BY SKYLER, DEB & TIM SMITH
THE VISIT ~ “My goal in life is to be the person my dog thinks I am.” That is one of several decorative plaques adorning the walls of the Hair and the Hound pet grooming salon on Mill Road just off of Pittsford Mendon Road. Owner Dianne Dooley makes sure my visit will be a memorable one. She gets our interview started with a complete tour of her facility and she has waited till one of her favorite dogs is on site before calling us over for the interview and photo op.
There are two other ladies helping Dianne on the morning that we visit and these gals have their system down to a “T”. The multiple rooms have multiple functions. Off the reception room, which is the room everyone would walk into when you first enter the building, there is a photography room which is stocked with props to facilitate cute and clever pet photo ops.
BEHIND THE SCENES ~ As she has promised us as her special press pass reporters, Dianne next takes Deb, Dad and I behind the scenes to witness firsthand the inner workings of the Hair and the Hound salon. In the back, where most people would not go, basically there is a washing room, a drying room and a grooming room. In the washing room on this particular Saturday morning, we are introduced to two pooches in the tub. It is explained to us that usually the animals are bathed individually but this is an exception because the dogs are siblings. There is also another dog kneeling in what would be the pet parlor equivalent of the on-deck circle.
The next step in the process, the drying room, is inactive as we enter, but we will soon see it kick into high gear. The sibling pooches which we had just seen in the bathtub next door are both brought in to the drying room and within minutes that skinny, drenched-to-the-bone look we had seen in the washing room had been totally replaced. These canines are now fluffed up to the point that they now look like they could star in a “My Pillow” commercial. During this tour we next move on to the grooming area for the interview segment of the visit.
THE LOVE TRIANGLE ~ Getting to the meat of the bone, the most important phase in the pet salon process is obviously the grooming. That room is equipped with two grooming tables both of which are in action during our visit. When I first explained this Sentinel article process to Dianne she told me she wanted the picture to be of Olaf, a dog she thought would be special to me.
This leads into the story of me bonding with Olaf, the poodle mix pooch who actually jeopardized my relationship with my own dog, Sophie. So in addition to the soap opera storyline of the love triangle between Olaf, Sophie and me, believe it or not, I’m even going to work Mendon town clerk, Jim Merzke into next week’s article.