Pantops Pet Salon
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Pantops Pet Salon & Spa
Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

It's what we do -- it's all we do.

(434) 293-2424
Fax: (434) 293-8231
504 Pantops Center
Charlottesville, VA 22911


Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 by Mike Cronk

The pet industry is really hot right now. Animal Planet and Discovery Channel are full of programs about breeds, training and grooming. The Retail Industry is pushing the humanizing of our best friend and Pet Supply catalogs reflect the tastes of the “Hollywood” crowd. It’s one thing to buy a short haired dog a coat or sweater for the winter, but a name-brand dress or pajamas? How about faux suede coats, rucked satin dresses, East Side Collection Tigress dresses, Velour Royalty hoodies–the list goes on and on. And if you want to dress alike, how about an Andover Argyle hat and gloves for the owner and a matching sweater for your pet?

Sorry folks, Paris Hilton and her ilk can take a hike. I need to make a living just like anyone else, but this marketing of dogs like Barbies is crossing the line. The relationship I have with my Golden Lizzie is one I hope includes dignity and respect. Dogs, in addition to being the best companion animal, are constantly being challenged to find new and unique ways to use their sense of smell, sight, and hearing. Sniffing out illegal drugs, explosives, and tracking people has been around for years…and now we are looking into cancer detection. The bond a K-9 Police Officer has with his dog is powerful. Can you imagine him putting PJ’s on that dog at night?

Marketing doesn’t stop with the Retail Industry….grooming is just as bad. Seen pictures of any white poodles dyed pink lately? Most of my grooming magazines are full of new and unique ways of making money, but most of it is just a gimmick to get you to spend. Now, in addition to giving a haircut, I’m supposed to offer such services as pedicures with a paw soaking bath. The dog must stand in a pan filled with a moisturizing solution for 5 minutes. After being toweled dry, each foot is individually massaged with a moisturizing creme, yada yada. These are the same paws that need to walk on the sidewalk and run through the woods in a variety of weather conditions. While we need to watch them for cracks and sores, a certain amount of toughness is necessary. This treatment can be followed with a facial, moisture wrap and therapeutic massage. And if that’s not enough, throw in an exfoliating “mud scrub.” Guess what? I’m not going there and Charlottesville doesn’t want it anyway. Maybe in New York, Chicago or San Francisco–but not here in good ol’ C’ville.

Success in grooming here comes from a sincere effort to provide the basics: a good brushing, thorough bath and proper haircut when called for. It’s not a marketing ploy or a money grab; it’s about keeping your dog’s coat and skin healthy. It’s about good work and the golden rule. We’re happy to top it off with bows or a bandana for that added sparkle but not if it makes your dog uncomfortable.

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