Do you consider your dog a family member? Chances are you said yes
before you finished reading the sentence. You’re in good company. Most
pet owners consider their dogs as important as other family members or even
a child. According to the Association of Pet Products Manufacturers, every day
some 44 million households wake up to the loving licks of humankind’s oldest
and dearest friend.
Dogs have served people as protectors, workers, friends, and partners
throughout thousands of years. And yet the role of the dog is changing. A few
hundred years ago, not many people would be reading a book about grooming
their dogs. Back then, dogs for the most part were outdoor animals that
were kept in a doghouse or kennel and treated perhaps a little better than a
tool or at best a type of livestock. With the exception of the pampered lap
dogs and the few working dogs that shared the master’s home, most dogs
had a pretty tough life, usually hanging out in the backyard (if there was one)
or running around on the farm.
How times have changed! Dogs have moved from outside to inside and wiggled
their way into the hearts (and even onto the couches and beds) of their
owners. But now that they’ve arrived — so to speak — pet owners want their
dogs to be presentable. A dirty dog is no joy; a clean dog is pure happiness.
And that’s what this book is all about. You’re no dummy for wanting a clean
and presentable dog. A well-groomed dog usually is one that goes places and
is better socialized than one who isn’t. You don’t mind having a well-groomed
dog around, and you’re friends and neighbors are likely to think how wonderful
your dog is because he’s well-groomed.