HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!  All the staff wishes you and your families and healthy, happy and doggone perfect year!!  We are thankful for each and every one of you!
Customer of the month:Maxine Berning, Maxine, a 2 year old Great Dane, and her brother, Hugo are a source of constant entertainment at the shop and we love the laughter and love they bring with them! They keep us coming to work every day:)

Hours:  For the convenience of our customers, we are available Mon thru Friday, 8:30am to 3pm (many days until 5pm) and Saturdays from 10am -2pm.  We are always available for early and later appointments as needed, just ask:).

Convenience Upgrades: The doggie drive-thru is a huge success!  The window has been installed for our customers that have dogs that are smaller than 20 pounds, and for owners that want a quick and safe check in or check out. Come try out the Pooch Portal!

Students:  Kayla and Karen are local students, both from Sandpoint. Karen has two baby King Charles that she brings to work.  They are so fun! Liz is from Montana, and brings her little Shih Tzu, Oliver, and Whitney is from CA.  Ethelene will be opening in Bonners Ferry and is from Kentucky! She specialized in difficult to handle dogs. You can ask for students M, W, Th, and Friday for up to 50% off the normal grooming price!Karen, Emma, and Sash (baby King Charles)

Certified Professionals: Ally is now a professionally certified groomer and loves the northern breeds and is also great with cats!  Theresa owns two miniature Aussies and is great with all smaller breeds.  Carol works twice a month and loves grooming schnauzers and springers! DuAnn is the owner and specializes in grooming dogs with medical issues and anything that requires speed grooming, like cats.

Shop Specials:  We are offering 50% off of all collars and leashes through January. This special is only being offered through the Newsletter, so you will need to mention the special to get the discount.

Shop Updates: We are computerizing our grooming files!!!  This should cut down on lost or misfiled cards. Yahoo!

Winter words of wisdom from the Cesar Milan website:

Ask the Vet: Winter Proofing Your Dog’s Paws



Winter can be brutal on our dog’s paw pads. Exposed to the elements and toxic chemicals, the paw pads are at risk for drying, cracking, trauma, frostbite and chemical burns. Luckily, there are some tips and products out there that can help keep your dog’s paws happy and healthy this winter.

Many protective balms are available to help protect your dog's paws, and even some human products can do the trick. Do your research. Once you find the balm that you like, take these steps:

Before using the balm, make sure the paw is ready. Good grooming is essential for healthy winter feet. If your dog has long hair use a clipper (beard trimmer with the shortest plastic guard equipped works well) to keep the hair between the paw pads short so that it is even with the pad. Trim the hair around the paws especially if they have a lot of feathering to make sure none of the hair comes into contact with the ground. This will help prevent ice balls from forming between and around the paw pads which can be painful and result in trauma. It also makes it easier to apply the balm to the pads. Keeping the nails trimmed is important year-round but even more so in the winter because long nails force the paw to splay out and make it more likely that snow and ice will accumulate between the paw pads.

Apply a thin even layer of balm just before going out for a wintery walk. After the walk wipe your dog’s paws with a warm washcloth to remove snow, ice and ice melt. Then apply another layer of balm to soothe any irritation and to keep them from drying out. Bag Balm can be found in most drug stores and pet stores. If you can’t find Bag Balm then Vaseline is an acceptable alternative.

Another good option to protect your dog’s paws is dog boots. These boots are made by various manufacturers and can be easily found online and in pet stores. They consist of a sock like boot with a Velcro strap to help keep them in place. Some have soles which provide the additional benefit of adding traction. These boots protect the paw by helping them stay dry and preventing exposure to salt and de-icers. Be sure to check that the strap is not too tight; the boot should be snug so that it doesn’t slip off but not so tight that it constricts the paw. Dogs tend to not to like wearing the boots at first so acclimate them to wearing them by putting them on your dog for short periods of time in the house. Praise them and gradually increasing the length of time as they get used to them.

Be aware that salt and most de-icers can be toxic to our canine friends. Try to keep your dog away from roads and sidewalks that have been heavily treated with salt and chemical de-icers. There are pet friendly de-icers available for use on your own sidewalks and driveway and you should encourage your neighbors to do the same. Immediately after a walk, wash your dog’s paws with warm water as described earlier to help prevent them from ingesting any salt or chemicals that may be on their paws. While outdoors, do not let your dog eat slush or drink from puddles near heavily treated roads and sidewalks.

Dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia just as people are so use common sense as to how long your walks can be. Keep them short and watch for signs of hypothermia such as shivering, anxiety and moving slowly.

Winter can be tough on our dog’s feet but good grooming and protecting the paws by using a balm or booties will go a long way to keeping your dog’s feet healthy.

Read more: http://www.cesarsway.com/askthevet/doghealth/Winter-Proofing-Your-Dogs-Paws#ixzz2Htu26Awq


This fiction short story should give hope to anyone that has a 'grouchy greta!'

“Grouchy Greta”
Greta pushed her short four legs through the mounds of powdery snow.  Not an easy task, as she already had deeply embedded snowballs lining all the fur of her legs and skirt.  She waded deep, burying her beard and face completely with a series of muffled snorts and powder-filled breaths.  Her black and silver cropped ear tips were all that were visible above the churning snow, like periscopes of a submarine emerging from the sea.  “Whadja find down there – what, nothing to growl at?” asked her owner Anne with a giggle.  Greta’s small schnauzer head popped out of the snow like a jack- in- the- box, dripping loose ice crystals, the white silhouette of her black body frozen in place, a pose of preemptive attack clearly readable despite the snow mounds that covered her. 
It was the middle of December and this was her first snow experience, and she loved every minute of it.   Greta, an eight month old miniature schnauzer with more spunk than Anne had anticipated was a fun pup, full of all the happiness and playfulness that a baby schnauzer offers, but her grouchy side was a SERIOUS challenge!   Greta growled at everybody, using every octave of growl or howl, possible.  Whether she was happy or mad, she sounded like a grouch!   Anne had tried everything she could think of to break the habit, as growling at people to say hello was not well-received by her friends, or by anybody for that matter.  Anne thought walking among strangers might desensitize her to the need to growl.  Or at the very least, desensitize the passersby to Greta’s grouchy behavior.  Eventually, Anne hoped, Greta would stop growling when she saw familiar people.  It was an arduous and draining task to try and train the growling and howling out of Greta, but Anne wasn’t giving up!  She wasn’t going to own a mean dog!
“Grrrrr” Greta growled and sprung out of the snow and onto Anne’s boot with the lightning-butt springs that schnauzer’s have.  She took a mouthful of puffy snow pants between her teeth and starting running, not getting in one full stride before losing her tooth hold and rolling her snowballed body over on the walking trail.  Anne laughed, delighted with Greta’s puppy antics, reveling in this moment when her schnauzer was acting exactly like a regular schnauzer should.  Looking ahead on the trail, she saw the outline of two people walking toward them and her laughter morphed into a sigh.  ‘And we’ll try this again,’ thought Anne to herself, watching the approaching trekkers with hopefulness and worry, and not necessarily in that order.
They lived in Sandpoint Idaho where they were taking advantage of the freshly plowed walking trail that lined the edge of the town.  A trail that was well-liked and just as well-used by the townspeople, most of them being dog owners.  Greta caught sight of the two strangers ahead, her little lips puckering to form a perfect ‘O’, pulling her snow-encrusted whiskers forward, like a bristle brush in front of her nose.
  An hourglass shape of schnauzer stubble, as slim as a pencil lifted on her back, her hackling instinct, well-developed. “Wooo” she said from her mouth, a high sound somewhere between a growl, a purr and a yodel.  She was already intensely protective, alerting Anne to the oncoming humans on their path.        
“Ok, Greta, here’s a chance to practice being a civilized dog.  Can you try not to growl at them?  They will tell you how cute you are, you know.”  Greta looked up at Anne under her long, speckled eyelashes overshadowed by silver eyebrows.  A knowing older than her eight months flickered inside them.  Her eyes glimmered from her Momma to the bodies approaching.  She considered what Anne wanted, even DOUBLE- considering it…but, she just COULDN’T do it.  Her lips pursed, her ears pricked forward and the black ridge on her back stood at perfect attention.  The strangers now directly in front of them, noticed the developing snowballs fluxed into Greta’s legs.  “Oh, look at the snow on her legs!  What a cute puppy!” said one of the women, eyes sparkling at Greta’s baby body, “Is she nice?” The woman extended her fingers towards Greta’s head and bent down.
                “Drrrrrrgrrrrrr,” growled Greta, watching them.  She made no move to bite.  The woman pulled her hand back quickly, and stood up. “Oh, I guess not!” she exclaimed in surprise taking a step back.  Anne smoothed down Greta’s freshly hackled back explaining to the women that Greta growled at everybody when she was happy AND when she wasn’t.  “She just hasn’t learned how normal schnauzers are supposed to act when they meet people,” explained Anne.  The women looked at her unconvinced. “Really,” said Anne trying to sound convincing, “she will let you hold her, but she will make those funny growl sounds in the beginning,” she paused a minute trying not to sound as bewildered as she felt, “Do you want to hold her?”  Anne hoped that as more strangers handled Greta the less her need would be to growl.  Owning a growling puppy was SUCH an embarrassment!  Thank God she didn’t bite!
“Well, if you promise she doesn’t bite,” said the woman, looking at Greta wistfully.  She tentatively reached a hand out to the puppy and Greta growled two octaves lower, but let the woman pick her up.  Greta stretched her neck up to smell the stranger’s scent, completely covering the woman’s nose with her silver beard.   Anne held her breath, ready to lavish praise on her young pup.  Was it possible that Greta would start developing some manners?  Would Greta finally understand how she should act?  She wondered hopefully.
“Drrrrrrrr, drrrrrrr,” growled Greta softly, then paused and grunted twice, breathing in the woman’s breath again.  Greta arched up her nose to the sky and with her mouth forming a perfect ‘O’ again, she howled and yodeled at the same time.  The woman laughed and said, “Well, you definitely don’t have trouble expressing yourself, do you?  My name is Sally.” Greta dropped her nose down, switching from her yodeling to a humming.  “What do you call that?” asked Sally with a toothy smile, “Howldeling?”
Anne burst out laughing. “Well, I have never put a name to that sound, but I think it is closer to growldoling. Most people just think she’s rude.”  The woman’s companion piped in, “I don’t think you have a growler here.  I think Greta is a SINGER!”  Greta, Anne and Sally turned their attention to Sally’s friend. “Hi Greta,” she said, “I’m Lucy.” Greta started in immediately with a medium octave yodel,  “ldrlrlrlrlrlr, rrrrrrrrr.” All the women laughed in unison, easing the tension that Anne was feeling over owning such a strange-acting dog.
“You see?” said Lucy.  She plucked Greta out of Sally’s arms just to prove her point.  Greta yodeled higher, and then dropped down to low holding tones. “You have a singerrrrrrr!” sang Lucy in mimicking high and low tones.  Lucy, who appeared to be about 45 years old, loosened the red scarf around her neck, and cleared her throat dramatically.  She broke into the holiday song, "Jingle Bells", and everyone was surprised when Greta followed suit, not in words, but in sounds.  Greta was able to mimic every note that Lucy sang, with her neck stretched long like a trombone, and her little mouth pursed in her perfect ‘O’ position.
Anne was in utter shock.  All of this time, she had thought she had a misfit grouchy grouch.  She couldn’t believe it.  Her baby dog was a singer!!!  A GREAT singer in fact!  She watched Greta as if seeing her for the first time.   Her body was quiet in Lucy’s arms, only her little mouth and neck moved and twitched as she found each note, entirely focused on trilling in unison to Lucy.  And, she was doing it and loving it!  She was singing along to "Jingle Bells", using all the sounds that Anne had heard over the last five months!  Every last growl, howl, and purr that she had scolded Greta for repeatedly now sounded like a flock of angels singing praise in a strange and ethereal language.
The song ended and Greta was ready for more, so Lucy immediately started again with I’ll Be Home for Christmas.  Greta never skipped a beat or a note.  She kept her neck stretched up towards the sky, trilling, growling, and yodeling with all her might, staying in perfect tune.  A crowd began to gather from each side of the walking trail.  In the four minutes that Greta and Lucy had been singing, several dozen people, and a group of young children, had approached them, forming a loose circle around them.  Cars that were close to them slowed down to have a look and a listen.  Anne could hear people whispering to each other in amazement, pointing at the singing dog, and shaking their heads.  And then, something amazing happened.
                A child’s voice joined in with Greta and Lucy.  It was a little girl’s faint voice that was beautiful and pure and sweet.  The crowd parted ever so quietly, revealing a girl, about five years old, bundled in winter clothes and boots, her hands stuffed deeply into her coat pockets. She stood next to an older couple that were clutching each other and had begun to cry softly.  The little girl only watched the puppy as she sang, unaware of anything else around her.  The look of wistful sincerity on her face while she sang the words “and mistletoe….and presents under the tree,” brought tears to Anne’s eyes.  She didn’t know why.  She only knew that she was witnessing a miracle. The only being that the girl was even conscious of at that moment, was Greta, and her singing.  Lucy beckoned the singing girl towards them with her hands.  The little girl walked to them, standing next to Greta, singing softly.  The crowd listened to the singing trio, mesmerized by the experience. At the end of the song, there was not a dry eye among them, except for Greta who carefully and efficiently shimmied herself into the little girls arms, both of them completely unaware of her snow-packed legs.  Instead of growling and howling like she normally would do when meeting a new person, she licked the little girl once from her chin to her eye, and stared into the little girls eyes.  “Hi.  I’m Cassi, and I like your singing,” said the little girl to the dog.
The older couple that had been standing with Cassi rushed up and gave her a big teary bear hug.  “I didn’t know you could sing so beautifully!” said Cassi’s grandmother.
“Momma was singing with this dog, she wanted me to sing too...so, I did,” said Cassi, smiling at Greta, “It made her happy”.  Greta gave Cassi another long kiss on the cheek, and jumped into Anne’s arms.  Greta did not make another sound.  Cassi’s grandparents continued to wipe away the tears that were pouring down their cheeks. 
“My Granddaughter, she motioned to the girl, lost her mother…my daughter,” she paused to steady her voice, and clutch her husband’s hand, “just 6 weeks ago.  She hasn’t spoken a word to anyone since then.”  The crowd gasped.  Anne blinked twice, comprehending what had just transpired.  Greta was quiet, and relaxed, ears perked forward.
Cassi’s grandfather wiped the tears off his cheeks and asked Anne, “How in the world did you train this dog to do such an incredible thing?”  He put his arms around his granddaughter’s shoulders, squeezing her tight to him.  She looked up at him, smiling sincerely for the first time since her mother had died.  Anne took a step towards Cassi’s grandfather, gulping back the knot in her throat.  “Would you like to meet her?  We call her ‘Grouchy Greta’”.
Copyright DuAnn Lustig-Chambers 2011


The Pooch Parlor is a place for pets and their people that want a clean, professional and family environment for grooming, where professionalism and customer service are held to the highest possible standard.  

We offer the following services:

*doggie drive thru window for dogs under 20 lbs.
* full service grooming for all breeds of dogs and cats by state-certified groomers    
*student grooming discounts      
*offer ‘no-kennel’ grooming by request        
*owner stay grooming by request       
*self-service bathing stations       
*walk-in appointments        
* teeth scaling  and/or teeth brushing          
* nail trimming  and dremeling (filing) on a walk-in basis      
 *anal gland expressing         
* bird nails and wing trimming 
*retail grooming tools       
*doggie day care          
*owner grooming training by request   
 *doggie and family portraits (free)                                                                                           

Pooch Parlor Groomers/Staff.  Every groomer has undergone rigorous training  to attain their certification at the state level.  The training includes more than instruction about the technical aspects of grooming and scissoring, it includes strict codes of conduct and tight guidelines for ethical treatments of pets and their owners, safety practices, and cleaning standards.  This certification is something we are most proud of, as the grooming industry is not regulated, and only 5 percent of all groomers spend the time and money to train under any qualified guidelines.  All employees are drug-tested and undergo criminal background checks. 

The Pooch Parlor Pet Groomer Academy, is the only grooming school licensed and bonded through the Board of Education, in the State of Idaho.  We offer training to students that come from a


ll over the nation to acquire certification.  We offer reduced student grooming rates for those customers that want to help groomers-in-training. 

 We also have a camera handy and LOVE to take pictures of our staff, students, customers, and their dogs.  There is no charge for family portrait and we email it to you, just ask.  Pictures of your 4 legged kids are really important, since our time with them is never long enough during our lives.                                                                                                                                   
The Pooch Parlor in Ponderay is owned and operated by DuAnn Chambers and her husband Mike.  Mike is not a groomer, he is a remodeling specialist,

with Git ‘er Done Construction LLC., and helps out in the grooming shop with all repairs and upgrades (unless the upgrade is granite –thanks again Idaho Granite, we love the new countertops!).  Mike and DuAnn have been married 20 years, and have no human children.  They share the love of dogs, owning a mini schnauzer, 3 year old ‘Grouchy Greta’, a Standard Poodle, Montee, 8 years old, and an adopted Rottweiler cross, Marlie, 9 years.   In our spare time, we scuba dive to visit with all the underwater animals.   W


e thank all of you our friends and customers for making it possible for us to LOVE what we do!  Thank you!


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