Doggy

 

 

Riley, the Yard Sale Queen’s and my tiny Yorkie, gets really excited at times. When she sees someone walk by, she rushes to the storm door and barks, warning us of an interloper nearby.

 

Riley also yaps and dances at the door when she sees a blade of grass move or a leaf take flight. She is quite the watchdog. Watch is about all she would do because she is a people puppy. She loves people, whether it is the air conditioning repairman or a canvasser for a political candidate.

 

Every six weeks, Riley gets brushed, groomed, nails cut and a cute bow strategically placed in her top knot. But she doesn’t have to go anywhere, the grooming service, Doggie Stylers on the Go, operated by a charming, talented and super friendly husband and wife team, comes to her.

 

When she sees the turquoise converted motorhome pull up, she gets really excited, jumping at the door and barking loudly.

 

Bud Krames, the masculine half of the couple, comes to the door, greets me and exchanges small talk, while cradling our squirming bundle of love in his arms. He walks slowly back to the motor salon where his wife Jo awaits.

 

Bud and Jo have been coming to our house for years to groom our other Yorkie, Zoey, who we had to put to sleep in September 2017.

 

Bud and Jo spend about an hour bathing, clipping, combing and grooming Riley. When finished, they make her look absolutely adorable. She gets oohs and aahs when she goes for walks in town with her cute puppy clip.

 

Sadly, Bud and Jo are retiring. Like many older couples they plan to travel, mainly back roads and not interstates to take in all the sights and beauty of the United States. Plus, they plan to visit family located in Colorado and California. The couple has two sons – one in San Diego and the other in Tahiti.

 

So how did Bud and Jo decide to groom dogs on-the-go? The mobile dog grooming salon idea started after a plan to work with dolphins in Bermuda fell through.

 

Oh, did I fail to mention that Bud and Jo trained dolphins and orcas at various exotic venues, including Sea World, for more than three decades. They moved from the Left Coast to the Right Coast more than a decade ago.

 

While in the area awaiting word on the Bermuda dolphin opportunity, which fell through, they stayed at a house in Orleans, and, like many of us transplants, fell in love with the area.

 

So the couple, who met in 1980 and wed in 1994, needed a game plan as well as a place to live. They bought a home in the Reva area.

 

Obviously, they love animals. So the idea of opening a dog grooming business popped in their heads.

 

“We didn’t want a (fixed location) salon,” said Jo. “(A mobile salon) was right up our alley.”

 

The original plan was to groom for five or six years. Instead, 11 years later, they are finally retiring after putting 150,000 miles on the rolling salon and servicing 250 to 300 clients. They had so many clients that they had to turn down countless requests. They never advertised, except on the sides and back of the mobile salon.

 

Bud and Jo note there is a definitely a market for mobile dog grooming, but as yet have been unable to convince anyone to take over the business.

 

On Dec. 20, a day after making Riley more adorable, the 65-year-olds will store their clippers, bushes and scissors, and park the rolling doggie salon for the last time.

 

“It’s been a great go for us,” said Jo.

 

“I will miss driving around the county,” said Bud. “It’s a beautiful place to live.”

 

And Riley, like many others, will no longer wait expectantly for Bud and Jo to come make her beautiful. She, I and the Yard Sale Queen feel like we have lost two wonderful friends. In a sense, we did. Now, we must find another groomer.

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