In this excerpt, which, depending on your perspective, is a little more domesticated than our African safari. I’m trying to take you on my latest journey into a world experienced by a select few privileged pooches and kindled kitties. This world is best epitomized by the luxurious and very loving dog spa and pet boutique, “Lap of Luxury”, run by starlet groomer, Jonathan David. Before we feature Jonathan, let’s get “straight, curled, and clipped” his magnificent creation (and we’re not even talking dog hair at the moment): Lap of Luxury.

Lap of Luxury is a state-of-the art grooming salon equipped with immaculate grooming stations, beautiful baths, refined brushes, gentlest of hair dryers, highest qualities of shampoos and conditioners, and plush and cozy waiting area kennels filled with plenty of water, toys, and pillows. A dog entering Lap of Luxury comes out leaving strikingly different and smelling of sweetness. The groomers, including Jonathan himself, take extreme caution with their work to ensure the dogs look beautiful but also feel beautiful. And that, my Gabby Wild followers, is what is most important!

Many dogs come into Lap of Luxury, believe it or not, quite unclean with matted, dirty hair. The purpose of bathing and grooming them isn’t just so that their owners can walk about town with their stylized pooch hanging off of their crystal leashes, it’s so that their pooch can walk around town with great ease and comfort. Imagine being a fluffy-puffed Chow Chow or Poodle and having your fur tear at you as you walk because it is stuck together from clumps of dirt and tangles? It’s dreadful! (Though not a dog, I can only imagine since I’ve had huge knots in my below-the-bum hair!) Healthy coats are just as important as healthy eating, flea preventatives, nutritional/preventative meds, vaccinations, and yearly veterinary body checks! The more fit your dog is the happier it will be- and thus the happier YOU will be.

Dog grooming provides another facet of life that is tantamount to providing your dog proper health: providing you a moment of self-expression. Yes, grooming is an artform! Take my “half-sister” little Chiquita, my mother’s dog and our model, for a moment: we could modify her coat by trimming it profusely until she was bald or we could layer it like a wedding cake. We could remove the tapering strands of hair around her ears or leave only a few whisps to keep her looking scruffy and “Gizmo-like”. We could trim little hairs between her paw toes or let the little bear-like look suit her. A dog can go from playful to classy instantly. As long as it keeps a dog happy and comfortable, the artform is a beautiful way to express your perspective of a dog’s behaviour to yourself and those around you. They may come to react differently to your pet!

Dog grooming salons range in price. Petsmart has reasonable prices starting at $16 for a very nice, clean basic dog wash, whereas Lap of Luxury has dog grooming services starting at $40, the price depending on the treatment chosen and size of the dog.

At Lap of Luxury there are three main types of grooming styles: Aqua Spa Bath (starting at $40), Deluxe Mini-Groom (starting at $60), and the Elite Full-Body Groom (starting at $80). Although startling prices for some (though certainly not for the “regulars” at this dog day spa), the results are clearly evident, and each package offers something different and is tailored to the breeds needs. For instance, the Aqua Spa is perfect for easy, low-maintenance dogs just needing a nail trimming, sanitary cleaning, ear trim and cleaning (which is SUPER important depending on specific breed needs), and anal gland cleaning/expression, whereas the Deluxe Mini-Groom is essential for dogs with longer coats so that they can have a proper trimming of their face, feet, and loose hairs. An Elite Full-Body Groom is what I like to think of as “the works”. If you want to French up your poodle, then this is what you would need.

So why I am I ranting and raving about Lap of Luxury out of all dog grooming salons? Because they are immaculate and they CARE! DON’T TAKE YOUR DOG TO UNLOVING/QUICK-PACED/IN-AND-OUT GROOMER. The results will be terrible and your dog will not mentally enjoy the treatment. It may even be more abusive than helpful. Also, it is CLEAN! Often kennel-cough is transmitted between dogs at the doggie-day cares and grooming salons.

If you don’t have the opportunity to take your dog to the groomer for a bath here are a few tips (easier with little dogs than big ones, but it can still be done with the big guys!):

1) Find a gentle dog shampoo or conditioner (email me or send me a message if you want some suggestions!)

2) If your dog doesn’t like water, slowly sponge bath them so that he or she feels more comfortable in the luke-warm water.

3) Once they begin feeling at ease, make certain that they are fully wet so that you can then lather in the soap in a circular motion. Make certain not to go too close to their eyes, nose, and mouth! Massage your dogs while you do this- they’ll love you forever!

4) Gently wash out the soap with the luke-warm water.

5) Dry them off with a towel and then blow dry them ~1 foot away. They most likely will shake and detest the sound of the dryer. You don’t have the blow dry them all at once- so give them a kiss break and then go back to it. Leave a few toys for them to play with or even a nice treat in between as positive reinforcement that you love them and that it will be ok!

6) With an ethanol swab or even a cottonball dabbed with ethanol, gently clean the inside of the dog’s ears (don’t ram anything in there too deep- it could cause severe damage)!

Let me know if you have any other questions by sending me an email!

More about the legendary Jonathan David, his exciting lines of luxury dog couture, and my exciting trip to Lap of Luxury to come shortly but in the meantime, Stay Wild,

Gabby Wild