This isn’t a euphemism.
I have a dog, a Cairn Terrier to be precise, named Travis. Generally speaking Travis doesn’t cost much to keep.. He eats everything (he’d revel in getting fat by foraging streets and bins if I let him) and destroys nothing. But there are two very pricey parts to Travis owning: vets bills and grooming.
The first is tricky to cut down on, but the latter, not so. The caveat to this, is that you have to be prepared for an afternoon of sweating, thanks to chasing a dog -who’s unconvinced of the merits of such a palaver- around the living room.
One of the reasons I need to keep his hair short, is that if I don’t, every few months a poo will get stuck fast on its way out, in his thick wiry hair. The only remedy to this is to cut it off with scissors and fast, before he sits his full weight on it… because you can imagine what a delightful scenario that is…
These are the things the books won’t tell you about having a dog, but I will.
A short back and sides on his bum therefore, is a prerequisite.
To have him professionally groomed costs around £40 where I live and it’s very difficult to find special offers. To buy a pair of pet clippers however, can cost anything from around £20 – I bought some from Argos a couple of years ago for £30 and have been clipping his fur myself an average of three times a year. But it’s not just the money that I save that pays dividends -not having to book an appointment in advance, or drive him to a doggie salon and then collect him four hours later, is a massive hassle-saving for me.
Ok, I’m lucky. I got Travis from a dog rescue charity, but he actually started out life as a show dog, even getting as far as Crufts and was fairly used to being regularly beautified (although this would’ve involved hand stripping, rather than clippers, so it’s an irrelevant detail and basically just a dog-mummy brag about his CV).
So, the good news is, that this is a serious money saving activity and can be fitted conveniently around your schedule.
But the bad news is, it can take a while to get the hang of, your dog may look ridiculous after your first few attempts (I gave him a “go faster” stripe the first time) and the locale in which you work will wind up looking like an extreme pillow fight has just taken place/goose has exploded (although a few minutes with a vacuum cleaner soon sorts this).
I watched a few “how to” youtube videos to get me started, which I’d definitely recommend doing before having a go. I didn’t want to splash out on a grooming table which does make it easier, but then I’m not bothered if Travis doesn’t have the perfect cut either – as long as he’s happy and gets a good regular tidy up to avoid being mistaken for an Ewok, then I’m happy too.
Oh and if you’re really hard up, you can always use the clippers on your friends/relatives/children/spouse… just don’t mention the close bottom shave bit..