Jun 082013

Phoenix Header

Nine years ago I made the decision to have my Golden Retriever, Phoenix, shaved for the summer. He looked miserably hot and sure enough after I shaved him his energy level went right back up like it was during the winter months. It has become a rite of passage each year. That doesn’t mean going to the groomer has been pleasant.

I’m a complete head over heels dog lover and I did a lot of research on this back then prior to doing it the first time. I only wanted the best for him and would, have, and will always do what is ever in his best interest and health. Am I promoting and suggesting that you get your dog shaved for the summer? Not even remotely. Every dog is special and unique and so is their body’s reaction to being shaved. Our experience has worked out wonderfully yet is not for every dog.

I do ask that if your dog has developed an undercoat (that is often matted) to have a professional dog groomer bathe him/her and get all of that out. Your dog will thank you afterwards.

Dogs and wolves in the wild lived for thousands upon thousands of years just fine without being shaved. Oh gosh, let’s go shave all the wolves. I am kidding! Lifetime wolf advocate and lover here. My house has been decorated in a wolf motif for over 20 years. But, then man came along and put a domesticated animal in an air-conditioned home. Ok, this man did. Anyhoo, it all worked out for Phoenix and my two little dogs before him. I’ve been doing this some 25 years. Once again, I am not promoting this for your dog. I’m just sharing our story.

I have taken my dogs to Jason who has been working for Kristi’s Dog Grooming and his uncle before him for all of these years. Our vet, King’s Row Animal Hospital, has always been next door with Dr Ditsworth. Best. Vet. Ever.

Phoenix is like Radar from the hit tv show M.A.S.H. He can often feel, know things and events before they happen. Or just that he’s far smarter than his dumb ass daddy. He loves planes and especially helicopters. The path of our local Care Flight comes right over our house. He will go bolting outside to wait for it long before I even hear it. Side note, many years ago, Phoenix and I got to meet a Care Flight pilot at the park and play with his….wait for it. Yep. His Golden Retriever. Btw, I love helicopters too. During the daylight hours he would give us a swagger with his ride above to say hi as he zoomed overhead. We always waved. True story.

Anyhoo, Phoenix is the kindest, softest soul I’ve ever met. Oh, he’s got plenty of mischief in him even now at 10 years old. But, being a smart Golden Retriever he knows when something is up. I can put on my best game face. I never tell Phoenix a fib. Except for grooming day. Ironically, he just stands there for Jason patiently. Amazing. Yes, I’ve watched from afar previously.

We headed out for that drive to that place and I told him we were going for a drive for an appointment for him. I did not tell him we were going to play just so you know. I swear. He hates the groomer. Sorry, he doesn’t hate Jason. He hates the experience.  He loves going to the vet most likely because the cute, nice girls let him roam around the back with them. But for our drive, he was immediately suspect regardless.

Side note, for anyone new to my blog. Using the word “hate” with Phoenix is a comical term only. Because those that have been around us for all these years know that I absolutely treasure him and he’s the light of my life. He’s all I have.

My note: I finally learned how to do an awesome post like this famous blogger out of Seattle who I follow every day. She and her husband are the best ever and they set the bar. Please read their stuff as it will take you to a place of no worry. We all need an escape.

Ok, awesome is in the eye of the beholder.

I’ll let my Golden Retriever, Phoenix, take it from here (with a few verbal assists from me) as we were going to the groomer and the rest of the story of the day…

Phoenix In Driveway

“What appointment? I’m not showing anything on my calendar. You’ve got that look in your eyes, Daddy.”

Out Of Control And Blind As A Bat

“Out of control and blind as bat!” Movie trivia quote there.

Next Turn Is The Park

“Ok, the next turn is the park, Daddy.”

Missed Turn Off

“You missed the turn off, dumb ass. Care to share a little more intel with me about this appointment?”

Not Good

“This is not good.”

Car At Light

“Mister! Roll your window down! I’ve been dog-napped! I don’t know this man! Call for help!” Embarrassing.

Give Me That Camera

“Give me your eff’ing cell phone, I need to make a call.”

Highway To Hell

The Highway To Hell. There are only two things at the end of this driveway in his life that matter. The vet and the groomer.

Kristi's Dog Grooming

Moment of truth.



Let's Go To The Vet

“They are closed. Let’s go say hi to the girls at the vet.”

And we pause for intermission. Please run to the restroom. Grab another cup of coffee or more popcorn. To be continued shortly…

I’m back. You still there? So, I dropped him off. Gawd, I hate it. I went home and waited for the phone to ring from Jason saying he was ready to be picked up. Which was before he went in the door. But, I mean, after he was washed and shaved. I waited at the house, had a visitor in the backyard, and then picked him up. Ok, back to the story…


I was passing by the window and caught this by total chance. One of Phoenix’s friends. Oh, we don’t own a kitty but apparently he knew that my kid was not home.

Oh You're Home

“Hey, dumb ass! So, you’re home.” I swear I live in Eddie Murphy’s foul mouthed Dr Doolittle world sometimes.

Kitty Where's Phoenix

“Where’s Phoenix?! I was resting up for a good game of chase.” Never mind you kitty.

And then it was pick-up time. Sorry, I couldn’t get a pic of it. But, he sits there quietly until I walk in and then he goes absolutely ape-shit to get him out of there.

Cute Lab

“OMG. A cute Lab coming out of that purgatory too. Wow, she’s got the walk. Hips like no tomorrow. Eyes that will melt ya. Legs that will…ahem…keep your trap shut, Daddy. I got this.”

Lab Phone Number

“Hey! I’m Phoenix! We can go for walks at the park! Tennis balls! Rolling in the grass! Oh this guy? He’s just my dog sitter.” I hate him.


Nine years. Same routine each year after the shave. He will have nothing to do with me. Silence. It’s not the shave itself. It’s that I left him at the groomer.

Please Talk To Me

I literally had a treat in my hand. Yes, with the camera in the same hand for those of you Pay Attention Post Police.


One of my best buddies, Mike S, always gives me crap that my dog looks overweight in pics. It’s his reverse psych way of reminding me to always keep Phoenix’s weight down. 72 pounds. I rock!

Make My Butt Look Big

“Does this haircut make my butt look big?” Oh, now he’s talking to me.

Bite My Ass

I told him how cute he was and got back, “Kiss my ass…”


“Here, cutest shaved Golden Retriever pic, Daddy. Post it. Now, gimme a treat.” Attitude all day long *sigh*

We would love to hear your dog grooming experiences. Well, I know Phoenix would for sure….

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 50+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories and commentary.

  32 Responses to “My Golden Retriever, Phoenix, Going To The Dog Groomer”

  1. Love the Phoenix attitude . . .

  2. You should stay and get your hair shaved as well. Little show of support.

    • I’m sure he would love that. I got a hair cut too. Hang on…what are you saying?

  3. Funny stuff all through out here!
    Love all the captions on the way to the groomer!
    Phoenix is definately a handsome fella! Looks like a pup again!

  4. cute

  5. Haha!!!! Phoenix is sooo funny when he is mad at you. Couldn’t stop laughing

  6. Aw, poor Phoenix! My Roxie, gets The Shave too. After we get home from the groomers, I get a full episode of Springer Spaniel Cold Butt. She keeps her back to me, huffs a lot, exhales repeatedly, sneezes if I have the nerve to offer a treat, and would flip me off if she had fingers, I’m sure! lol

    • I’m sorry for Roxie, Nikki! But, the flipping the finger was very funny! 🙂

  7. Wow, sorry Pheonix does not like haircuts! I love them and lay real still on the counter while my Mom cuts me with a buzzer and gives me a bath! In Florida I get a lot of haircuts, as I am shaved like a snouzer and I look like a snouzer too, only my hair is silkie, not course! I do not shed ever as I have hair, not fur! The only time I have an attitude is when my parents leave me someplace and don’t come right back!!!Hang in there

    • Hi Benji, Phoenix doesn’t mind the haircut. He minds the being left at the groomer just you mentioned about yourself! 🙂

  8. Too funny. Milo is small enough to bathe in the sink and stands perfectly still through the process. After its over I have to dry him as much as possible before I let go of him because once he gets away all I get is huffing, puffing, sneezing and the tell it to my ass treatment Hahahaha

    • LOL that is funny, Debbie! And I bet the dreaded shaking off the water somwhere in there too 🙂

  9. He looks so nice and cool laying in that grass!

  10. Awesome story and pictures. Phoenix, you look like a young pup and no, you are not fat!

    I have had short-hair dachshunds for years. No real grooming required. A toe nail trim once in a while, a teeth cleaning here and there (when I don’t keep up with the brushing!) (we choose the non-anesthesia version–works great), and of course the back surgeries when there are back problems. Misty Blue sees the doggie acupuncture and chiropractic vet regularly, so I guess that is her grooming.

  11. I keep trying to get Amber to take Koda down to get shaved like we have the last few summers, but she keeps fighting me….

    Tell her she’s wrong, Mike!!

    • I won’t tell her she’s wrong. But, I sure would encourage her to give it a try just once 🙂

  12. Phoenix you look so handsome! I know it sucks buddy. Just asked my Golden, Brandy.

    She and my Springer, Duke got the same treatment last week. From me. Imagine your Dad doing that to you. Yeah, I got the silent treatment too.

    Just remember how you feel afterwards buddy! Don’t be too hard on your Dad…..

    • He does feel so good afterwards. And again it’s being left there not the actual event that he detests 🙂 Thank you, Anne. And that is awesome on Brandy and Duke 🙂

  13. I just read the article a second time. Those are great pics… Phoenix looks so happy and content!

  14. Phoenix, you look so much younger!! Handsome boy! He has Kiara drooling on my computer screen!

  15. I just got chastised for shaving my golden… hacks me off!!!

  16. We too have a golden almost 6 years of age. He has a beautiful main and bell bottom legs. I made the choice to shave only his body and posted it on FB. Man did I ever get some negative remarks. It made me feel as though I did something terrible to him and saddened me. After reading your wonderful post on Pheonix, it made me feel better. Did you Golden grow all his hair back?

    • Hi Kimberly, oh yes his hair all grew back by the end of each summer no problem!! It goes without saying to never pay attention to social media remarks regarding your personal life, family and Golden Retriever! Have a great weekend! 🙂

  17. I think that’s a smart idea to shave dogs during the hot summer months, especially long haired dogs (depending on the breed). Hair grows back. Even though we had a dog with short hair, we still cut her short for the summer.

    • It worked wonders for him Sara! Though there are some breeds of dogs that have a skin pigment that is highly sensitive to the sun. So some cautious research into each specific breed should be done prior. Thank you for your comment and have a great day! 🙂

  18. Wow !! Love to see this post. It’s great 🙂

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