Senin, 22 September 2014

Would you spend $600 on a haircut for your DOG? FEMAIL takes a wary ... - Daily Mail

By Annabel Fenwick Elliott for MailOnline

Jorge Bendersky - part fur stylist, part dog whisperer - is America's most discerning celebrity pet groomer.

Trusted by canine owners from Ralph Lauren to P. Diddy, who rely on him to coif the fur of their precious companions on a weekly basis, Mr Bendersky charges $300 an hour, and boasts a very long waiting list. These days, he's so at the top of his game that he will 'only' groom small dogs - for a minimum appointment of two hours. 

Luckily for me, I happen to own a scruffy-furred, pint-sized Chihuahua in desperate need of a bath. So I took Pringle for a two-hour grooming session with Mr Bendersky at New York's Dog Spa & Hotel, to see whether he lived up to his reputation as the Edward Scissorhands of pooch-town.

Best in show: Jorge Bendersky, celebrity pet groomer extraordinaire, is as much a dog whisperer as he is a fur stylist, and managed to soothe Pringle into a very uncharacteristic state of submission (pictured)

Best in show: Jorge Bendersky, celebrity pet groomer extraordinaire, is as much a dog whisperer as he is a fur stylist, and managed to soothe Pringle into a very uncharacteristic state of submission (pictured)

Before and after: Pringle's scruffy fur and knotted ears (left) were pruned and trimmed to perfection (right)

Pringle, I should mention, is a stubborn seven-year-old long-haired chihuahua, who despises sharp objects to such a degree that she would rather clatter around on claws the length of matchsticks than have them clipped. 

Bring her anywhere near a veterinarian, or even so much as pick up a pair of scissors in the same room as her, and she will wriggle and squawk like a deranged parrot until restrained, which requires at least two set of hands.

So I was preparing us both for a full-on meltdown as I plopped her onto Mr Bendersky's scary-looking grooming table, ready for her first ever fur-trimming session.

After a brief protest, Pringle was whisked off into the ominous back room to be bathed, and returned ten minutes later wrapped up in a towel like a baby in swaddling.

Bonding: First, Mr Bendersky, who charges $300 an hour for his services, with a two-hour minimum, managed to gain Pringle's hard-to-earn trust (left) before bathing her and wrapping her up in a towel (right)

Scruffy bundle: Mr Bendersky calls this his 'burrito wrap', and as well as helping Pringle feel more secure, it gives the hair cuticle time to seal and absorb the shampoo's nutrients

Scruffy bundle: Mr Bendersky calls this his 'burrito wrap', and as well as helping Pringle feel more secure, it gives the hair cuticle time to seal and absorb the shampoo's nutrients

'This is what I call the burrito wrap,' Mr Bendersky informs me, as Pringle's eyes dart around suspiciously. 'Letting her rest for a few minutes in a burrito wrap will give the hair cuticle time to seal and absorb the shampoo's nutrients.' 

Naturally, his own range of dog shampoo is crafted from nothing but the purest essential oils, and smells like heaven.

Grooming is like tango. You have to move with the dog 

As Pringle emerges from the burrito wrap, Mr Bendersky gets busy angling the mounted blow drier with one hand and securing her firmly with the other. 

All the while, his head is close to hers and he mutters sweet nothings into her ears, which, miraculously, does appear to soothe her into submission.

Every time she attempts a kamikaze leap over the edge of the table, Mr Bendersky shuffles his grip, quick as a fox, in such a way that calms and stills her.

Careful now: She might not like it one bit, but Pringle behaves remarkably well as she has her fuzzy paws trimmed (left) and her coat de-tangled (right)

Snip snip: Mr Bendersky mutters sweet nothings into Pringle's ears for the duration of the doggie makeover

Snip snip: Mr Bendersky mutters sweet nothings into Pringle's ears for the duration of the doggie makeover

'Grooming is like Tango,' the vivacious Argentinian remarks. 'You have to move with your dog. It's all about making her feel secure.'

Whatever he's doing, he's doing it right. Mr Bendersky tells me throughout his mother's entire pregnancy with him, her pet chihuahua would sleep on her belly.

'I grew against a dog's heartbeat,' he says wistfully.

As he starts trimming her from her tail to her chest and her little white paws, switching theatrically between various razor-sharp blades as he goes, he tells me about some of his clients.

Pampered pooch: By the end her ordeal, Pringle is so accustomed to Mr Bendersky's gentle touch, and his casual wielding of extremely sharp objects, she even lets out a relaxed yawn (right)

A number of his clients fly him around from location to ever-moving location via helicopter each time their pooch needs grooming: weekly, in most cases.

Others have grooming rooms custom-built into their multimillion dollar homes, where Mr Bendersky makes house-calls, armed with his range of luxury dog products and his glittery canine tattoos.

Interestingly, he admits that owners very often stipulate during their initial consultation that he shape their pet's fur 'in a way which doesn't make the hips look big.'

Is that you Boo? No, it's Mr Bendersky with his own pomeranian, Tito (pictured)

And he's constantly coloring dogs' muzzles with henna to mask gray hair, too.

'They don't want their dogs to look fat or old,' he says, adding that mostly, it's middle-aged women who make these sorts of requests.

Mr Bendersky then goes deathly quiet as he scrutinizes Pringle's fetching new mane, adding a flourish here and a little snip there, before patting her on the head and wrapping our session.

For the first time in her life, Pringle's frantic ginger fur is smooth and completely mat-free, she smells like a summer meadow, and against all odds, she doesn't appear to be remotely traumatized by the experience.

I will almost certainly never be able to afford Mr Bendersky's services on an ongoing basis, but it has led me to consider dragging a brush through her tousled ear fluff a little more often.

And thankfully, the legendary dog groomer, who regularly appears on TLC and Animal Planet shows, sent me off with a copy of his bestselling how-to manual, DIY Dog Grooming, so I can hone my skills at home.

'No matter how professional and caring your groomer is, he or she will never share that same special bond you have with your dog,' he says.

'Taking the time and effort to learn how to groom your own dog is a beautiful experience. It's a dance that, when done together, will enhance that special relationship.'

 



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