Lost in Translation: Dog Grooming in Plain English

One day during the pandemic, I took my dog to our neighborhood groomer. This happened at a time when I was actively working on my book. When we arrived, the lady at the reception accepted us, glanced at my dog, and delivered her verdict:

“His hair is all matted since you haven’t groomed him in a while, and I’m pretty sure he’s never seen a brush in his life. So we’ll need to cut it very short, close to the skin.”

“Okay,” I replied.

“We’ll also trim his nails…” the groomer added.

“Okay,” I responded.

“…and clean his ears.”

“Okay,” I shrugged, understanding the need for those tasks.

“And if you’d like, we can clean his teeth. But that will be an extra twenty dollars.”

“Okay,” I agreed.

“We’ll give you a call once he’s done.”

“Okay,” I acknowledged.

“Alright then, see you later,” she concluded, taking my dog to the grooming area.

“That’s okay, Athos,” I reassured my dog, who was resisting being taken away. “That’s okay.”

He disappeared behind the gate that separated the matted, dirty dogs from their future well-groomed versions of themselves.

“Okay,” I bid farewell to the salon owner and, feeling relieved, stepped out onto the street.

Ten minutes later, when I arrived home, Irina, my wife, was in fits of laughter. After finally managing to calm down a bit, she shared the reason:

“The groomer just called. She said, ‘Please explain to your husband what we’ll be doing to the dog. I tried to tell him, but he doesn’t understand English.'”

“Okay,” I joined her in laughter. “I guess I should gift her my book.”

P.S. In a shameless act of self-promotion, I must mention that to fully appreciate the irony, you’ll need to read my book.


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