So I know i’m being dramatic for writing this. Hopefully, I can save someone else from having the same experience as me from this blog post.
Let’s start this by saying I don’t like shaved dogs that typically have long fur/hair. Especially golden doodles!! Golden doodles aren’t supposed to be completely shaved! And I TRUST when I go to a groomer that they will not shave my dog when I specifically ask them not to.
Aspen’s First Grooming Experience
Today, Aspen was groomed for the first time. She had gotten a “puppy trim” before from Petsmart, and it was great! They trimmed her face, bathed her, and brushed out some mats. So, naturally, I scheduled her first grooming session for Petsmart since we had a great first experience. Ryan dropped her off for me while I was at work. I told him specifically not to let them shave her. So, Ryan distinctly clarified “do not shave her and keep the hair as long as possible, my wife does not like her hair short”. Ryan said the groomer claimed she was very matted, but that she would try her best to keep her hair long.
So, The Grooming Begins…
3 hours pass. The groomer calls to tell me Aspen was ready for pick up. I arrive and she shows me a mat about the size of the palm of my hand. Maybe she was trying to brace me for what was to come. “I had to cut her short because she was so matted”, she told me. I honestly had no idea what short meant. Then, our groomer preceded to tell me about how we need to brush her more, play with her paws and face more, and take her on runs sometimes. I was insulted at first, because I felt like this groomer was schooling me in all the ways I needed to be a better dog owner. I became defensive because of the fact we do take her on runs at least weekly, take her on walks daily (in Utah’s freezing winter might I add). We pet her all the time, and we pull her paws apart daily to extract the snow that becomes trapped in them after our runs and taking her out to go potty. Whatever. I let it go. I was just ready to get Aspen back and head home!
And Then I see Aspen…
She asked me to go pay at the cash register and said that she would bring Aspen out for me. I complied. I went to pay. A dog comes out for another owner on front of me, furry, brushed, and beautiful. Next, there’s this skinny, hairless dog that appears. The groomer looks towards me as she walks down the aisle and hands me the leash. “This is really my dog?” I respond, in shock. “I know, it’s shocking at first”. “Wait, but are you sure?”, she nodded affirmatively, smiling. Aspen was shaved. HEAD to TAIL. There was not an inch of hair on her now bare body, except one tiny 3 inch long piece of hair on her ear the groomer missed. Here’s a picture I took of her right when we got home from the
groom shave, so you can feel the shock that I felt.
I was so upset, I was speechless. I really didn’t know what to say. “She’s going to be so cold now”, I muttered. “Well, you can get her a sweater”, another groomer chimed in. They said this was a “fresh start for her fur”… We talked back and forth a little more. I expressed my shock. I figured nothing could get her fur back…
So I left…
I mean it’s just hair, it’ll grow back. I thought to myself. It won’t even matter in a year, don’t let it bother you… I tried to convince myself. But it did bother me. It bothers me because I entrusted Petsmart to follow our instructions, but they didn’t. I literally would’ve rather spent my Friday night brushing through my dogs matted hair than to come back with a dog I don’t recognize. Or, I would’ve rather had Petsmart call me and told me they couldn’t do what I wanted and to take her somewhere else, instead of doing what we specifically asked them not to do. I am upset because I don’t recognize her, she seems traumatized for a good few hours after the experience, and now my fur ball puppy is gone- and never will be again- unless there’s a miracle and her hair grows super fast!! Praying for that!!
A Learning Experience
Later, while getting a refund, we found out that the groomer was new. Therefore, Aspen was likely her guinea pig as far as grooming golden doodles. Also, golden doodles become very matted as they begin to lose their puppy coats and their adult coats come in. Plus, goldendoodles are prone to matting to begin with. You need to brush them daily (which, I’ll admit, we hadn’t done). BUT her face was not matted at all… the typical golden doodle grooming leaves their face long. I am very disappointed that the groomer didn’t leave her face long at the very least.
I’m sad because I loved my fluffy dog, and it’s going to take months for her to become fluffy again. But, of course, I still love my ratty, skinny, hairless dog too. She still has the same cute, sweet, and ornery personality- and thankfully hair grows. I just really really really hope it grows back fast…And I will never trust petsmart to groom her again.
The bright side: We won’t have to vacuum as much or brush her as much. Our puppy is alive and well. Also, I’ve realized just how cute Aspen was with long hair.
Have you all ever had a bad grooming experience? Any tips for the future? Think I’m being absolutely crazy? Any tips of how to make her look more normal in the hair growing process? Comment your thoughts below!