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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    Default Choosing a groomer

    After working in a clinic that had multiple groomers rotate through over the course of 10 years, I am rather averse to the idea of leaving my dog with a groomer. For the better part of two years, hubby and I groomed our SP ourselves.

    I did find a good one back home on the recommendation of my SIL right before we moved, but now we're in another state.

    So here's what I know about dog:
    1) Dog is a SP and is well behaved for grooming/nail trim/etc so no special needs there except for his muzzle. (fine w/ eyes, feet)
    2) Dog is UTD on vaccs.
    3) Dog has only been groomed twice by someone other than me.

    Here's what I know about me:
    1) I am really worried that someone will be rough with him or downright abusive like I've seen first hand. He is already a little stand offish with new people. I don't want him to have a bad experience that I'm going to have to deal with for the next 10 years.
    2) I am worried someone will nick him or cut him and I'll end up with another huge vet bill.

    All I want is a basic puppy clip--nothing fancy shmancy poodle-y.

    So...when you don't have the benefit of personal references/referrals, how do you go about choosing a groomer?
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Location
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    11,125

    Default

    You have four choices:

    1. Have the dog groomed at a vet office where your dog will be taken into the back and groomed by someone you will probably never see.

    2. Go to one of the PetCo/PetSmart stores and see if you can find a dog groomer who puts you at ease. I recommend PetSmart over PetCo because PetCo is ghetto fabulous.

    3. Go to one of the few pet grooming stores and do the same as above.

    4. Call one of the mobile pet grooming services where your dog gets taken into the back of a van for an hour or so to be groomed.

    There really is no answer except whatever you find works for you and the only way you can get references is to talk to local dog owners, many of which won't really be able to give you the sort of answer you are looking for anyway as they just do whatever is convenient for them as far as grooming goes and they usually don't have the perspective that you are looking for.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Default

    Try Just Fur Pets in Springfield. It's near the intersection of Old Keene Mill and Rolling Road. You can groom the dog yourself there or see if you like the grooming people enough to let them take a shot at it.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,216

    Default

    Ask a lot of other owners about their groomer. I found out that the mobile one I was using wasn't good, from talking to other owners. I started using hand clippers and did my dog by myself, it wasn't a good clip, but it was easier than finding another groomer in a small town.

    And if there's a local dog park go over and hang out, and see if any poodle owners have recommendations.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    Thanks Lex & Jan.

    Lex, we're actually on the far west side of Springfield...pretty much in Burke...Braddock/Rolling Road is close. I found a DIY place nearby like you're describing. I will check out that other place. Thanks for the heads up on Petco.

    Jan, I hear ya!

    I haven't hit up the dog parks yet. Maybe over the weekend I can track one down. I think there are several in my area.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Default

    JFP should be perfect for you then. It's only several minutes from where you are and it's a straight shot down Rolling Road from Braddock and Rolling. There's a wonderful new Pet Nutrition store in Burke across from the Post Office and the Fire Station that I now use for treats, toys, and food. Give it a look.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    Default

    Lex, I think I actually stopped in there on Friday...my first day in town. LOL It's in the same complex as the Giant there on Burke, right? Next to a vet clinic? Or am I thinking of a different one?

    Do you have any fave dog parks in this area? I am loving the walk around Lake Accotink. I just have to work on socializing our youngest a bit more. He is leery of some people. I don't know what the deal is, but about every 11th person gives him pause. I would like to get them out to a park though so they can run. They've never been relegated to leashed walks before and aren't particularly happy with the situation unless I do the 7-10 mile walk.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Default

    Yarp! That it be. Hit up Spartans too when you get a chance. The only dog park that you can use for running around is South Run. However, it has rough terrain due to the fact that is a repurposed landfill, so you must keep an eye on the paws. This is the best time of year to go because youth league sports are not running games in the evening. If you want a good lake to walk around, I recommend Lake Royal or Burke Lake. There is a system of trails that interconnects much of the West side of Burke so you can get in a GREAT walk if you go to South Run because the trails connect to both Burke Lake and Lake Mercer, which gives you a nice long walk with peace and quiet and the trail connects right to the dog park entrance.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    Default

    Well, one of these days, perhaps you can meet up w/ the mutts and me and we can take all of the monsters for a good walk. I have to get in shape first though! I have already walked 28 miles this week and it's only Wed! I'm getting a little sore. Which is pathetic. But true. LOL
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Location
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    Default

    You need to get yourself a membership for the county rec centers. South Run has a fabulous fitness center and Wakefield, which is probably pretty close to you, also has a decent fitness center though it's got a terrible location with a lot of traffic. You can go during the day when your dogs are sleeping. You just missed the membership sale but it's still cheaper than a gym membership since you get access to county pools, fitness classes, and other stuff. I'm sure a membership of a few months would benefit you for the Winter. I got a nice 12 month membership for around $500.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 1999
    Posts
    1,296

    Default

    Just wanted to comment on the Petco issue. I think you have to judge every groomer individually not based on where they work. I know two amazing groomers who work at Petco because they offer benefits (health insurance, etc). Both groomers used to work at my family's grooming shop (since been sold) and are excellent, handle the pets well, very experienced, etc. So I wouldn't necessarily rule out a place like Petco/petsmart. Base it more on the individual groomer.
    But in general I would ask other dog owners for recommendations. Owner used to love bringing their dogs to my family's business because the dogs would come racing into the back to see us, especially our regular dogs.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,465

    Default Hey locals!


    This person
    is a drive but from everything she writes I'd go there if I had a groomer dog like a SPoo.

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    It's in the same complex as the Giant there on Burke, right? Next to a vet clinic? Or am I thinking of a different one?
    It has a daycare on the left. The tubs are on the left hand side in the back. Food & retail in the front/right.

    If you see a pudgy 20-something white woman walking around Lake Accotink with a prancing Pap and bending over a growly, graying, low rider black mutt it's me!

    I love grooming! Too bad I don't have near the skills needed for a SPoo. Why aren't you doing the grooming yourself anymore?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,465

    Default Local off leash- how often?

    You looking for off leash daily, weekends? My more frequent off leash walks are illegal and I don't do dog parks. I'm in West Springfield and can spit on Burke.

    For legal off leash, VA Arboretum. It is a long drive out so it's more of a destination outing: picnic, visit a winery, etc. Dogs can frolick safely and legally off leash while their people walk.

    Turkey Run is 20mins away always has off leash dogs though it is not legal. Bull Run is further.

    I've turned my Pap off leash on the ballfields at Wakefield Park though it is a BIG no-no. My guy just wants to zip laps for 2 mins so I sneak in that opportunity wherever there's a patch of green.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    Default

    BiCoastal--I can't seem to figure out where that groomer IS. I have an appt today at Springfield Animal Hospital to get the staples removed from lab and I guess they have grooming too. I will inquire while I'm there. (Open to suggestions for vets as well, locals!)

    As for "pudgy 20 something white woman/pap and low rider black mutt"...did I see you yesterday? LOL

    I be the black nike stocking cap wearing pony tailed gal with two big black dogs--one lab, one standard poodle. I haven't been walking all the way around the lake every walk...just once a day. Will PM you...we always like walking buddies. I am finding that i pretty much have to do two long walks a day with a short couple in the middle to keep them down to a dull roar. One thing is certain, I am going to get in shape come hell or high water!

    I will check out the dog parks you mentioned. I hate that they don't get to just RUN.....I am going to ask BO if I can let them run around in her hay field this weekend while I ride. That's what they're used to.

    We shall see!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Default

    Stick to South Run. It's close to you, your dogs will run and romp and chase with other dogs to their heart's content at the dog park, and it will be easier on you if you walk them on the trail system there, which will give you a nice long walk around the woods. Since the leaves are coming down in force, you'll want to avoid the woodland trails for now because they are impossible to navigate once the ground is covered in leaves since many trails are unpaved and have no markers. Letting your dogs off-leash out in large open fields as suggested here is not a good idea with the large deer population as they frequently lurk in the woods at the edge of the fields mentioned here - especially Bull Run - and they will run across the fields to go elsewhere, triggering your dog's drive to chase things. Many a dog has been lost to chasing deer in this area and with the approaching Winter, you don't want to go down that route. Once Spring rolls around, you'll want to hit the trails at Mason Neck, Fountainhead, and if you're feeling really daring, there is a hiking/walking trail that goes from top to bottom of the area that many people don't even know about even though it's an official trail.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



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