I've been attempting to find a dog groomer to have Alfie, our Yorkshire Terrier, clipped. He has quite a long coat and it gets matted easily. He had one or two quite nasty tangles. He also gets really horrible 'bits' under his eyes, sort of clogged-up hair, that look particularly nasty. Most dogs seem to get these and he doesn't like it if you try to remove them. His nails needed trimming. Just don't attempt this as he'd nip you. I don't like doing it as I'd worry I'd hurt him. Last year I booked a mobile grooming service, a lady who came in a really well-equipped van which she parked at the front of the house. She did a good job and it seemed the most stress-free way to get him groomed. I attempted to get her to come again this year, but she was totally booked up. I then went on the internet to try and find another, I think I contacted three more mobile groomers, but they were all booked solid. We have taken both dogs to Pets At home and used the Grooming Room there. There is another branch at the Beacon Retail Park at Bletchley, where there is also a Boots, Brantano, Greggs, Argos and T.K. Maax. I went in there about a month ago and managed to book Alfie in for a trim and it was at 1 p.m. yesterday. We went to Sainsbury's to do our weekly shop at around 9 o'clock and came home and then the process of getting Alfie loaded up to take out later began. I had to get the cage into the back of the car without him seeing, because, being a very sharp, intelligent little dog, he soon picks up that we are planning to take him out. Having dropped him off we had two hours to fill, so we went to have a lunch at The Caldecotte Arms, a favourite place for us. It's a really popular place, and at lunchtime on a Saturday, no more so, heaving with young families. Set beside a lake, quite a pleasant enough spot to have a bite to eat and a walk in the spring sunshine. It has a windmill set in the middle of the building and you can sit inside and you get quite a good view, although I'm not sure whether it's a genuine windmill. You can't miss it as you drive past and it can be seen from the A5 and as you drive along the Grid Road that runs past. This is a Fayre and Square restaurant, a bit like a Wetherspoon's, which we use regularly, having good value meals which you order at the bar along with your drinks. We went for the 2 meals for £10. I ordered lasagne and Carol had a burger. We also had garlic bread which we shared. It was quite difficult to find a table that was free but eventually found one as far away in the corner as it was possible. We thought it was going to be quiet, but I went to the toilet (why are such conveniences hidden away where you least expect them to be, although it was reasonably well signposted.) and by the time I got back there was a family with a couple of children on the next table. It was alright, but they were rather noisy. Looking out of the window we could see the lake and a great many geese and ducks. The ducks had youngsters, and we could see a couple of boys who were looking at them and we thought that they were going to upset the duckings, but fortunately this didn't happen. We ate our meal and when we left we had around three-quarters of an hour before Alfie was due to be finished at the groomers. We drove back to the retail park at Bletchley and parked. It was quite difficult to find a space as it was really busy. We spent some time browsing in Boots. Carol was looking for a present for a colleague at work who is leaving at the end of a week to have a baby, but she didn't see exactly what she wanted although she had to see how much cash was in the collection they had made in her department at Milton Keynes Academy before making a definite decision.
Alfie, back home, after he'd been to the grooming parlour.We went to Pets At Home to browse further and then went to pick up Alfie. Really quite shocked by how much hair they had removed. Actually much better as his coat had got really matted and untidy. The last time we had him groomed at the other branch in Rooksley Alfie was totally silent when he collected him. No doubt the whole process of being groomed was too traumatic for him. They did some extra work, I'm not exactly sure what, but giving his paws a polish or something and his nails were nice and short. He rode back in the cage in the car, totally silent.