6-19-2010 In the Public Eye

In the Public Eye

After my television debut on ABC’s “Nightline” last week, I guess I was right about my luck with the media. A Nightline reporter followed us all around for three days, sitting through creative grooming seminars, watching us prep our pooches and seeing how much we all love and cherish our pets, and then they did what I feared they would. They called the piece, “Really, would you do this to your dog?”
Naturally that title alone conjures up images of abuse. Their facebook page started immediately getting comments even before it aired, after just showing a few photos. Most of the emails were from people who thought this was above and beyond animal abuse. Of course, I immediately responded and told ABC how disappointed I was that they would do this. ABC responded to me by telling me to “wait until it airs, then see what you think”. So I stayed up late, it was put off due to a ball game and came on after midnight.
We were shown first, followed by all the other creative grooms, and then they turned the conversation to “What about the physical and mental well being of the animals?” and showed a close up of my dogs looking sad. They were actually bored, because they were waiting for their turn for presentation, and they were chilling out. Then they managed to find one groomer in New York who apparently doesn’t go to grooming shows, otherwise she would know what this is. She thinks this is, in her words “disgusting”.
They showed her their clips and she heard that some of the grooms take 30 hours to do. She assumed that was 30 straight hours! We like to eat, sleep and take breaks too. Standing up for 30 hours straight would be inhumane for us, let alone a dog! You see, they didn’t bother to tell her that we work on these designs weekly, as we bathe them. Just a little bit at a time. Then when we groom them at the show, it’s a quick 2 hour contest, the dogs are already washed and dried, and we just cut the hair and add decorations and a little more color. The dogs are usually pre-dyed. No different that a regular groom for a client really, but a little more “exciting”.
Then she saw the clip of a zebra looking dog lying on the table, and relaxing. She took that to mean the dog was exhausted and depressed. Actually it was lying down so the groomer could reach the top of the neck. I put Jasmine on the floor to do her back so I could see it better, since the tables they provided us with don’t move up and down like the one I have at home.
She thought that since the zebra dog was only a year old, it was too calm for a young dog, and something was obviously wrong. What was “wrong” was only the dog is well trained, and used to being groomed weekly. In fact, Pickles (the dog’s name) is a therapy dog and goes to visit autistic children in schools. A therapy dog must be calm.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, when the other groomers were on the Today show, Martha Stewart cornered one of the groomers and told her she thought that it was cruel to do this! Of course, that didn’t make it on the air. Oh Martha, you are a sly one behind the scenes!
This makes me want to mail Martha a “gift” from my dog, all glittered up and pretty! Maybe she can make a lovely centerpiece out of it! I get so tired of all the negative comments from people like this. They just don’t have a clue. Meanwhile some of the groomers are getting phone calls with people cursing them out, and thinking creative grooming is a terrible thing, and we are awful people. Who knows what some over zealous, insane person would do in the name of animal rights? Guess it’s a good thing we have our dogs as body guards.
This is the problem with the media. You can’t believe even a reputable news show to give you the whole truth. They take bits and pieces, and when they put it all together, it will skew anyone’s opinion. If it gets your riled up, then they get ratings. It has made me rethink everything on the news lately.
The good news is the TLC show “Extreme Poodles” didn’t stoop to that level, and actually showed the groomers and their dogs having fun and made it very clear these dogs were well loved, and enjoyed a great life. This is a fact, because I know some of these dogs personally. Whether “Extreme Poodles” becomes a series or not, remains to be seen. I hope they make more shows and help show the public that we are not monsters, even if we may make our dogs look like monsters, or camels, lions and Clydesdales.

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