1. Don’t buy a long haired dog because she’s sooooo cute, unless you plan to bring her to the groomers regularly, or know how to groom her yourself.
2. Don’t spoil her so much that she doesn’t want to leave your side in order to be left at the groomer.
3. Don’t hack at her with scissors because it will take forever and you probably won’t achieve a great look.
4. Don’t buy the cheapest clippers at the pet store thinking they’ll work just fine.
5. Don’t expect the instruction pamphlet inside the clipper package to tell you everything you need to know.
6. Don’t attempt to groom your long haired dog without an extra person to help and a pocket full of treats.
7. Don’t even think about using clippers on a wet dog.
8. Don’t expect your wet dog to stand still for a noisy hair dryer.
9. Don’t throw away your cheap clippers in disgust, then buy a more expensive pair only to realize when you first try to use them on your dog that they actually work, and now you’ve made a bald spot in the middle of her back.
10. Don’t forget to reward your dog for her patience when you’re done…and you deserve a reward too!

So, well, we’ve been having a challenge trying to groom Kelly. She doesn’t need anything fancy, but she needs a trim, and the hair between her pads needs to be kept short. We did our best, but it took a long time, and we’re all exhausted. Kelly’s in her bed, munching away on her bone and I’m going upstairs to clean off all the dog hair. Tomorrow it’s off to the book store to buy a book on grooming and learn how to do this right. Stay tuned.

Paws for Reflection: They don’t write those “Dummies” books for nothing!