Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tough Times for People. VERY Tough Times for Dogs.

After having received some encouraging inquiries, we still have not found a forever home for Brody the Peke. In my networking about Brody, I have discovered that his story is not unique. Pekes are going through very difficult times: many are being surrendered for rescue; few are finding forever homes.

Another rescue that is close to my heart has had 5 dogs returned from "forever" homes. At least 3 of these returns are because of the financial situations of their people.

Having the company of a dog in one's home isn't a free proposition. There is dog food to buy. Inoculations and licensing to pay for. Accidents happen. Illnesses, both acute and chronic affect dogs just as they do humans. And many dogs--Pekes, for example--require grooming.

Some expenses are fixed, but, there are cost cuts that do not compromise the health and well-being of the dog. Ideally, Pekes do best with frequent professional grooming. But an amateur scissor cut given by a loving owner is not going to harm the dog in any way.

When John and I faced the bleakest financial period of our lives, we were sharing our home with two Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers--the unforgettable Champers and Britches. Paying routine vet bills was a challenge, and sometimes meant sacrifice in other areas. But the joy and companionship they gave us during those difficult times was beyond price.

Champers and Britches were too large to be bathed in the bathtub, and while Wheatens will survive an amateur's scissor cut, their coats must be kept clean. The answer for us was a self service pet wash, A Master's Touch in Escondido. If you live in North San Diego County, I highly recommend them. If you wish professional grooming, Charlie is available by appointment. But if you just need to bathe your dog, there are professionally sized and equipped tubs, shampoo, conditioners, flea products and towels--all available for a fraction of the cost of professional grooming.

I used to grind my teeth when I heard the saying, "Tough times don't last, but tough people do." But now I see the truth in it. I cannot predict--I really don't think anyone can reliably predict--what is going to happen to the economy. But hang in there! And hang on to your dog! You won't regret it, and your dog will thank you in dozens of ways every day.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the recommendation. Yes, bathing your own dog does save money and it is a nice bonding time between owner and pet. Charlie is available to show first-timers how to do a good job. We supply everything the owner will need including ear cleaner, cologne, brushes, combs, dryers and raised tables. Oh, don’t forget the nails. The owner can do it or Charlie will for a small extra charge.

    After professional grooming most of my adult life, I started this business to include self service after a brief period of ‘retirement.’ During that time, we had a Standard Poodle and it was very difficult bathing her in the home tub! I called every grooming shop in my area and asked if I could rent a tub. My question was met with laughter to bleeping no. I spent the next year talking to dog owners, researching self service pet washes and found only 15 in the entire U.S. plus only 5% of pet owners visited professional groomers. As the old saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” A Master’s Touch Pet Wash was born in 1993.

    So, as Judith said, “But hang in there! And hang on to your dog! You won't regret it, and your dog will thank you in dozens of ways every day.”