I was impressed from the phone call when I said "There's just one thing - he has Addison's." and the man said "Ok. That's not a problem. I'll have a few more questions for you tomorrow though." Ok, fine.
So we showed up a few minutes late and he was sitting out front. The first thing out of his mouth was "What a handsome boy!" It never hurts to compliment my dog. Then we started talking about his cut.
I said "I want him taken down to about 1/2"."
"Ok. And what about his head?"
"About as short but not a literal 1/2". Blend it so it looks natural."
"Ok. And his ears?"
"Well, I generally take them to within a fingerlength of the bottom of the leather and then shape them from there, thinning along the side so they're not so poofy."
"Sounds good. And his topknot?"
"Not too tall - no poodle head - but not shaved short."
"Fine. What about the flag?"
"Don't touch it. I'm trying to grow it out from the last person who thought they needed to trim it and took off inches."
"Right. But take the tail down to 1/2" to the base of his flag, yes?"
"Good. SO. On to his condition. How is he being handled in general? Any problem with his eyes or paws?"
"He's fine with both, though he may not lick your face while you're doing it."
"Ok. And how is he with the dryer."
"Well, I don't use one at home, but I've never had a previous groomer mentioning a problem with them."
"Hm. OK, well we'll just play that by ear then."
That has to be the most thorough conversation I've had with a groomer. They've always asked questions about grooming and length, but not quite to that detail. Perhaps because I usually drive the conversation rather than wait and let them ask questions.
So, an hour and a half later they call to s ay he's done. I run over and, lo, there was a handsome Portuguese Water Dog walking towards me! Not a poodle or a schnauzer or some bizarre cross between the two! Not only that but the groomer followed my instructions to the letter. THAT has never happened since we've owned him.
And he really did play the dryer by ear. The first thing he said was "Well, he did fine with the dryer overall. He didn't like it on his face too much, so whenever he started getting too upset, I'd switch it up." Damn. DAY-UHM!
So, here's some before and after pics for you!