Lack of groomers has Cruise hot under collar

By Lindy Laird

Here's a shaggy dog story despite the affable, laid-back pooch in this one having short hair.

As befits his nature, the old dog's name is Cruise. He is owned by Leah Miller, her hubby and their two kiddies, who live near Maungatapere.

Cruise is one of those dogs - and we defy anyone to name his breed - who has a double-layered coat; a coarse outer rug and the thick pelt next to his skin. With the weather warming up the big fellow is feeling the heat, and fleas are on the hop already. Cruise's coat is so dense the shampoo hardly penetrates and the electric clippers don't go near him.

His owner decided he needed a proper shampoo and "do" from a professional.

Every dog might have his day, but some have to wait, as Ms Miller found out.

She phoned her local pet supplier, Pet Essentials, to book him in with the dog groomer and was surprised at the length of the waiting list.

"There were no free spaces for three weeks," she said. "I was amazed."

Ms Miller, who fosters dogs for the Whangarei SPCA, and who got Cruise there about seven years ago, is well aware that dogs need to be comfortable in the heat, especially ones of, um, rotund build like Cruise, or with long or matted hair. Then there are the furry feet that need trimming, hairy ears that need shaving, rear ends that need dagging, the coiffure - or is that coif-fur- a poodle might sport.

The home clippers don't always cut it.

But dog-gone it , Pet Essentials owner Mike Tasker has been advertising for dog groomers to help with the demand. He could employ someone "tomorrow", and maybe a second in the new year.

Two pet groomers who have been offering mobile services are moving away from the district and one is cutting back her number of clients, Mr Tasker said. "It's a busy time of the year right now but there is also a shortage of people in this line of work. If there are any budding dog groomers out there, come and see me."

- Northern Advocate

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