The last thing I expected to receive when I picked up our dog from the groomer was a handwritten note detailing the present condition of her vulva.
Don't get me wrong. I do care about our Poodle, Lily. Apart from occasionaly urinating on our carpets, she's just like one of our kids. In fact, over the years, she has probably urinated less on our carpets than the kids have.
When we finally found someone closer we trusted -- meaning the dog wouldn't look like she was attacked by rabid squirrels with trimmers, or come home missing a limb -- we were ecstatic. At first, we found our groomer's unsolicited medical advice helpful, since it led to us finding out Lily needed surgery for bladder stones.
The thing is, when I bring Lily to get groomed I'm not expecting a full cavity search and dental screening every time the shampoo bottle comes out. It's like when you bring your car to get the oil changed and they advise you to consider new wiper blades, an air filter, and a tire rotation. Chances are I'll smile and nod and completely ignore their advice. Same goes for the dog. I've brought her in to get the chocolate shake washed off her head, not to seek counsel from the Dog Whisperer.
In the past few months, we've been given heartfelt and well-intentioned mini-lectures about the importance of weight loss, tinged urine, underbelly tenderness, and loose stool. Time before last, I even went home with a couple of dirty Q-Tips in a plastic baggie. I'm pretty sure she said they were covered in earwax. At least, I hope that's what she said it was.
Now we've moved beyond the transient comments into documentation on the observed details of the dog's hoo-ha. I half expected the comment about Lily's swollen vulva to be attached to a police report and a rape kit from the Pinehurst CSI lab.
Maybe the Schnauzer around the corner has some explaining to do...
© 2011 Mark Feggeler