Dylan might be a girl, but let’s face it she’s not a girlie girl. I realised this moment I met her and saw with her brothers. Yes Dyls was the biggest – in fact I called her Chubster – and was jumping over her brothers, pushing them out of the way to get fed first, getting dragged along the floor – and out of trouble by her lovely mum Miley. Her breeder, Jo sent me a brilliant video of the puppies and, of course, it was Dyls who was the naughtiest. As a friend said at the time – you will have your hands full with that one! And wow has that turned out to be the understatement of the year!
But it was love at first sight so what can you do?
However, for all Dylan’s stubbornness, the mischief and the mayhem she gets into every single day, she is a happy, affectionate, intelligent, bouncy little puppy who just wants to love and lick everyone she meets. In fact, I’m sure she would be voted Miss Congeniality at puppy class.
When we walk up our little high street the shop keepers always say ‘oh it’s Dylan’ and give her treats and make a fuss of her. Which is why a 5 minute nip in and out of the shops is now a thing of the past!
So what happened at the groomers left me speechless!
Right let’s get back to the start – as I said Dyls is not a girlie girl, but even tomboys need a wash, cut and blow dry. When she was 14 weeks I booked her in for a light touch puppy groom. She came out all fluffy and soft, the groomer was happy, Dylan was happy – so happy days all round.
Moving swiftly onto Christmas and I decided that as Dyls was taking her first trip to meet her chic French ‘cousins’, Princess Wiglet, and Handsome Harley (see below) another quick groom was a good idea. She was still only 5 months old, so just a little freshen up.
We went back to the same grooming parlour, it was a different groomer but Dyls seemed happy, so I left and went to pick up some things to take to France. Actually, it was Sainsbury’s strong tea bags as my friends Mois and Rich do like a cuppa or four in the morning and weak French tea just does not cut it for them!
I had just got the box of Red Label in my hand when my phone rang. It was the groomer. “Can you come and pick your dog up please”. My brain went into overdrive. I was confused, I had only left Dylan ten minutes ago so she couldn’t be finished already. Then I went into panic mode was Dyls Ok? Had something happened to her?
The tea bags were slung back on the shelf, I flung myself down the high street back to the groomers.
I raced inside to be met by a sopping wet subdued little puppy with her head down, who ran to me wanting to be picked up, cuddled and bury her head in my chest.
“We can’t groom her – she’s an aggressive dog and we don’t do aggressive dogs”
There is no way Dyls is aggressive so what had happened?
The groomer told me that Dylan had been biting the brushes – yep think puppies like to chew and bite- so she’d tied Dylan to the table which stressed Dyls out. She then got the brush out again and Dyls had tried to bite it, but also caught the groomers hand. In her words, she had no option but to muzzle Dylan, which completely freaked Dyls out, and so the groomer called me.
“Has she hurt you?”I asked the groomer. “Can I see your hand please.” Obviously I needed to know what damage Dylan might have done. There wasn’t a mark on her hand. So whilst I don’t dispute Dyls caught her, it was probably a puppy mouthy bite, not a full one and certainly not an aggressive dog bite.
“She didn’t take to the environment and it’s probably better you go elsewhere with her.” She’s a terrier, they are difficult”.
But hang on a sec, Dyls came here a while back with no problems at all. Is it common practice to muzzle a five month old puppy? And are all terriers ostracised?
But you know what I was holding my soaking, shivering little girl in my arms and all I wanted to do was get her out of there and back home. Dyls was upset, I was upset.
It took a few hours before Dylan was back to her usual self. The cats, who usually see Dyls as an abomination, knew something was up and Harry even came up and licked Dylan’s nose.
Fast forward and having had weeks of lovely long, but muddy walks it was necessary for us to face a trip to another groomer. Plus Dylan’s mono brow (never a good look on a girl!) had gone into overdrive – Liam Gallagher eat your heart out – and you could hardly see her eyes.
I found a different groomer, who works from home called, explained what had happened before and that Dylan was a Welsh terrier. “Oh I love Welshies and we have an Airedale”. I made the appointment for Dylan.
We arrived and the groomer came out. Dyls did her usual ‘I am so pleased to meet you’ routine of bounce, jump and lick and merrily waddled off with the groomer. I sat outside in the car a bundle of nerves like a mum who has just sent their baby off to a school that they might not like.
Five minutes went past, then ten, then twenty and no phone call. I started to breathe slightly easier. After an hour I rang the bell. Dylan came scampering down the path all fluffy and full of beans. The groomer was smiling.
“How was she?” I nervously asked. “She was great, yes she likes to play and bite the brushes, but we turned it into a game. She wanted to have a little wander round, so we did, she had a little play with my dog, then we got back to work and she was as good as gold.”
“She’s not an aggressive dog then?” “Not at all, she’s a puppy, she wants to play. ”
I paid the groomer, Dylan, tail wagging, wanted to follow her back up the path as she got my change, which I took as a good sign.
So it’s been a lesson and it’s shown me that I need to do better checks and get recommendations on whoever comes into Dylan’s life – whether it’s a groomer, sitter, or walker.
Because Dylan does her job and makes me laugh every day, so I need to do mine and make sure her smile never fades.