Pooches are pretty in pink, blue, purple ...
The latest trend in the dog grooming world creative pet styling has made its way to Southwest Oklahoma. While the poodle-painting fashion fad grows in popularity, it also continues to spark controversy among animal lovers across the country. Seasoned pet groomers within the community, however, say the designing, dye and decorations are nothing more than a safe, pleasant sometimes overly complicated pampering for furry friends.
"I get people that say it's mean, cruel or abusive to the animal, but it truly isn't it's all in the way you do it," said Leslie Uhlenhake, owner of Bella Luna Pet Resort in Elgin. "We do it in a way that the pet enjoys it, and we are always gentle."
In addition to hair coloring services, Uhlenhake's spa offers massaging baths, blueberry facials and temporary pet tattoos. She began her business three years ago.
"We practice aroma therapy; we keep it relaxing for the dog," Uhlenhake said. "It's always done in a warm and safe environment. If the dog is stressed out we will either find another way to do it, or we won't do it at all."
Uhlenhake, like many other pet groomers, uses the same coloring technique that is used when humans receive color treatments at a salon: foiling. It is used to separate and target certain strands of hair on animals when dyeing different parts of their bodies. Lawton groomer Carmen Murriel, owner and operator of Fresh Pet Grooming, says that while she enjoys the end result, the foiling process is a tricky procedure. Management and upkeep of a pet's new 'do can also be tiresome.
"Coloring it's a long task, and it's semi-permanent, which means every time it gets wet, it fades a little more," Murriel said. "That means it may get on your carpet or furniture. You also have make sure while the dog's hair is being colored that it doesn't get in their eyes or nose or ears. We have to take care of the dogs just as we take care of ourselves. They have the tendency to want to move around, of course, because they're dogs so you just have to be really careful. If they start shaking, the foil comes off and that color will get everywhere."