Pet Makeover - May 2015

From Shady "Sadie" to a Beautiful Lady

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by Diane McMahon
Photography by Lindsay Gifford

Is there a female anywhere who doesn’t love being pampered? Who wouldn’t welcome a professional makeover? This month our lucky lady is gorgeous, petite and blonde. She is also a one-year-old, five pound, Maltese mix named Sadie.

In appreciation for the huge joy our four-footed friends provide us, once a year we select a rescue animal to be transformed into a sparkling clean and groomed pet someone just has to have. In the past we have revealed the “pet within” for both dogs and cats, male and female. Sadie was released to the Hilton Head Humane Society by Beaufort County Animal Shelter and I picked her up early on a Thursday morning for her 9:30 appointment at Red Rover—Dog Wash, Grooming and Cool Stuff.

From the second little Sadie wriggled onto my shoulder, I didn’t know how I was going to give her up at the end of the day.  I stopped by the Pink office to show her off.  Exuberant and excited, she bounded through the office—her body wagging has much as her tail—and dispensed her affections to each person she met.  After introductions and kisses, she hopped into one of the graphic designer’s lap and settled in as if she was meant to be there. Now we all wondered how we’d give her back.  

At Red Rover, we were met by Michelle, the groomer who performed the metamorphosis. An obvious animal lover, Michelle calmed and soothed Sadie so we could get a "before" picture. Sadie posed and then joyfully leaped off the table, curious and eager to meet the other people at the salon.  

Michelle retrieved her and gently harnessed her into her work station.  She surveyed the severe matting on Sadie’s legs, tail and head and said, “She’s in good shape. She has good muscle tone and she’s not underweight, but with matting this bad, I think she must have spent some time on the streets.”  She started the initial rough cut, hoping to de-matt her and still leave about 1/8” of hair.  “Matting like this pinches the skin and it’s really uncomfortable for dogs.”

After initially shaking, Sadie calmed down within minutes. No whimpering, no yapping, no resisting. Michelle said removing the matting around her legs was like “taking off socks.” She worked on her paw pads, shaving in between her toes and then Sadie was ready for her bath.

Michelle selected a shampoo labeled So Gentle. “After all the pulling I’ve done on her skin, it’s irritated, so I’m going to use this shampoo and cool water to calm her skin.” Little Sadie submitted to the bath without a whimper, but she shivered so hard we all wanted to rescue her. After the bath came the blow-drier. Not Sadie’s favorite, but Michelle kept her soothed. Finally, the final trim and styling.  For the entire hour and a half, Sadie was well-behaved, sweet and THRILLED with herself when Michelle was finished.  Michelle said, “Her hair will grow in soft and straight, but it will be important to groom her every six to eight weeks so she doesn’t get matted again; it’s also important to keep her coat combed between groomings. Because of her pinkish skin, Sadie is also susceptible to sunburn. Caution required!"

Sadie licked Michelle to tell her thank you and good bye.  She came back to the Pink office.  We each took our turn cuddling our soft and shiny new friend. “Beautiful, sweet, loving, amazing Sadie,” we  whispered into her silky ear.  “Whoever gets you is very, very lucky.”  And then we all texted her picture to all the dog lovers we know.

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RED ROVER is a full-service pet store and grooming facility. They are unique in offering “self-serve” dog washing, too.  You can bathe your pet without an appointment, as long as a tub station is available. They are currently located at Shipyard Galleria, One New Orleans Road on Hilton Head Island.  For more information or to make an appointment, call 843-671-WASH (9274) or log on to   Later this summer, Red Rover will be relocating to 25 Bow Circle on Hilton Head, where they will also offer boarding facilities. Our sincere thanks to Paige Grisette, Owner and Michelle for your generosity and care. And, most importantly, for changing Sadie’s life!

Also, a heartfelt thanks to Beaufort County Animal Shelter located at 23 Church Rd. in Beaufort (between the Marine Corps Air Station and Drive-In Movie Theater) 843-255-5010 and the Hilton Head Humane Society, located at 10 Humane Way (off Spanish Wells, near 278) 843-681-8686 for providing the dog that stole all our hearts!

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