How to show-groom a corgi

Originally posted in June, migrated 8/15

Bronte got a full “dress rehearsal” show groom today before obedience class, because she needs to get used to the high-velocity (HV) dryer and the smells and sounds of the sprays and so on.

My kids were making fun of me as I was doing it, because I told them that I was going to show them how to show-groom a Cardigan. So here it is.


1. Lift 25-lb dog into much-too-small sink. Curse once again that you do not have a big dog wash station. Use sink sprayer to thoroughly wet dog.

2. Apply Plush Puppy Ginseng Whitening Shampoo ($10 for 6 oz) carefully to front legs and white ruff. Apply more to back feet and then obsess about white tip of tail. Whiten? Will it look purple? Is it big enough? Should I strip some hair away from around it so it will show up more?

3. Dilute Plush Puppy Wheat Germ Shampoo ($20 for 12 oz) in warm water, using best coffee mug because it’s the one that pours nicest. Pour over dog by tablespoons, working into coat. Sing to dog to keep her quiet.

3. Steal baby’s Mustela shampoo ($9 for 4 oz) and work into face and ears. Continue singing.

4. Realize that purple whitening shampoo has been on too long. Screech. Grab spray wand and freak out when purple color does not immediately leave paws. Have visions of bringing lavender-legged dog in ring. Rinse more. Purple leaves. Huge sigh of relief.

5. Rinse entire dog for 20 minutes or so. Sing “Raindrops keep falling on my head.” Rinse, rinse, rinse. Worry that I am not rinsing enough. Rinse, rinse, rinse.

6. Realize that there is no towel. Tell dog in commanding voice “STAY!” Bolt for bathroom. Grab husband’s new terry spa bathrobe off hook, sprint back. Find dog seriously considering kamikaze jump to floor. Wrap dog in $75 bathrobe. Sing “I wanna be loved by you.” Realize that you are swaying like you do when holding babies.

7. Hold wet squirming dog in bathrobe under one arm, get HV dryer ($210) out of closet. Take both out to deck. Spread bathrobe on grooming table ($140). Place dog on bathrobe.

8. Stand dog up.

9. Stand dog up.

10. Stand front of dog up while back remains collapsed.

11. Stand back of dog up while dog tries another suicide leap to the floor.

12. Give up and begin HVing the side of the dog that is exposed. Dog immediately tries to shrink self to size of tiny bug.

13. HV tiny bug.

14. When hair reaches the just-damp stage, begin adding product. Plush Puppy Puffy Dog mousse ($12 for 4 oz) for the six-square-inch section of chest hair that needs to stand out more. John Frieda creme pomade ($8) for section of back hair that needs to flatten down more. Plush Puppy Quick Fix Conditioner ($12 for 4 oz) for “pants.” BioGroom mink oil ($7) for coat on topline.

15. HV dog with product, brushing with Chris Christensen slicker brush ($28). Quickly realize that when air is applied, there is exactly no difference between mousse, pomade, conditioner, and mink oil. All make hair stand off dog as though dog has been electrocuted.

16. Stand back and look at shapeless mass of hair that used to be a corgi. Step forward and experimentally press hair against body. Fail to turn shapeless mass back into corgi.

17. Get bright idea and begin HVing dog from the front only, on the theory that wind makes Ferraris sleek, so why not dogs. Dog looks like reporter in hurricane.

18. Wrestle hair into shape somewhat resembling a very startled corgi; turn off HV. Begin singing again.

19. Get tub of Kolesterol ($13). Rub in hands and apply sparingly to front legs and back feet. Sing theme from “Grease.”

20. Apply scientific mix of cornstarch and Plush Puppy Pixie Dust ($10) to “chalk” front legs and back feet.

21. Turn dryer on and HV away all excess cornstarch and Pixie Dust, leaving approximately 3 grains of product actually on hair. Worry that there’s too much left. HV again. All cornstarch and Pixie Dust now in grooming table grooves.

22. Go over entire dog again with slicker brush. Sing “These boots were made for walking” as you pick up dog’s feet to carefully comb, trim, and arrange every hair between every toe.

23. Apply organic food-grade coconut oil ($9) to pads of each foot; give dog massage.

24. Practice stacking her on the grooming table. Tell four-year-old to take her picture on the digital camera so you can see if you’ve done it right. As 4-year-old focuses, move back feet forward 1.5 micrometers, then worry that they’re too far forward. Move feet back a distance approximately the width of a bee’s tongue.

25. Four-year-old takes picture of grill.

26. Realize that you are late to leave for obedience class. Yell at older kids to come in from yard. They come in, filthy and wet from wading pool (which you set up for the dogs, $25). Urge them and green-popsicle-covered four-year-old to car. Nurse baby, who you realize may be wearing yesterday’s onesie, while trying to find shoes for older kids.

26. Remember that you haven’t showered today. Latch off baby. Turn on dryer and HV own armpits and face. Strip on deck and throw on husband’s polo shirt (free) that advertises obscure operating system. VMS–RULER OF THE VAXIVERSE.

And go to class.


3 thoughts on “How to show-groom a corgi

  1. Pingback: Countdown « Ruffly Speaking: Railing against idiocy since 2004

  2. Pingback: Ruffly Speaking = Blacksheep Cardigans » Countdown

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