Shave too close for husky

Marisa Bewick, Parow

We took our Siberian husky to a dog parlour in Parow North. On the window of the shop it says, “The Groom Room”. The owner is Karen Balt.

We have taken our husky there a few times already, and we have been happy with the trim/cut they have given our dog.

On Friday October 14, we dropped our dog off there for her normal cut. You are never supposed to shave a husky as it removes their protective double layer; it never grows back the same. Any dog groomer should know this.

They turned our beautiful husky into a French poodle, which is an outrage.

The owner apologised for their negligence but said there’s nothing they can do about it: hair will grow back.

She first blamed us and said we agreed to a summer cut, which is a shave. I explained to her that her staff should check with the client if they understand what a summer cut means, as we have always brought our dog there for her cuts and never has she been shaved.

Needless to say, we were absolutely horrified when we collected our dog later that day. I have also attached a before picture so you can see how beautiful our dog used to be.

To dog lovers, and especially husky lovers, this is incredibly upsetting, and our dog is now very uncomfortable: her skin is red and itchy and at risk now to serious sunburn.

We are distraught, and would like to create awareness, so that this doesn’t happen to someone else’s pet.

Owner of Fresh Hair Pet Salon, formerly known as The Groom Room, Karen Balt responds: Firstly, let me say that we are not The Groom Room and that is not the name on the shop window.

I acknowledge Marisa and her family’s feeling of bitterness towards us. I also refunded them the grooming cost on Friday October 14, as a show of goodwill.

As stated, they have brought the husky to us a few times for a scissors trim. However, as I have explained to them, Mr Bewick (Marisa’s father-in-law) wrote his name and number on the day sheet and instructed the groomer for a summer cut. The instruction was written next to his name.

The groomer did not query his instruction, as she said the husky’s undercoat was very matted, and it is not unheard of for customers to request a shave for a husky if they have not been thoroughly groomed at a parlour on a monthly basis.

This husky had been groomed at our parlour 22 weeks ago. In fact, we had a new customer in three weeks ago who wanted his husky shaved, and when we said it wasn’t necessary as it had a very short coat and would be easy to groom, he left and said he would have it shaved elsewhere.

When Mr Bewick collected the husky he told us that it was not what he had asked for and that a summer cut is not a shave. He mentioned his son was going to be extremely angry. He argued with me about a summer cut, and I explained that a summer cut is a shave, and anyone who makes use of a dog parlour regularly will know that.

He also complained that we made his husky look like a French poodle. We couldn’t possibly turn a husky into a French poodle. That’s a whole different style.

In a subsequent email to Marisa, I did indeed apologise for her disappointment. I did not apologise for negligence, as there was no negligence involved as the dog was not hurt, nicked, or injured in any way. It was a haircut that they didn’t anticipate, which I apologised for.

My groomer also personally called Mr Bewick on Friday evening. The owners are dog lovers and are understandably upset as a shaved husky is not attractive. Being husky owners, they will know not to allow their husky to be out in the harsh sun, shaved or not shaved.

Marisa has made it clear in our communication that she will do her best to make sure our reputation is ruined. I am happy to read that she would now like to create awareness.

The Bewick’s were always happy with our grooming, and we are passionate about our work.

The matter is noted, acknowledged and absorbed. Let the awareness guide us all in our communication to one another.