So yesterday when Scruffbutt was wanting to play but I didn't feel like it, I remembered that there was something I've often thought of doing but never did: take Scruffles to the groomers for an estimate! (A little humor there -- whenever I go to the hair salon, I call it "going to the beauty shop for an estimate"). Scruffybutt has never been groomed, and I have never taken any of my dogs to the groomers, simply because she's the only one we've ever had with long hair. I am not diligent about brushing her, although Tomcat and I both try to keep up with cutting the mats out so she won't be uncomfortable.

I called PetsMart. The store is a familiar place, so I won't have to battle the agoraphobia so much. They have an appointment at 3:30. Heh. This is going to be so much fun. We get there and see all the little fru-fru doggies being groomed: the poodles, a Yorkie, a miniature Schnauzer. And here I am with ... Scruffybutt, a terrier mix (oh gawd! this is North Dallas!) They put her information in the computer -- her name, age, etc., but when they get to "breed" I say "terrier mix." The gal hesitates, frowning at the screen. She calls her boss over and asks, "If you had to guess which terrier breed she's closest to, what would you say?" The boss looks Scruffybutt over, then says "Cairn." The gal clicks it in. (They don't even have a category in the computer program for a mixed-breed dog! I check to be sure I don't have a toothpick hanging out of my mouth.)

What do we want to have done today, she asks. Uh, well, everything? (I have no idea what to ask for. This is my first groomer experience, too.) She shows me a list and points out the basic grooming, plus the upgrade, which includes teeth brushing, an oatmeal shampoo, a scented creme rinse, a holiday neckerchief, and nail polish. Oh! The works, I say, definitely the works. What color nail polish? Red, definitely red. (Is it not the season for red?)

Then she asks the groomer when Scruffybutt will be ready for pick-up. He says 6:30. (Three hours? Hell, even I don't have to spend three hours at the salon!) Hmmm. Okay, I hand my little darling over and she gives me her go-to-hell look. I plunk down my credit card and sign for an obscene amount of money. I don't care. This is self-therapy. I am cheering myself up.

Three hours later I return to the groomers, and they are finishing up. I say "they" because it is taking one to hold Scruffybutt while the other one files her nails with some kind of electric-powered nail-filing thingy. They tell me there's no way they can do the nail polish because she squirms so much, even with someone holding her, that the polish wouldn't look good. She'll have to go au naturel this season. When they're finished grinding her nails, they put the holiday neckerchief on her and let her down on the floor. She's so wound up she starts scampering around, wiggle-butting and barking and telling everybody what she thinks about the whole thing. She is what Tomcat and I call "et up with herself." And she looks adorable. Everyone is saying, "awww" and the groomer tells me, "He's really got lots of personality." "She," I say. (Remember, as I've said before, Scruffybutt is so alpha that she pees with her leg up. The groomer must have assumed she was a he, and I guess he didn't look very closely, probably because my little darling was wriggling so much.)

She looks so adorable and somehow they have transformed this nine-year-old dog into a one-year-old. She looks like a puppy! Damn, I wish they could take that many years off me when I go to the salon! (I wonder how much PetsMart would charge to groom a middle-aged woman of mixed English/Irish/Whatever heritage?)