Personal Note: The post below is from early summer, 2009. The new Grand Hotel and Carriage Tour Stable and Carriage Museum wasn’t even on the drawing board, and the Grand horses were housed in an incredibly old barn behind the hotel. What it lacked in beauty though, it made up for in character and history!
FIRST PUBLISHED 6/11/09
Hi! It’s me – Bear. I just HAD to tell you what happened to me today. The embarrassment, the humiliation, the degradation is almost more than I can talk about – but maybe it will help me heal to get it all out there and off my chest.
LOOK AT ME! Am I not the most handsome, bodacious, championship-blooded golden retriever you have ever seen? You think it’s easy to be this good-looking? My mom makes me appointments once a month when we are in Georgia with Miss Kathy, who understands what it takes to keep me looking like this. She has a very nice salon with a big porcelain bathtub that two people very gently lift me into. Then they bathe me with this great smelling kiwi shampoo, followed by a berry conditioner. I am then carefully “blown out” and groomed with scissors. I have a pedicure on all four feet. It is delightful in the extreme!
When we came to Mackinac Island last summer, mom got on the phone trying to find a groomer on the island. There wasn’t one, which is really a shame because there sure are a lot of man’s best friends here. She finally found a groomer all the way over in Cheboygan. It’s called Bark, Bath and Beyond (cute, huh?). The lady there did a really nice job with me last summer, but because it takes 30 minutes to drive there (that’s after the ferry ride), and mom has to wait around for 3 or 4 hours while I get pampered, she only takes me every six weeks. Well, let me tell you – a dog like me can get seriously dirty here on this island in six weeks.
Which brings me to the point of this story. We have company coming this weekend. It’s two more weeks before I’m supposed to get groomed, and mom has been fussing for days about how dirty and smelly I am (I personally have smelled myself, and I don’t get the problem). Unfortunately, on things like hygiene, mom has her own ideas.
So all of a sudden mom is gathering up the shampoo and conditioner she has brought with her, and dad is getting some towels, and they put the leashes on Maddie and I, and we start down the hill. Now I am a smart dog, and I know if I was going to the groomer, we would have left really early this morning. So I am a little confused and a little concerned, because it is now 3:30 in the afternoon.
We come to The Grand Hotel stable and GO INSIDE! There are these huge, great looking horses in really big kennels and all these fancy carriage thingys. There are some really neat displays of some strange looking collars and a suit inside a glass cage.
This man who mom and dad call Ben comes out and tells my mom she can bring me on over. Over where, dude? I don’t do carriages.
Oh my GOSH!!! Mom is going to wash me in a HORSE SHOWER!! Talk about mortified! She hooks me up to this really long leash thing and starts wetting me down. Now the only good thing about this so far is that the water is WARM. Nothing is too good for those fancy Grand horses! But where’s the tub? At this point, I would have even settled for a plastic bucket!
So there I stood, soaking wet, getting lathered up with my kiwi shampoo and what happens? A CROWD gathers! There are tourists going through the stables looking at the horses and the carriages and stuff, and then they see me getting a bath. Guess who becomes the star attraction. They took pictures and everything! It was horrible. What made it even worse was that MADDIE was there watching too – and I could see that sly little grin on her face even though mom was running water all in my eyes (something Miss Kathy NEVER does). I wasn’t even sorry to see that mom was getting almost as wet as me.
Well, it was finally over. I had a good shake and mom led me over in a corner to dry me off with those towels dad had brought. The crowd went back to looking at the horses like they were supposed to be doing (if I had known I was going to serve as entertainment, I would have insisted on a cover charge).
We got home and mom took me to the third floor to use the blow dryer on me. She brought along a real dog hair dryer from home because a people hair dryer is much too hot for my delicate skin. It sounds like a jet engine when it’s running, so she wanted to get as far away from the neighbors as she could.
When it was all over, I have to admit I looked pretty good – not as good as when Miss Kathy works on me – but ok. Mom said I certainly smelled a lot better – well, yeah if you like kiwi perfume over dirty dog smell. You know which one I prefer! I decided I would sulk for a while. I figured if I did it long enough, I might get something to cheer me up.
Do I know my mom or what?