by Cheryl Douglas (winner of the anecdote category)
I decided to take up dog grooming in 2006, mainly because I had finished renovating the house and was frankly, at a loose end. I had an old shop at the front of the house, and after a bit of tweaking, plastering and faffing around with my local builder, I opened my salon, “Hot Dogs”, in Icod de los Vinos.
News of my amazing skills, but mainly my “cheap prices”, spread like wildfire through the town and beyond, and I soon became known as “the mad English dog woman in Icod”. I hasten to add, that this was not because I dyed a neighbour´s westie pink by mistake, which everyone thought was hilarious, but because at the time I had about 9 dogs. There were probably more, but one loses count with so many furry legs everywhere!
Over the next 8 years I toiled away most mornings in the salon, and had many hilarious experiences, but without a doubt the funniest thing happened with a client from La Laguna.
It was carnival and she decided her whole family, including her two poodles, were going dressed as “Where´s Wally?”. She brought in a picture, from heavens knows where, and asked me if I could trim the dogs into stripes, dying the fluffy parts red.
“God save me from loons”, I remember thinking. “It´s going to cost you a fortune” I said seriously. “50€ each at least”. This was a lot of money in 2008 for your average Canarian to splash out on fantasy dog grooming. To be honest, I just plucked a silly amount of money from the air as I never imagined she would agree.
“Fantastic”, she said. “Oh! Arses”, I thought.
Well the day came, and the dogs duly arrived, poor little devils. They had the patience of Job and sat through the heinous ordeal with as much dignity as poodles can muster. After a few hours the lady returned with her husband.
“Oh! they look amazing” she gushed.
“They have better costumes than ours” her husband said slowly. He stood there for a minute, just staring at the dogs. “Don´t worry it will wash out in about 2 weeks” I said. There was a prolonged silence.
“Can you do that to me too?” he asked.
I hesitated; I was a DOG groomer. I had never done “people” ever. I blinked.
“Yeah sure”, I said in the end, “Why not ? 20€”.
I charged him less, poor soul. Not just because I thought he was basically bonkers, but mainly because when I finished instead of “Wally”, he looked more like a Stoke City supporter, and they seriously need all the help they can get!
Cheryl Douglas – firstname.lastname@example.org