The Doggy Beauty Parlor

So, the stinkbag, er, I mean, Stormy the Wonder Dog was looking (and smelling) a little ragged, so I made an appointment for him at the Petsmart Grooming center, because honestly, they do it fast, clean, and with little mess or muss. I know, I know, that sounds obscene, but it’s not. It’s just how we women want it. At least when it comes to dog grooming.

At any rate, after taking StWD in, I had a horrible moment of “failure recognition.” I am sad to report that not only was he the STINKY dog, sorta like the stinky child, but he is ALSO not popular at the Petsmart Beauty Parlor.

Now please keep in mind that today was Adopt a Dog day, and the entire freaking STORE was echoing like the Iditarod after-party. So I can’t really blame StWD. I think the groomer might have been on edge. A bit. I hope I don’t have to start calling him Stinky the Wonder Dog because they won’t let him EVER come back again. They didn’t SAY that. Let’s hope we haven’t been blacklisted. “I’m sorry, our next appointment is in 2014.”

When I got there, she was telling another groomer, “I swear, I called her three hours ago (try half an hour) and she said she was coming. I just don’t get it. He won’t shut up.”

This was after the speediest-grooming-in-the-history-of-man. They said three hours. She called me an hour and a half later. This is NOT a woman who loves her job. She’s probably a cat person. “Go over there and clean yourself.”

At any rate, when I told her who I was, she looked a little embarrassed, but not quite enough to satisfy me. After all, she was EXAGGERATING immensely. Three hours! Please. It was only half an hour. Plus I was at Wal-Mart when she called, and every time I go there it takes me two hours just to find the front door. It’s like trying to get out of that Harry Potter maze. I told her I was at Wal-Mart. She should have understood.

Finally, after I paid, and they handed the troublemaker over to me, looking NONE too chagrined mind you, I said, “Sorry he was such a pain.”

“Oh. Well. He’s very vocal.”


At least he’s not the stinky dog anymore.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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24 Responses to The Doggy Beauty Parlor

  1. Esther Lee says:

    Dear Natalie Collins,

    I’m a Ph.D student at the University of Utah. I’m trying to work on a radio project and remember hearing about a phenomenon involving LDS folks who apparently, in hopes to get around the “no sex before marriage” rule, would clandestinely head to places like Las Vegas, get married, have sex, then get the wedding annulled before heading home. I’m hoping to interview folks who have either participated in this phenomenon themselves or know of someone who has. I can, of course, keep the recorded interviews anonymous if someone prefers. I mainly would like to get a sense of a) just how common this is and b) what people’s experiences have been. Any advice or leads would really appreciated. Also, if you happen to know of any listservs or email boards where I could post a call, that would be incredibly helpful. Thank you…

    Esther Lee


  2. Cele says:

    I have a similar problem with Arlo the eternal pee-er. He reeks. He is apparently allergic to wheat, corn, soy, and something else we’ve not yet pin pointed. This wonderful problem he has makes a bath necessary once a week. I tried a groomers once, I thought, “Aha, they will clip his nails too!” Wrong, he does not take kind to nail clipping… no he doesn’t, not at all. Now I am stuck with a stinky, scratchy, clawed Basset that only me and his vet loves.


  3. azteclady says:

    And this is one of many reasons why I prefer the “do it yourself” method of pet grooming.

    Cele, may I suggest one of those rottary tool attachments for nail filing? I got one (and the expensive one, too, because it’s almost noiseless) for my late elderly German Shepherd mix and it’s become the tool of choice for the scared-of-her-own-shadow Lab.

    See, my German Shepherd claws had the quick almost to the surface of the nail, so clipping meant pain and bleeding every single time. Filing with the rottary tool thingie seemed to stimulate the withdrawal of the quick into the nail somehow, so I could file a little bit off every day without causing her any discomfort.

    Please note that’s a personal experience thing, and not an endorsement for any of the many different brands and types of these there are out there.


  4. Natalie says:

    Hi Esther,

    Boy, I have to be honest with you, that’s a new one on me, and I’ve lived in this culture all my life. I have a hard time believing that is common at all for several reasons.

    Mainly, it’s a whole lot of work, and while you are “sorta” avoiding the sin, you are not avoiding the stigma of a civil marriage, instead of a temple marriage.

    While I’m sure it has probably happened, it isn’t common, and I’m not thinking it could even be called a phenomenon.

    I will ask on a few boards for you, but I’m not sure I will come up with much.


  5. nerdycellist says:

    My dog, Ardala, is pretty quiet for a corgi/doxie/beagle mix – that’s our best guess anyway – she looks kind of like a miniature German Shepherd mix. We stopped doing our own baths because she knows she can guilt trip us, what with her pathetic shivering as soon as the water goes on, and the attempting-to-climb-over us when the hair dryer comes out. Plus, we like to let the groomers do the whole icky anal-gland thing.

    The groomers usually love her, but every now and then we take her in when there is a very talky GSD. It’s so funny – the big, full size GSD starts making those barky, yodelly noises at her, then she barks back, and on and on. I imagine the big GSD is bitching her out for copying her look. Well, I think it’s funny anyway – I get to leave the salon after we drop her off!


  6. Kirk says:

    Fellow dog lovers; Ok, so I have this Irish Setter who is getting up there in years. Almost 70 in dog years (whatever that means) – with a libido of a three-year-old goat. Humps everything he can get his rear legs around.

    Cuddles up to my daughter (10 yrs old) just this morning, and appears to love getting his head scratched. You can actually see his eyes begin to roll back into his head as my daughter scratches the area behind his ears. Then it happens. Yup, his hips begin to gyrate slightly as his eyes open a little wider. His breathing quickens. He begins to rub his groin against the nearest solid object……in this case, my daughter’s leg. “DISGUSTING”, she screams as she pushes him away. “I don’t even like petting him anymore, because all he wants is to start humping something!”

    Couldn’t help reflecting on human relationships and drawing correlations. Sorry. This is how my mind works. This past Saturday morning, the LDS home teachers show up to help me move my son. It was totally unexpected and unsolicited. Great gesture. I truly appreciated it. I have enjoyed very friendly relationships with them over the years, as we have shared many, many weekends and evenings attending to needs of various, common neighbors and friends. However, in this particular instance, immediately after finishing and before they left, the leader and organizer of the group turned to me and invited me out to a church neighborhood party, where there was to be a short message from a former LDS bishop turned congressman. He would have been much more obvious and honest had he just jumped on my leg and started humping. I might even have humped back a bit – just to show my appreciation for his time and help.

    When God and religion are involved, it seems to me as if true love, pure intent and the “golden rule” are compromised at the altar of egos and self-righteousness.



  7. Rick says:

    While we’re on “humping…”

    Isn’t it interesting how animals get after it without guilt or shame? I wonder how we humans would be if we didn’t have all our passed down stories telling us how we are supposed to have sex?

    The old Hollywood scenes of Sodom and Gomorrah come to mind — probably because that is what I’ve been taught to think — by my Puritan and/or Mormon culture.

    But would it be that way?

    I heard a news story this morning that Utah has more pornography subscriptions per capita than any other state. Shortly later I heard that the “Zion Curtain” bill that will require a ten foot wall between the “bar” and the public in restaurants made it out of committee by a unanimous 7-0 vote. I think our favorite Sen Buttars is on that committee.

    But of course.

    Which brings me to my point. When will we learn that prohibition has never, and will never, accomplish its desired goal to keep people from doing something?! When we are told that “doing” something is “wrong,” guess what? We get curious. And rebellious. Then we may do things that we wouldn’t have done had we never known we “shouldn’t.”

    I remember hearing that in Italy, where wine is had with meals from a very young age, the alcohol-related accidents are among the lowest in the world — as are the number of unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

    Is there a lesson there?



  8. nerdycellist says:

    Well, to be specific, dog “humping” isn’t sexual – it’s a sign of dominance. Even my crazy-squishy friendly bitch Ardala can ocassionally be found at the dog park attempting to “hump” a male chihuahua.

    And to bring back the metaphor for the church, I’ve found a lot of (not all) Mormon “friendliness” to be more about dominance than actual friendship.


  9. Kirk says:

    Am I to assume that Irish Setter semen all over my sofa cushions (our cats back-side; we have a very docile, understanding cat) isn’t sexual?

    Rick, the “Zions” curtain issue has been very fascinating to watch unfold.


  10. Todd says:

    Prudence would suggest not making hasty cause-and-effect inferences based on the statistics cited above regarding Utah porn subscriptions, etc.

    Here in Houston, for example, I can get live porn at multiple locations within an easy drive from my home. That’s probably not the case behind the “Zion Curtain,” even if my personal moral code allows that sort of behavior.

    Kirk made a similar inference about Utah based on per-capita anti-depressant drug use that would seem to indicate higher levels of depression in Utah. I’m not convinced.

    If those inferences support your tilted view of reality, more power to you. I, for one, will not jump to those conclusions without a deeper analysis.



  11. Rick says:

    Yes, it is indeed interesting. And Todd, I suppose it is impossible to conclude that there is more predilection towards pornography here than other places — based on our “unique” laws. I’ll give that one to you.

    And I will suppose that it is almost impossible to conduct a statistically significant study to ascertain if, and /or why there is more addiction to pornography, antidepressants, prescription drugs, and the highest young adult suicide rate in the country…

    right here behind the Zion Curtain.

    If there were only one statistical “leader,” I think we might call it coincidental.

    But this many?

    With the recent BIZARRE comments by our legislative leader, The Honorable Senator Buttars, stating that the biggest threat to our society, second only to radical Muslims, is homosexuality, I challenge your ascertion of anybody’s view of “tilted reality” that subscribes to the basic culture of Joe Smith that has resulted in this wacko way of thinking here in Utah today.

    Who is the “tilted” one? What is real “prudence?”




  12. Kirk says:

    A hearty SHOUT OUT to Todd.

    Good to have you still around – defending the faith, (I’ll repeat once again) – name calling and accusing others of their “tilted” views of reality.

    Come on Todd, please – just for once you can let your defenses down a bit, and admit that Utah is not the social “utopia” that Mormons try desperately to portray.

    As I sign off for a bit, and before you adamantly deny name-calling, let me ask if you wife is aware that you refer to Azteclady as “horn dog”. Do you ever recall referring to a blogger (TB) as “total bonehead”? These are just a few examples Todd, so I must ask you the same question. “Does TODD stand for (The Old Demented Derelict)?

    Just playing with a bit Todd. Don’t you wish previous entries could just disappear?

    Sincerely your best friend.



  13. Kirk says:

    Coincidence? I just finished watching Fox news, and then switched over to CNN special updates. Both news stations reported that Utah “leads” the nation in per capita on-line pornography subscriptions. Not just in the top ten – LEADS the nation.

    There is your “tilted view of reality”



  14. Todd says:

    Oh my gosh… Both Fox news AND CNN reported that Utah “leads” the nation in per capita on-line porn subscriptions?


    On-line porn subscriptions are, at most, one pixel in the porn addiction raster. There could be DOZENS of reasons why Utah leads in this ONE SPECIFIC metric. The inaccessibility of porn through a host of other venues is certainly ONE PLAUSIBLE factor. There’s porn at every corner in Houston, some of it live and in the flesh (so they tell me). You should get down here more often.

    Similar arguments can be easily made regarding antidepressant drug use.

    Certainly porn addiction and all forms of drug abuse are scourges that affect all sectors of society. Utah the worst? I find that laughable.

    Defending the faith? I’m merely suggesting prudence in your inferences lest a crack appear in the thin ice upon which you’re building your case.

    Social Utopia? Utah? huh?

    Some regrets? Certainly. Those you mention? Nope.

    With Love,
    The Old Demented Derelict


  15. Kirk says:


    Worked in Houston for six years during the oil boom years of the late 80’s and early 90’s. In fact, I was just there two weeks ago – we really should hook up for a lovely discussion over lunch. Maybe we could share missionary pics and reminisce a bit.

    What you say is very true concerning the sex / flesh trade in Houston. Most major cities have similar trends. However, strip clubs, adult bookstores and prostitution are not far behind in good old SLC. In fact, prostitution arrests and other sex related crimes in SLC have consistently been on par with most major US cities. (Per capita)

    News reporting agencies, (and not just CNN and Fox) tonight broadcast results of supporting data for these findings, as well as results and possible causes for this illicit sexual behavior in Utah. Religion, age demographics, puritan sexual teachings and expectations, all play major roles. Certainly, these catalysts are not unique to Utah – but let’s not pass them off as laughable.

    Travel is my work and life. Over the decades, I can honestly say that I have spent many weeks and even months in every major city of our great nation. There are certainly geographic regions representing a much more “conservative” approach when it comes to, what I call the “flesh trade” than SLC. I’m referring to major states and cities where it is virtually unimaginable to encounter “adult” bookstores, or strip clubs. SLC is not one of those places. According to the Fox news report, there are more adult bookstores strip clubs in SLC (again – per capita) than most major cities in the US.

    Your argument regarding the “inaccessibility of porn through a host of other venues is certainly ONE PLAUSIBLE factor” doesn’t fly. How about this “plausible factor”? PURITAN TEACHINGS CONCERNING SEX. Or – LDS TEACHINGS REGARDING HEAVEN, HELL, SATAN, FEAR, GUILT, (SEXUAL SINS ARE SECOND ONLY TO MURDER)!!!

    I have a very close friend who is currently serving as a LDS mission president. I speak with him on a weekly basis. He tells me that he considers himself to be the “masturbation” Taliban. Those poor 19-year-old missionaries carrying so much guilt, frustration, inner turmoil and depression as they are sequestered at the height of their youth and sexuality and taught that any form of masturbation is a sin. This particular mission president reported to me that he knows of four of his returned missionaries that committed suicide within the first year of returning home. I know, I know – I can just hear Todd right now stating that we don’t know the specifics, and shouldn’t jump to conclusions. CNN reported tonight that Utah has a teen suicide rate that almost doubles the national average. I know – once again, Todd might respond that there are more teenagers in Utah. This is a “per capita” study. I’m also very aware that data and statistics can and frequently are used to support almost any position. But, these facts and data should be extremely disturbing to all who live in Utah.

    By turning our heads, ignoring the real issues and blindly arguing that “we really don’t have that much of a problem – the data is laughable” we become (yes Todd) DERELECT in our stewardships as adults.


  16. azteclady says:

    Heh, of course dear old sincere saint Todd doesn’t regret insulting me.

    C’mon, I am a)female and b) dare call him on his hypocrisy.

    Of course, being that I’m going to Todd’s hell, I shouldn’t even be a blip in his radar, but he’s human and nowhere near as saintly as he presumes to be, so of course my very existence (let alone my virtual presence here) offends him.

    As for having facts and data to back up logical inferences… anyone here really expects Todd to be able to do that? You optimists 😉


  17. Todd says:


    I’m not suggesting that the “data is laughable” (your words), nor that “we really don’t have that much of a problem” (your words).

    There is a porn addiction problem. The inference that Utah somehow has the worst porn addiction problem is laughable. Online porn subscriptions is a single measure, one pixel in the porn addiction raster. That’s not an excuse, it’s a fact.

    In typical fashion, you’ve honed in on a single element to try to define a complex reality. It’s not that black and white.

    If find it amusing that the report explicitly measured for a religion correlation, and found none:

    “in regions where more people report regularly attending religious services (per National Election Studies 2004), overall subscription rates are not statistically significantly different from subscriptions elsewhere (p.9)”

    It seems clear that other factors, besides religion, are probably in play, like: income, age, and education.

    I agree, wholeheartedly, that we become derelict in our stewardship as adults if we ignore this data and the curse of porn addiction in our society. The real question is what do we do about it?



  18. Todd says:


    “Horn dog” is a compliment, not an insult. “Spinster” was the insult.

    Take it like a man you hypocrite!




  19. Rick says:

    Todd says: “The real question is what do we do about?”

    As with everything, the answer is “it depends.” It depends on if it is doing damage to the person or others. Of course an argument can be made that the “actors” are possiblybeing abused in many ways…probably addicted to drugs, etc., so I concede that it’s not the most helpful industry we have….

    But I suppose one could say we shouldn’t buy anything from Walmart — somewhere along the assembly line process somebody was probably abused or taken advantage of somehow. So let’s look at the end-product itself, just for the sake of argument and comparison.

    Yes, porn can be addicting; and the obsession of it can damage relationships. So can addiction to sugar, alcohol, gambling, TV, video games, and many other activities that may be benign when “done” in moderation.

    So I’ll look at it from the perspective of how it affects one’s “soul,” for lack of a better descriptor. I think this is where it does more damage than most other obsessions. It is almost always done in secret. It is hidden from everybody else. That very process is the worst part, IMO. When one is constantly looking over their shoulder to see if they will get “caught,” it is highly stressful and creates a guilt/shame cycle that causes long-term self-worth/self-love problems. That plays out in many destructive ways.

    So yes, I agree that it is a problem that should be addressed, and I think the best action to be taken is to change the culture to allow healthy sex and sexual expression so the “craving” for porn is reduced.

    Simple, right?



  20. Kirk says:

    I, for one, still believe it prudent and effective to chastise and threaten our youth with eternal damnation for sexual sins. Throw in a little Satan while mentioning that the Holy Ghost has better things to do than stick around and watch you masturbate. Add a few conference talks on chastity (maybe some metaphoric deep messages about licking butter off bread and expecting others to desire it). Have Paul H. Dunn testify how God directed bullets away from him while in the heat of battle, largely due to the fact that he hadn’t logged onto, or practiced brolygamy with Sergeant Rizzo. Have him expand on the grand moral reputation he had while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Fear and guilt can be powerful motivators. How about teaching love and responsibility instead?

    How about admitting that our Mormon culture has contributed to serious social problems?

    By the way, Todd is not alone. Sergeant Rizzo considered horn dog women to be far superior to spinsters – any day. There are no reasons for spinsters. God has provided the solutions through sacred sealing ordinances. You must understand….. only temporal spinsters exist. Undesirable women will be able to have sex on the appointed nights with their polygamous husbands. Porn will not be needed in heaven. Man will have all the sex he can handle.

    Keep hoping Todd. Virgins await you.


  21. azteclady says:

    On the topic of addictions–and addictive behaviour–isn’t that exactly what cults take advantage of? Addictive personalities?

    As for saint Todd, his nickname for me is as sincere and flattering as mine for him, I’m sure.


  22. Kirk says:

    Test post. Hey Nat – seems like your SPAM filter is acting up. But, maybe it’s just me that it’s catching.



  23. David says:

    Kirk, I’m a journalist researching the subject of suicides in Utah. Can you please contact me by email? Thanks!


  24. Video conferencing and video email has been new revolution in internet.
    It is more robust, simplified communication


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