Well I'm not going to even mention the weather although being British we do love to talk about it don't we? We seem to be having alternate sunny days followed by a monsoon but then it is the school Summer holidays so what do we expect? I said I wasn't going to mention it but there I have!
Anyway, what have we been up to this week? Well of course, we have had the arrival of our house-guest Lily Basset who is staying for a couple of weeks while her family are enjoying themselves Stateside. Lily has pretty much slotted into the pack and dare I say it?...........going from 3 hounds to 4 in the house hasn't made a huge amount of difference. Could I have 4 permanently? Well, that's a very good question. There are several factors to consider here most importantly the daily running costs and Bassets do not come cheap! They're big dogs and therefore eat big! Everything is more expensive as it's based on size and then there's monthly insurance etc, etc. The Vets don't give me a discount for having more than 1 dog unfortunately and all these things need to be considered. It does affect my day to day business having 4 dogs to consider too. In terms of walking, clearly, I am only allowed 6 dogs so with 4 of my own, means only 2 client dogs. On most days, I have at least 3 if not 4 and so I already on occasions must leave Buddy-love at home (although he doesn't protest too much now!) but the idea was that the walking fitted around my own dogs and I simply do not have the time to do 2 or 3 walks every day as well as grooming and all the other things that I do. However, that said, I must admit on Tuesday, I very much enjoyed having a 6 pack of Bassets to take out and it is certainly a rare sight. Some of the looks and comments we got were lovely. So, the possibility of a 4th Furry Hound in the future isn't totally out of the question.
Talking of costs of dogs, it does amaze me when I have people enquiring as to costs to get their dog groomed and let's say it's a Poodle-cross. So, any dog with a Poodle type coat is going to need to be groomed at least every 4-6 weeks to keep on top of it and to prevent the coat from becoming matted and therefore having to be shaved. I charge £35 for a Cockerpoo for instance, and some people shirk at having to pay £35 for a haircut every month or 6 weeks. Surely you would do your research before choosing a breed of dog? If having to pay for your dog's haircut is not financially viable then you would choose a breed that didn't require such regular grooming? No, it seems that sadly a lot of the time it is about what dog is "en vogue" rather than looking at the actual running costs. I would love a Ferrari but I know I couldn't afford the servicing costs and ongoing expenses so therefore I don't buy one!
It is unfortunate that the people who shirk at the cost of getting their dog groomed try and cut corners by getting the dog's hair cut every 12 weeks instead of 6. These are the sorts of clients that every Groomer dreads because we know that in 12 weeks' time the dog's fur is going to be matted and we must have the painful conversation with the client when they ask "can you leave it a bit fluffy?". The fact of the matter is that if the dog's fur is matted to the skin and you cannot get a comb between the matts then the only option is to shave the hair to the skin. I see so often Groomers getting bashed for "skinning a dog" and what always comes to mind is well, it was probably matted and the kindest thing for the Groomer to do was to shave it. As far as I'm concerned, it is absolutely fine if a client only wants to book their dog in every 12 weeks instead of 6 as long as, they are prepared to keep the dog's fur combed and matt-free. Otherwise come 12 week's time, guess what? It's going to need to be shaved. Thankfully, my lovely clients appreciate that if they've neglected the dog's coat, it's going to need to be short. It's fur, it grows back and in most cases, relatively quickly.
So what else? I've begun my regular twice daily visits to Phoebe the cat this week whose family are also on holiday. She's a little sweetheart. OK so she has no teeth and is blind but she makes up for it in character.
Our regular walks are as normal although of course, we have Lily Basset joining on a couple during the week with the other Furry Hounds. On Wednesday, we were joined by the lovely Rio the Boxer cross and despite the awful rain (there I go again about the weather!), he enjoyed a nice run up on the downs with the other regular Wednesday chaps. We're missing our little Chewie who is still recovering but we hope to see him back in the pack in the next few weeks. I'm off to meet a new dog on Friday, Polly as she may be joining us for a couple of walks next week and the week after while her owner recovers from surgery.
Grooming as ever has been busy and it was lovely to see Darwin the Beagle again on Monday for a spruce up. He's a lovely boy but doesn't like to travel in a cage in the van so he sits very patiently in the front floor well of the van resting his nose on the seat!
That's about it for this week folks. Have a lovely relaxing weekend with your Furries. Thank you again for all of your support.