A Celebrity Needs Dog Grooming


This is a Maltese I groomed in a puppy trim. They do not grow like this naturally. they need haircuts.

Early in my grooming career, I worked for a place called Collar And Leash, at Wabash and State, on the ‘Gold Coast’, in Chicago.  The location got razed, and is now a huge building owned by Loyola University.

The owner had learned to groom dogs from her mother, & the late, great Jack Funk, a dog show handler who taught my boss how to groom Bedlington Terriers (as an aside, I also learned Bedlingtons from someone who learned from Charlie Praeger).

In any case, due to our location, practically downtown, we got a lot of clients  who were  entertainers, in town to perform.  I groomed Debbie Reynolds little Poodle, &  one of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Lhasa Apsos.  By the way, both women took care of their own dogs, and did a beautiful job.  I also spent  three days dematting Hugh Hefner’s Old English Sheepdogs. Nobody knows why he had these dogs, but long haired dog were ‘in vogue’ at the time, and his staff just couldn’t manage the work.  That’s just a small sample.  We groomed over 20 dogs a day, they all booked just a day before, and  80% of those dogs were Poodles.

Well, this happened recently, so I thought I’d write about it because, well, you will understand.  I am not using the celebrity’s name. His staff person  got us involved.

I got called into work earlier in the week, for an 11:a.m.Sunday morning meeting with my  boss & 2 other groomers where I work  on Friday & Sat. I was working more days, but since I won’t do the grooming van (which the owner alternates with  either being the worst decision she ever made or she’s making tons of money…but she is not breaking even on it), she took my very lucrative Monday away & gave it to the mobile groomer.  She wanted me to also work Sunday, & I told her I wouldn’t mind doing every other Sunday if we are totally booked on Saturday, but she is understaffed, &  the managers don’t answer the phone, which she denies.
Now, I also wanted to go early to the Backer(pet industry) show, but that was  screwed up by this meeting, but, oh, well….I arrived a few minutes to 11, & the kennel manager had no idea about a meeting (of course).
I was sitting around, the phone rang, so, of course, I answered it.  Guy asks if we can do mobile grooming today, I respond, “No, I’m sorry. In fact, there is no office staff. Possibly tomorrow, & I can leave a message for staff to call you. I just came in for a meeting, & another complication is  the pet industry show…”
“Oh,”  he sighs, a little frantic, then says, “We need  them done today for a photo shoot tomorrow. Do you know who  **** is?”
“Sure!”  The celebrity is a comedian with a radio show , talk show, & best selling book.
“Well, my name is Eric, and I work for ****, and we have a shoot with People magazine at 9:a.m. Monday, & the dogs need to be groomed.”
“What kind of dogs are they?”  I ask
“A Cocker Spaniel, a Yorkie, and a baby Maltese.”
“Oh, I know!  Call my friend Romaine. She does mobile grooming. She comes to you….”  & I gave him Romaine’s cell,. my cell, and then I called Romaine.
Long story short…
she had just groomed a dog in Streeterville  (vey close to  where these dogs were)& was on her way to the Backer show.  By this time, it was 11:20—& neither my boss nor co-workers have shown up.  I told Romaine I gave her number to Eric, told her I’d fetch her, and while we were out to Rosemont, Eric called her. We made arrangements to come over about 7:p.m. to groom the dogs.
It rained on & off all day.

I left the trade show early, Riomaine called, and I went to get her & her stuff. She told me she had left a message on Eric’s phone that we were on our way.
We get down to the location (Trump Towers, where all the celebrities stay these days if they plan a long-term stay…), call Eric, and he says he is so sorry, but the Cocker got diarrhea & was vomiting, so Mrs. **** took the dog to the vet, and he wasn’t sure if she wanted the others groomed!
Ok, we are down there.  Keep in mind that to see the emergency vet on Sunday night it is at least $500. So we wait for him to call us back. 10 minutes, Eric calls back (now, he had both our cell #s, but whatever…), &tells Romaine that Mrs. *** doesn’t want the other 2 dogs groomed now, but he knows we expect to be paid for our time.  So, Romaine charges him $100 for the visit.   Eric is audibly shocked.  Takes about 1/2 hour  for him to scrape up cash, but Romaine leaves him with toys,  an odor eliminator, her card, & the card of a veterinarian who makes house calls (this also proves to   **** that we showed up), and  finally, about 7:30, we are on our way back to Romaine’s to offload all the stuff.
I missed  the Amazing Race (which they never rerun) but made $50 for the aggravation…so that’s how that went down.  What happened to my boss & the others?  1  groomer decided to quit, & the other  was late, &b my boss forgot her cell phone to tell  us she’d be late.

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