Our dog Espn will be six years old this year. Next month is his 6th birthday. It’s hard to believe that we’ve had him that long.
I still remember when we adopted Espn. Our daughter was at a birthday party so we took our son out because he wasn’t invited to the party (it was an all-girl party for my daugther’s classmate). My son is just as much of an animal lover as I am so we took him to our local animal shelter to talk to, and pet, the animals.
Our local shelter rarely has puppies. On this trip they actually had puppies. They were a Rat Terrier/Maltese mix (or so we were told). To me they looked like Rat Terriers, or some kind of a Terrier. All except one. One of the puppies looked different then the rest. He was small, white (the others were brown), and he had big black spots on him. He looked like a roly poly Panda.
We really wanted to have a dog so we asked our son if he wanted to adopt one of the puppies, and if so, which one did he want? Out of the entire litter he picked the “odd ball” – the white puppy with the big black spots. Oddly enough the employee at the shelter recommended that we NOT adopt him. He tried to encourage us to take one of the other puppies. He said if we adopted the one we wanted we would have to get him groomd a lot and that would cost a lot of money. Being practical and trying to keep to our budget we tried to sway our son into getting one of the other puppies, but he had his heart set on the white one. So we adopted him.
(In the above puppy picture Espn is wearing a Build-A-Bear football shirt – LOL)
And that is how Espn came to join our family. His name is pronounced “Es-pin”.
The man at the shelter was correct. Espn needed to be groomed. We take him 3-5 times a year (ideally every 2-3 months if we can swing it – $$$). All the photos in this post are Espn at various stages of “hairiness”.
Before we had him groomed for the first time we checked out a lot of places. We finally settled on the grooming center at our local PetSmart. We were there frequently to pick up wee-wee pads for his “accidents” as well as other supplies, so it made perfect sense. Plus they were a lot more affordable then other grooming locations we checked out. We also heard very good stories about PetSmart’s grooming center from others.
Espn has been getting groomd exclusively at our local PetSmart grooming center his entire life. We are always very pleased. They always do such a nice job.
I like the people who work at our local PetSmart grooming center. They actually LIKE what they do and love dogs. I’ve heard about other groomers who are mean to the dogs and act as if you are bothering them when you come in for an appointment. We have never experienced that at the PetSmart grooming center. I especially like how they are kind to Espn, especially since Espn hates going there and is always a nervous wreck. Instead of taking Espn from me and tossing him into a crate the groomer always talks to him and tries to make him feel at ease.
Before they even groom your dog the groomer will ask you what you want done with your dog. There are different packages you can choose from. There is a more basic wash and cut or you can add in additional services like teeth brushing and having their nails filed down instead of cut. I prefer Espn’s nails filed because they are much smoother and he has one nail that bleeds a lot when it’s cut, but Espn freaks out over the filing tool. So we can’t choose that option.
They even offer a scented spray you can have put on your dog. The only one I remember reminded me of jelly beans.
Occasionally the groomer will put a cute little bandanna around Espn’s neck as a “finishing touch”. There are a few photos in this post where you can see th bandanna. They tend to do that mostly with the younger dogs (pups). One time when Espn was little someone put bows in his hair which they do to female puppies. The bows were blue, which is a boy color, but he did look silly with bows. It was cute though. I wish I could find the pictures.
What I like about the groomers at PetSmart is that they will tell you how your dog did with that visit. I know when Espn has good days and bad days. They also keep a record of your preferences and dog’s “quirks” on file so in the event your regular groomer is unavailable another groomer knows what to do and what to expect from your dog.
Having your dog groomed at PetSmart can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how busy they are. I have found that mid-week and early in the AM is the least busiest. When I took Espn last week (Wednesday, 9:30 AM) he was done in an hour and a half. If you wait until later in the day it can take up to 4 hours. The busier they are the longer the wait. So if you want the grooming to be “in and out” schedule it for early in the day, mid-week.
I’m not sure if all PetSmart stores are set up the same, but in our store you can watch your dog getting groomed too. They have huge windows that allow you to see inside. A word of warning – don’t let your dog see you or else he/she might get fidgety and not want to sit still for their grooming session.
Here are “before” and “after” photos of Espn from last week (before his grooming and after). In the first picture he was coming out of the CAT cube. It’s made for cats, but try telling that to Espn. He THINKS he’s a cat. LOL!
Espn ALWAYS gets a new toy (or toys) when he goes to get groomed. I do it out of guilt because I know he’s not happy going. He’s VERY attatched to my family so even when we are gone for the day he’s miserable until we get home. He’s the same way at the groomer. He’s not happy until he sees me pick him up to take him home. So out of guilt I tend to buy him a toy or two. I also have to pick up a little something for out cats too.
PetSmart is the only place we would have Espn groomed. He’s been going there for over 5 years (approx. 20+ grooming sessions). We are always very pleased with their service.
*I received one free grooming session in exchange for this review. All other grooming sessions I have paid for myself. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and are not influenced in any way.