Monthly Archives: March 2009

Dog Groomers: my dilemma

What is it about dog groomers, that so few of them seem to like dogs?

I’ve just left my darlings, and my parents’ ones, too – four beautiful black poodles – at the groomer’s salon, and feel like I’ve abandoned them.

Two clipped poodles sitting on a couch

Bo and Cher after a clip

Now I’m not just being melodramatic here… The people doing them today were recommended by the breeder. They’ve clipped them once before and they looked quite nice when we picked them up, but when we were there today, one of my parent’s dogs was nearly hung when she got excited and the table she was on toppled over, leaving her momentarily hanging by the neck from the lead-tether. She was okay, if frightened, so we left them. I can’t believe we did. If it happened to Cher, with her already poor health, it could kill her.

A couple of years ago, after putting up with inferior clips; groomers who don’t seem to have any affinity for dogs at all, and anxious dogs, we had finally found a fantastic – I mean, really FANTASTIC – groomer. She was fast; her pricing was fair; she loved the dogs and they loved her,  and they always came home happy, relaxed and magnificent. Then, towards the end of last year, she left town without a word to her clients, and we’ve been struggling to find a decent groomer to replace her, ever since. I really hope she is okay, but I wish she would come back here and be okay.

Four poodles with bows in their ears, wait for a treat.

The four dogs line up for a treat after being clipped

Dad and I talked about it outside and were really torn. We didn’t want to say too much in case the dogs were mistreated deliberately, instead of just the victims of a stupid accident, but they all desperately needed a haircut and we didn’t have an alternative to go to.  It shouldn’t have swayed us, but it did. I hope we don’t regret it. 

Now I’m sitting here agonising over whether or not they are going to be alright, and feeling like a huge jerk. I’m also looking into groomers to see if I can find another good one that I can afford to go to. Does anyone have any suggestions in the Northcote/Fairfield area?


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Drizzle; Precipitation; Rain. Whatever you call it, boy is it welcome!

rain drops hang from the windchimes

It is finally raining !

After having had something in the order of 0.2mm of rain for the year to date (compared to our usual 77mm), and after the record temperatures and devastating fires of early February, today Melbourne is wet and cold.

It is delicious – cold enough to make you want to put on your favourite hoodie (I have), and run to the shop for a new umbrella (will do this later), and to feel happy sitting inside, drinking hot cups of tea.


The rain is refreshing everything –  giving the garden a welcome drink as well as washing the petals clean of the soot and dust of the past month. I heard a whisper, too, that the fire-services are hopeful that this cool, wet weather spells the end of the fire season for this year. We can only hope…

Our hearts go out to them, and to everyone who has been touched by the fires.


This brave little avocado tree –  a Christmas present to my husband that we planted on B0xing Day – is making a valiant effort to recover, having lost nearly all of its leaves during the heatwave, and having had to be protected by a portable beach shelter for the last three weeks.

You have to wonder, with the way that the drought is going, if it will ever really end. I heard someone from the Bureau of Meteorology speaking on the radio last week, and was depressed to hear him ask the same question. As he said, we are in un-charted territory: the drought has gone on twice as long as ever before; we’ve had the highest temperatures ever recorded and the lowest rainfall for this period since records began being kept. We can only wait and see, I guess…

Sorry about that; I didn’t mean to get depressing. To lighten the mood,  I have another couple of unrelated pictures to share with you.

These were taken at the Melbourne two weeks ago when we went to the zoo for a wander. By sheer luck, we were in time for a ‘keeper’s talk’ at the giraffe enclosure.


This giraffe (above), with the very long tongue and a taste for carrots, was born at Perth zoo, and was made famous by the photograph below (he was the little one):


Now he lives at Melbourne Zoo and has fathered a number of babies of his own.


This meerkat isn’t famous, as far as I know, but it was very cute as it stood sentry.

Stay safe and well – and if you are in Melbourne, enjoy the rain!

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