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Dog Grooming:
By Cornelia [20 June 2005]

Good things come to those who wait. This story starts with my daughter wanting a dog. I was willing to take in an older and smaller dog that needed a home. The Tokyo City animal rescue coordination effort is abysmal, and available are predominantly very large dogs.

One winter Sunday we visited the Edo Outdoor Museum in Musashi Koganei. My daughter immediately discovered a disheveled but sweet and courteous mutt hanging out near the entrance of the parking lot at a noodle shop.

To make a long story short, we took this little bundle of tangled mane and goopy eyes home with us. We stopped at the vet on the last stretch, picked up eye drops and a vague estimate of 6 years of age based on the condition of the teeth. He also commented that she appeared otherwise apparently healthy and about a half kilo overweight.

What incredible luck! She turned out to be a non-shedding dog (my daughter is somewhat allergic to dogs). We could keep her! After two months of intensive grooming it became clear that shampoo and brush were not enough. A friend donated long unused dog clippers to our household. I dusted off long unused dog clipping skills. Our new family member became presentable.

We had to move house (after 13 years at the same address). The dog clippers were temporarily misplaced (inside one of the many moving boxes) and the dog was fast reverting to the condition in which we had originally found her!

Well, have I got some news! The local pet grooming shops tend to charge about 5,500 to 6,500 yen for our sized dog. I just happened to get very nice advice from a fellow early morning dog walker! The technical schools for training dog groomers are always looking for dog "models". In some cases it might be free. I found one in my neighborhood (Tabata, Kita-ku, Tokyo) which did our dog for 2,500 yen plus an initial registration fee of 1,000 yen.

They picked up the dog at 9am. They brought her back at 17:20. I signed a contract for about once a month. The job, though not perfect, was good enough for us! I normally take about 3 mornings (1 hour each) to do it myself. I definitely recommend this new way!

Here's the information: Chuo Dobutsu Senmongako (Chuo Animal Technical School) located near Tabata in Kita-ku.
Toll free 0120-19-1311
Tel: 03-3819-1111
Japanese only. Mr. Mogi is our contact person. Information was mailed to us in advance. It included a 1,000 coupon for use after our first trial. There is a dog nurse on site. Our service included shampoo, cut, claw care, and ear cleaning. There are other service menus for dogs that don't get full haircuts.

Another similar school called Aiken Senmongako is in Nakano-ku.
Tel: 03-3366-2322.
I'm sure there are more.

Related links:

Japan With Kids - Forums: Pet care & supplies
Japan With Kids - Forums: Pets and Pet-sitting: wanted/available
Japan With Kids - Forums: Animal/Pets Quarantine - Bringing Pets to Japan
Japan With Kids - Forums: Animal/Pets Quarantine - Taking Pets out of Japan

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