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Grooming Rescue Dogs

by on January 22, 2014 - Leave a Comment

There were many topics on dog health and beauty that I could have written for this post, but I decided to keep it “real” with something that is near and dear to my heart, and part of my former profession – fostering and grooming rescue dogs. Most of the dogs I groom are far from AKC perfection. They are just sweet, cute “furbabies” that need a good bath and coat cut and are for the most part, attractive dogs.

But what about the dog that has beauty issues that are a bit more challenging? I happen to have fostered one of those dogs. His name was Toby, and I fostered him through the Schnauzer Rescue of Florida. He was a Mini-Schnauzer that has a strange physique (the vet had assured me is was not a health issue). He was bone-thin, yet has a big belly and two big fatty tumors on his butt. His ears were thick and heavy with scar tissue. He got around fine, and was a joy to watch when he was happy and bouncing around like a pup. but when you pet his back or sides it was a bit unsettling because all you felt were his ribs and bones.

Toby was a not-so-beautiful dog that I wanted to make as beautiful and appealing so that potential adopters would see his picture and go “Awwwww, isn’t he cute. Let’s adopt him!” I think we were on the path to getting him there, and that was confirmed when we were successful in finding him his forever home.

Our foster pup, Toby

Our then foster pup, Toby

So what did we do to “beautify” Toby? Well, with each groom I worked on specific areas of his coat. For example, rather than shave his torso short as is done with most mini’s, I leave some length to hide the ribs and fatty tumors. It seems to work, because no one really sees his ribs – until they touch him. I also cut as short as possible under his belly, and left the chest area longer to give the illusion of a nice “tuck-up” as they call it in the grooming industry. The stains around the beard were pretty much impossible to remove – I used every grooming trick I knew of.  But so long as he didn’t have any bacterial infections or allergies, this would grow out with a good diet. He had beautiful light brown eyes, which I  tried to accentuate though the shape of his brows and an attractive fashion dog collar went a long way in making a dog look and feel good!

Too bad that we are so fixated on looks – even in dogs – that many not-so-beautiful canines remain unadopted in shelters and foster homes. But someone proved me wrong and gave this beautiful dog a home! For more info rescue dogs up for adoption, visit or visit your local county shelter.

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