The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

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hlf2888
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The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by hlf2888 » Sun May 29, 2016 4:06 pm

14.04 Casper's haircut.jpg.jpg
14.04 Casper's haircut.jpg.jpg (76.31 KiB) Viewed 2168 times

another degree on the Chilean Learning Curve


The 'real' learning curve begins once you start living here. Then the lessons begin. And continue 24/7 until you learn them all. The only redeeming factor to this very frustrating learning curve is the kindness of the people.

Casper, a large Pyrenees Mountain dog who I adopted years ago when I found him on a highway hitchhiking, had a miserable summer last year. His coat is so dense that no breezes could get in and he desperately needed his coat clipped. I tried the two vets in town ( yes, I am way out in the sticks) and neither could offer the name of a dog groomer. Finally I came across a small white piece of paper, taped whimsically to the window of the pet supply store offering the services of a groomer. Very much a believer in serendipity, I called the number immediately. She arrived at the rental house I was staying in (awful experience, another story) around 2 pm on a summer afternoon. She was dressed in skin tight jeans and stiletto heels. All three of us went outside to the 2 meter by 4 meter fenced yard with cement floor ( there was no tree, just a cement floor and bars around the enclosure, kind of like a prison yard) and she pulled out a set of clippers from her purse. Casper looked at her, and looked at me and laughed. Yes, dogs laugh... if you are paying attention you will see them laugh. When I assured her that Casper would not bite her, he was only laughing, she started to shave him.

The clippers she was using were probably made for Chihuahuas in China, not for 100 pound hairy Pyrenees Mountain dogs. We sat there in the hot sun for 3 hours as she tried to clip his coat with that ridiculous set of clippers. It would have been faster with nail clippers. It was torture for all of us. We took periodic breaks in the house shade but it was still torture. Finally after 3 hours and nowhere near completion, I asked if she would stop. She stopped, gratefully and said over and over again she never expected a dog as large as Casper. I had given her the race and weight over the phone but she probably didn't believe me. So, 3 hours later, Casper looked kind of like a disheveled Albino punk rock dog with patches of short hair, and patches of long hair and patches of exposed skin. Actually he looked as if he had escaped Chernobyl.

I paid her for the three hours and she left with a smile. Casper smiled also, the ordeal was over. I have the strangest feeling that she took an online course and Casper was her first customer. Or perhaps someone told her there was a gringa in town who wanted a haircut for her dog and she should stick a white paper in the pet supply store window and I would call her.

One year wiser, one summer later, I thought rather smugly "Now that I learned there are no competent groomers in the nearby town, I can escape that learning curve and just order some clippers online”.

Long story long. I ordered the clippers, Andis AGC Super 2 speed clippers, from the Show Dog Store. I ordered them in early November, 2013 to be well prepared for the Chilean summer which begins in December. When they had not arrived by Christmas I figured… it’s Chile, things take longer. By mid-summer I was getting pissed off.

I contacted the company and apparently they had been sending me emails to my other email address; the one I use when ordering for the first time from a company. I use this address in case they are secret spammers. I rarely check this email because it is full of spam. They had contacted me because they needed a tax ID number. I gave them my RUT (Chilean tax ID number). Then they contacted me to say the clippers were in the hands of the Chile UPS and Chile UPS were going to throw the package out if I didn’t contact them. Of course, they did not have a contact number for Chile UPS, only a tracking number and the tracking number would not recognize input from the recipient, only the sender. I had paid 100$US for shipping the clippers to Chile and the clippers were 220$US. Summer was half over, Casper was suffering from the heat and the clippers were in a bureaucratic labyrinth of Chilean red tape.

A week later, I got a very nice email in English from a person who worked at Chile UPS. She said my parcel was in a warehouse and could not be released unless I traveled to Santiago in person with identification and visited the warehouse. I wept and pleaded and said the trip to Santiago was at least 6 hours, 5 on the bus, 1 hour for bureaucratic red tape. She said there was a second option. If I signed a legal document before a notary, attesting that I was really me and sent her this notarized document she would try to expedite the order without my travelling to Santiago. How did dog clippers suddenly become worthy of notarized statements of existence? I signed the poder notario and emailed it. Then she told me the clippers would be released to me once I paid the warehouse fee and the impuestos (taxes). I asked how much and she told me a price that came to approximately 280$ US.

Casper needed the clippers, I told her I would pay. The next day the clippers arrived in the Chile Express office in the small town near me. I paid the exorbitant fee. Today Casper was finally clipped with the 600$US clippers, see photo. When he asked me why it took so long, I said “Forget it Casper, it’s Chile”, feeling like Jack Nicholson's friend in the final scene of Chinatown.

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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by admin » Sun May 29, 2016 9:32 pm

Yea, I just bought a pair of regular human shears at the local store. I was shearing a Japanese Chin however.

It would seem you could also get various shears from places like covepa that are essentially feed stores. They sell stuff for shearing sheap, dog food, and so on. They might have dog shears.
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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by hlf2888 » Mon May 30, 2016 12:01 am

thanks admin, the electric sheep shearers are really noisy and would traumatize Casper, me too. Poor sheep, they must be terrified. The clippers from Show Dog store are quiet. As for the sheep shearers that are like large scissors, a neighbour clipped Casper one year with those and it took almost 2 hours. I just thought the clippers would be so efficient and finish the job in one hour. The problem is the blades heat up so you really need to buy a couple of backup blades to switch to a cooler blade instead of waiting for it to cool every few minutes. I wish I had been smart enough to buy the clippers in NA and include them in my luggage. Perhaps by sharing this story another person with a long haired dog will benefit and do that. \... or a dog groomer will see the career opportunities.
Thanks eeuu :-)

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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by frozen-north » Mon May 30, 2016 11:17 am

hlf2888 wrote:
Perhaps by sharing this story another person with a long haired dog will benefit and do that. \... or a dog groomer will see the career opportunities.
I would say that the owners will probably think of a short hair dog in their future, and as for the 'career opportunities', I wouldn't think that there is much of a 'dog groomer' market in smaller Chilean towns, in particular if they look at what you spent:

I had paid 100$US for shipping the clippers to Chile and the clippers were 220$US.

warehouse fee and the impuestos (taxes). .... came to approximately 280$ US.

Casper was finally clipped with the 600$US clippers

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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by jamie_m » Mon May 30, 2016 2:32 pm

Me and our Airedale share the same clippers. But we both get clipped regularly so we don't get matted up :) Both clippers and dog came from Australia.

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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by wiscondinavian » Mon May 30, 2016 6:35 pm

You've definitely told this story before!
hlf2888 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:11 pm

My Pyrenees mountain dog is suffering with the heat so I need to shave him. Last year I asked the local vets if they could recommend a dog groomer. This being Chile, the only groomer who could be found arrived with dog clippers that would only cut 6 hairs at a time. After 3 hours of cutting 6 hairs at a time I gave up and paid her anyway. Casper was shorn by a sheep shearer, with scissors. This year...I ordered some dog clippers from showdogstore.com. Great selection, decent prices, reasonable guaranties. Now the clippers are being held in Santiago and UPS has notified the sender that the package is on a TAX ID hold... guessing they want my RUT?? Why would a RUT be required for one pair of dog clippers?

While awaiting further instruction from UPS. I am realizing that in this country one can be driven crazy by all the incompetence, bureaucratic or none... kind of like death by a thousand cuts only it would be called insanity by a thousand frustrations.
http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/view ... er#p134659

Haha, Casper's story was so sad that I remembered it 2 years later!!!

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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by hlf2888 » Mon May 30, 2016 7:24 pm

Aw, thanks wiscondinavian. I like your posts also. I did edit it a bit , hope you liked the revised version. ;-)

By the way....If you know anyone who loves animals and would like to rent a beautiful, fully furnished and equipped home (with unlimited high speed internet access and sat tv) in an extraordinary setting in an animal sanctuary, my home is available for the next 6 months. It will help cover the costs of feeding and caring for the animals. Now there are 4 horses, 3 plus 3 dogs and 2 cats as well as a rooster named Ricardo and his star struck followers, around 15 hens who have a very happy life and give great eggs. The rental includes fresh eggs daily, freshly baked bread twice a week, honey from the sanctuary bees and a ride to town twice a week to the farmer's market. There is no work to be done, I have wonderful full time caretakers, and the animals do not come in the main house.

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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by admin » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:21 pm

by the strangest coincidence I was in our local "chino" store. It is real Chinese store. In frutillar we have this big store run by a couple young Chinese girls. Like they speak no Spanish, no English, and my Chinese is nowhere near sufficiently good to say much more than "thank you" and "good by" (which at least get's a giggle out of the girls).

Well, they have at least two different brands of dog shears behind their counter. I am going to buy both when I get a moment, and see if they are any good. Will report back. In fact, strangely, they have more dog and cat stuff (and other animal stuff) than any store I have seen in Chile, including the largest pet stores in Santiago. In fact, I have for my dogs, that like to pull on the leash really hard, two braided horse leads rather than leashes, that the metal clasp alone costs me like 5,000 pesos each at sodimac for around 3,000 pesos each.

So, will test and let you know.
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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by hlf2888 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:33 am

thanks admin. Casper has a very thick coat and there were lots of dense mats. Hard to cut.
Brushing does not get rid of them because the mats form close to the skin. My neighbour, with sheep shears (heavy scissors) took over an hour one summer. The Andis clippers are great. Casper is on the right.
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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by papageno » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:03 am

Something tells me you don't have a problem with break-ins. :mrgreen:

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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by hlf2888 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:28 am

wise deduction papageno. :-)

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Re: The Dearth of Dog Groomers aka Chilean Learning Curve

Post by Space Cat » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:11 am

Wow, he's awesome. :D

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