Dogs, Africa, & a crazy world


I’ve been thinking of doing this for a while. I have plenty of time. I only work part time. I groom dogs for a living. I have groomed dogs since I was a teenager.
I started by bathing and brushing dogs for a hobby breeder. This was in the late 1960’s. I had a fantastic notion that I wanted to own a bunch of dogs, and a boarding and training kennel, and show dogs. I really wanted an Irish Wolfhound, but my mother said they were too big.
She saw a photo of an Afghan Hound in the newspaper and said if I could find one cheap enough, she’d buy it for me.
I found a puppy in the Chicago Tribune. He was the last of his litter, & the breeder was going to keep the dog, but the older dogs he had really didn’t like him. So, they decided to sell him.
His pedigree was really very impressive, because, at that time, very few breeders were breeding their pet dogs. That said, his own parents were not champions. Quite frankly, Khyber did not have good conformation. I was only 12, and I didn’t know this at the time. His breeders, who SHOULD HAVE showed me how to groom him, did not. Someone at a dog show took pitty on me and showed me how to properly care for him. I’ve been ‘paying it forward’ ever since.
But I developed other interests as well. The dog grooming industry is very energy intensive, so I started working with others on a community based recycling project.
Most dog grooming businesses are ‘microbusinesses’—businesses that gross under $100,000 a year. I got into grad school because of my knowledge about microbusinesses and energy conservation.
Because I traveled to Tanzania (East Africa) in the mid 1980’s, I also developed a fascination with all things East African, and then development issues (if the Tanzanians had a 90% literacy rate—why were they so poor?), and just the convoluted ideas that people have about dogs, businesses, and ‘the rest of the world.
I hope to write more about all of it, ans who knows? Maybe I’ll touch a few lives.

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