(13) A Day at the Spa: Grooming the service dog

Molly, the service dog

Golly, Miss Molly:

A blog about a service dog and her veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the veteran and the family caregiver)


Should I have my dog groomed professionally?

Molly made a new bff (best friend forever) at the spa. Kelsey bathed her in luxury with a blueberry facial and an oatmeal scrub. Actually, Kelsey works at the Pet Pawlor down the street. Molly fell in love with her soft-spoken groomer the minute she knelt down and cradled Molly’s furry face in her hands.

Groomer Kelsey posing with Molly

Kelsey with Molly on spa day

Just two hours later, Molly sported a new look that any business would welcome into their establishment. Around her neck hangs a pink bandana decorated with strawberries and cupcakes. Her plume tail poofs out in splendor with half of its length clipped away. Finally, the scents of blueberry and oatmeal replaced her doggy odor. The fragrance of breakfast cereal becomes her and makes you want to kiss her head.

The total cost for Molly’s beauty treatment fell well below $100–quite the bargain for a day at the spa.

ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) requires that a service dog be well-groomed.  With the Great Pyrenees plume tail, clipping it makes for not only a lovely tail wag but prevents leaving long strands of fur behind.

Several other reasons compel us to keep Molly groomed. First is the adage, Look good, feel good.” She struts into the house after her spa treatment, shaking her bootie. Indeed, she wants to catch our eye.

Second, Molly chases skunks. While I thought she would abandon that game after her first spraying, she became obsessed and sought out Pepé de Pew (aka skunk) on her nocturnal potty stop. Her spa treatment removes all signs of her evening escapades.

Finally, Molly’s two breeds of Saint Bernard and Great Pyrenees prepare her for working in snow and cold climates. With a natural undercoat and multiple layers of fur, summer and outdoor temperatures leave her lethargic. Her grooming cuts through the layers, making her comfortable. Although we keep her shaved year round, my next task is to make her a doggy coat and four fur-lined booties for our winter strolls.

Grooming your service dog yourself provides a great opportunity for bonding with your canine. For this reason, I brush Molly often. Those veterans who do the grooming themselves will reap great benefits and raise a loyal, devoted service dog.

Post your Comments:

What do you do to keep your dog well-groomed and ready for public access? Please post your comments below.

About the blogger

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her husband, William, and dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her grandchildren.

2 thoughts on “(13) A Day at the Spa: Grooming the service dog

  1. Rick

    We keep our rough-coat Jack Russell Terrier shaved down pretty close, especially now living in high heat and humidity. I have long noted that dogs DO act differently after pampering them with a good grooming. A St Bernard and Pyranese mix? Whew, that is a BIG dog. Wonderful post!

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