Over at Alex’s Happy Dog Grooming, namesake Alex has been grooming dogs for twenty-two years. He’s been at his current location in the Mid-City area for three. Word has it that he is the original dog whisperer. I believe it.
I was recommended to Alex by a neighbor based on his unbelievable prices. First time I took Mojito in was a wonder to behold. Mojito, like most dogs, does not enjoy having his nails clipped; but, Alex had his claws shorn lickety-split and for a mere five bucks. I was amazed.
In addition to nails, Alex does the typical grooming – shampoo, hair cut, flea dip, medicated flea dip, ear cleanse and gland squeeze. Nevertheless, his shop and his services are anything but typical.
Simple and unassuming, Happy Dog Grooming is a tiny, tidy shop on San Vicente Blvd. near La Brea. There’s a parking lot with ample free parking.
Alex loves dogs and that is obvious. He flat out says that this is the reason why he’s in this business. For me, it’s a must that he loves dogs but that deep sentiment is not the only thing that makes a good groomer. A groomer has to know how to handle canines.
Mojito is easy. Weighing eight pounds and with very short hair, he never bites and loves everybody. Not all dogs have this temperament. Some are very nervous. Some are shy. You dog owners know what I mean. Alex knows how to get them to relax. He’s never been bitten.
There is no menu here and no price list. Alex likes to be flexible and reasonable. Like I said, he’s not in it for the money. He determines price based on a discussion with the owner about what the owner wants, how big the dog is, the condition of the pet and, finally, how crazy the dog is. He likes to work with people to make the dog happy. The easier it is, the cheaper it is. Makes sense right? “If it’s simple” he says, “let’s keep it simple.” Last time I went in, he’d just finished up with a first time client. The experience was a big success for everyone involved.
Alex has great maintenance suggestions for owners too. As the name suggests, he likes to see his clients happy. As an ongoing customer, be prepared to do your part to keep your companion in good shape in between visits. Don’t expect Alex to force your long-haired pooch to endure long and painful de-matting sessions due to neglect and a penchant for long hair. He considers that torture and won’t do it. He’s in for the dogs; and he’ll suggest a haircut.
I don’t know how a person ends up with the talent to handle dogs with confidence and skill. Not everyone has it; but, Alex does. I’m sure glad I found him.
NEED TO KNOW:
Alex’s Happy Dog Grooming
5011 San Vicente Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90019
Phone: (323) 933-9708
Hours: By Appt. Only
Tues-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 9am-6pm
Closed Sun and Mon
(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at www.RecessionCafe.wordpress.com is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifercald - Twitter: @CheckingTheGate)
Vol 10 Issue 72
Pub: Sept 7, 2012