I recently stumbled across a documentary on HBO called Well Groomed.
The poster certainly caught my eye, but once I read the summary and saw that it followed "competitive and creative dog groomers," my destiny was set. I was watching this movie.
Competitive and creative dog grooming is when people dye and sculpt their dogs' hair/fur/fluff, then enter them in competitions. Whoever shows the most skill and creativity in turning their dog into a work of art is the winner.
The documentary follows four women who are hoping to win the world's largest creative grooming competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
There's Cat Opson, who decorates her miniature poodle, Kobe, in a Jurassic Park theme.
There's Angela Kumpe, who decorates her dog like a ram in the front and a turkey in the back.
P.S. I took a look at some of the other designs she's done (that aren't shown in the film) and I have no choice but to show you her Pennywise masterpiece. Have fun sleeping tonight!
Then there's Nicole Beckman, who decorates her standard poodle, Ira, like a hen.
And finally, there's Adriane Pope, who designs her poodle, Encore, in an Alice in Wonderland theme.
When I started watching the movie, the first thing I thought about were the inevitable arguments about whether creative grooming should be considered animal abuse or not.
I found a few tweets from people who were super angry about the concept, to say the least.
About halfway through the documentary, they address the controversy by showing past news coverage on the topic. In one clip, Anderson Cooper asks a veterinarian if it's ethical. "Their tails are wagging, so they're happy, and philosophically I have no problem with it," he says.
Opson is also interviewed on a British program, where she tells a woman who's criticizing creative grooming that some dogs are cut out for it and some just aren't. It's all about gauging their personality.
Creative grooming's potential effect on a dog's overall health is also addressed. Another professional dog groomer who's interviewed says all the dyes are safe.
I personally am kind of torn. I definitely think it's a super original idea, but I do see how it could be exhausting for the poor pups that probably just wanna lie down!
What do you think about creative grooming? Is it a cool form of creative expression, or harmful toward dogs? Sound off in the comments below!