I love taking Ruby out in public. It's fun and challenging, we both learn something new each time, and I get to meet and speak with a lot of people. But as I mentally plan our outings, a few fill me with utter dread. Right smack up there at the top of the Terrifying List – the trip to the salon.
What? Getting a haircut, you say? Seems easy enough, no? Think about it for a minute. Imagine the potential horror show of a puppy in a beauty salon. I don't mean those dainty little furballs tucked in the armpits of starlets and socialites. I'm talking about handling forty pounds of adolescent Lab while I'm wrapped in that plastic poncho which might as well be a straitjacket, inches away from people who really REALLY care about INDIVIDUAL STRANDS when they get their hair cut. Look, if you had Edward's scissorhands flying around your head, would you want Tigger at the next chair?
I enjoy avoiding disaster when I can. And I've mentioned before, the best advice for raising service puppies is, "Set them up for success." This goes for raisers, too. I don't want my nerves bouncing down the leash. Ruby has been a handful lately, so I knew that we were not quite ready for the overwhelming atmosphere of one of those large and busy chain salons. Luckily, my stylist, Selma, recently took space at a new salon with individual rooms. When I made my appointment, Selma very kindly asked if I would like to bring Ruby before I could even suggest it. Selma is an animal lover and a saint.
When we entered the salon, Ruby tried to pull me down the hallway. We're working on this, so each time she'd pull, I'd stop. But as soon as I'd stop, she'd poke her snoot into a room. She startled a woman getting highlights; we quickly moved on.
We were a little early, so as we waited, Nosy caught the show in the room across the way.
When Selma was ready for us, Ruby got overly excited and started jumping around as I expected. Selma knew not to pet Ruby and she gave her a chance to investigate the room. Even though it was private and we closed the door, Ruby found everything inside fascinating.
As I sat down and Selma and I chatted about my cut, my chair slowly started to spin on its own and made a full circle; Ruby, of course, had crawled underneath to explore and taken me for a ride.
(I'm not sure what she's looking at here, but it might be a poor, defenseless lock of hair.)
Yep, she scarfed down some hair. As soon as we caught her doing that, Selma swept the hair aside. Ruby chased the broom. That's when Ruby was relegated to the other half of the room. At first she was indignant at being out of reach of the excitement, but eventually she calmed. Very, very proud of her for being able to settle herself at a distance from me.
(Not thrilled with the magazine selection, guess she's an Angelina fan.)
With Ruby finally chilled out, we got in the swing of things...then the UPS guy knocked at the door. I silently (mostly) swore at his timing, then hopped out of the chair and prepared for the worst. But when Selma opened the door, neither Ruby nor the UPS guy paid the other much attention. After he left and I sat back down, I glanced over and noticed Ruby nibbling at the package. I told her to leave it; she did.
Ruby's at my feet while I blow dry my hair every morning, so I think she found the sound familiar and comforting. When we got to that part, she just sat there eyeballing me. Maybe she was just enjoying how ridiculous I looked.
Thanks to Selma's infinite patience and good humor, the outing was a success. And I got a fantastic haircut! At the end, I tried to get Ruby to stay still for a second so I could get a shot of the two of them. Ruby cooperated...
for a second.