With close attention to details and some good coaching and assistance, you and your dog can both be winners, too. Here are suggestions that will help.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Great "Old Dominion" Weekend

Last weekend's "Warrenton/Old Dominion" Dog Show at Long Branch near Millwood, VA, proved to be a great weekend, despite some cold and rain. Leslie Shriner groomed and handled dogs into the winners circle both Saturday and Sunday.  The headliner was a young Boxer owned by Mary McCool & Barry Hendley, Jubar's Find Me At Sugartree ("Tripp"), who went Best of Breed over Specials from the  Open Dog Class on Sunday under Judge Mrs. Terry Berrios.  Here's a photo of Leslie and Tripp in the Working Group ring and with Judge Berrios during the set-up for their official Best of Breed winner's photo.

Leslie & Tripp in the Working Group ring
Leslie & Tripp with Judge Berrios waiting for their official BEST OF BREED photo.
On Saturday, Leslie groomed and handled Standard Schnauzer Ch. Savvy’s Wanderlust (“Sadie”), owned by Curtis & Maxine Leetch, which earned Select, giving her a major toward her Grand Championship. On Sunday, Leslie groomed and handled a young Standard Schnauzer Mohner’s Legend for Halcyon (“Lucas”), a Danish import owned by Patricia White, which was named Reserve Winners Dog in the PVSSC Regional Specialty, his first appearance in the show ring.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aspirations Pet Services Buys Georjeans Pet Grooming Shop in Warrenton, VA

   I'm pleased to announce that Aspirations Pet Services has acquired the well-known Georjeans Grooming shop in Warrenton, VA, effective July 11, 2011.

   After many years of service to Fauquier County pet owners, Jean Gillen and Georgia Sabean recently announced they plan to retire and are selling their Georjeans Grooming shop in Warrenton to Aspirations Pet Services, LLC. 
   Aspirations Pet Services, LLC, is owned and operated by Leslie Shriner, who has been providing grooming, handling, and training services for pet owners and clinics since 1997.  She is moving with her family to the Warrenton area from Montgomery County, MD.  Her parents moved to Warrenton from Falls Church in 2004.
   Though selling their grooming shop on Shirley Avenue, Jean and Georgia plan to remain actively involved in their various kennel and breed club and community activities.  “We’ve known Leslie Shriner and Aspirations Pet Services for many years,” Sabean said, “and we feel sure she’ll continue to give Fauquier County pet owners the same personal service we’ve always provided.”

   “Warrenton is a great community with a real concentration of pet and show dog owners, breeders, handlers, and activities.  And Georjeans is one of the leading grooming shops in the area -- the only locally-owned shop with a self-service dog wash facility for its clients’ use,” Shriner said.  “I think it’s a perfect fit for Aspirations, which is focused on the special needs of companion show dogs, older dogs, and their owner-families, as well as the usual needs of routine dog and pet grooming.  And we plan to retain the great grooming staff that Jean and Georgia have had.  It’s a great track record to build on.”
     Leslie graduated from the internationally-recognized Maryland School of Dog Grooming where she learned from expert instructors how to groom virtually every breed of dog and cat.  She is a registered member of the National Dog Groomers Association of America and frequently prepares and handles dogs in the AKC show ring, competing against many of the top professional handlers in the US.  She has earned numerous "Best of Breed" and Group honors for her own and others’ dogs.

     Come visit us at the Georjeans Grooming shop, 367-C Shirley Avenue, Warrenton, or call the shop at 540-341-7699.  We'll look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon!  And bring a friend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Jolly" earns BOB at Chesapeake Kennel Club Show

Congratulations to Betsy Davison, whose GCH Ch. Halcyon's Don Quixote II "Jolly" was chosen Best of Breed among Standard Schnauzers at the Chesapeake Kennel Club Show, at Fredericksburg, VA,  January 16, 2011.  
What a joy to work with such a great dog!

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Champion "Sadie" (Savvy's Wanderlust)

  Congratulations are due to Curtis and Maxine Leetch, owners of Savvy's Wanderlust (Sadie). Over the weekend at West Friendship, MD, Sadie won back-to-back four point majors to complete her Championship!

  Our thanks go out to judges Sonny Ambrosio (Saturday, Chesapeake KC) and James Noe (Sunday, Upper Marlboro KC) for these exciting wins at Sadie's lucky venue.  I, personally, want to thank Curtis and Maxine for sharing their special girl with me and to Sadie herself for being so much fun to work with. I appreciate so much everyone's contribution to making this a special
year for us.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Talk to Your Vet About Your Dog's Meds

Ten Questions to Ask Your Vet About Your Dog's Meds

The Food and Drug Administration recently released this list of ten questions to ask your vet when s/he prescribes meds for your dog. Basically, you need to ask the vet the same questions you'd ask your doctor about medications s/he prescribes for you or someone in your family.

1. Why has my pet been prescribed this medication and how long do I need to give it?
Your veterinarian can tell you what the medication is expected to do for your pet and how many days to give it.

2. How do I give the medication to my pet? Should it be given with food?
Your pet may have fewer side effects, like an upset stomach, from some drugs if they are taken with food. Other medications are best to give on an empty stomach.

3. How often should the medication be given and how much should I give each time? If it is a liquid, should I shake it first?
Giving the right dose at the right time of the day will help your pet get better more quickly.

4. How do I store the medication?
Some medications should be stored in a cool, dry place. Others may require refrigeration.

5. What should I do if my pet vomits or spits out the medication?
Your veterinarian may want to hear from you if your pet vomits. You may be told to stop giving the drug or to switch your pet to another drug.

6. If I forget to give the medication, should I give it as soon as I remember or wait until the next scheduled dose? What if I accidentally give too much?
Giving your pet too much of certain medications can cause serious side effects. You'll want to know if giving too much is a cause for concern and a trip to the animal emergency room.

7. Should I finish giving all of the medication, even if my pet seems to be back to normal?
Some medications, such as antibiotics, should be given for a certain length of time, even if your pet is feeling better.

8. Could this medication interact with other medications my pet is taking?
Always tell your veterinarian what other medications your pet is taking, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, and herbs or other dietary supplements. You may want to write these down and take the list with you to the vet's office.

9. What reactions should I watch for, and what should I do if I see any side effects?
Your veterinarian can tell you if a reaction is normal or if it signals a serious problem. You may be asked to call your vet immediately if certain side effects occur.
FDA encourages veterinarians and animal owners to report serious side effects from medications to FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine at 1-800-FDA-VETS. For a copy of the reporting form and more information on how to report problems, visit the FDA's web site, How to Report An Adverse Drug Experience (

10. When should I bring my pet back for a recheck? Will you be calling me to check on my pet's progress, or should I call you?
Your vet may want to examine your pet or perform laboratory tests to make sure the medication is working as it should.

Use this link to find more helpful FDA vet information:  FDA Resources for You

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Can my dog be both a great companion and a successful show dog?

Dogs are wonderful family companions -- watchful, playful, loving, and responsive to our every mood. If they are pure-bred dogs that also compete in the AKC show ring, they are no less wonderful companions; but they require extra time and attention in order to be as successful in the show ring as they are in their home and family life. And the extra training and attention they get in preparation for the show ring will actually make them better companions and better able to deal responsibly with other dogs and people as they mature.
After raising and showing dozens of show dogs, plus two wonderful girls, I've learned a lot than can help you develop your companion show dog into the great creature s/he has the potential to become. I'll tell you about them in this blog; and if you have questions that you don't see answered here, don't hesitate to email me your questions at I'll try to answer as many as possible, either here in the blog or direct via email.
-- Leslie

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Essentials of Maintenance Grooming - Part 1: General

There's More to Grooming that Just Trimming Hair: Your Dog's Health and Happiness Requires Regular Maintenance Between Trips to the Groomer

Whether you groom your dog yourself or take it to a professional to be groomed, there are certain grooming tasks that must be done more often than every two or three months. Eyes, ears, teeth, feet and nails, as well as the coat, require regular attention.

To help keep your dog clean, comfortable and healthy, these little steps should ideally be performed weekly or daily; but even just a few times between full groomings is better than not at all.

Given a choice, dogs would forego grooming altogether. Being groomed requires the dog to relinquish control and trust its body to you. This is the primary reason they fight it and one of the most compelling reasons they need to learn to tolerate it. There are steps you can take to make it as easy as possible for you and the dog to build the right kind of non-adversarial grooming relationship.

Grooming should be done on a raised surface like a grooming table or your washer/dryer with a non-slip mat on it. This takes the dog out of his normal territory and into yours. Lucky is the person who can successfully groom their dog on the floor.

If you don’t have a grooming table with a noose, be sure the dog is wearing a collar and leash so you can control it more easily. If you can anchor the dog in place, it helps you have both hands free (this is why a grooming table with a noose is of such benefit). The leash and collar also give some context about who is in charge (hopefully you).

When you are finished with grooming, lift the dog down rather than let it jump. That way it never comes to think of jumping down as a way to escape. As you lower the dog to the floor, do not allow it to squirm and twist out of your arms. Do not let the dog go until it has relaxed (relatively) in your arms. Emphasize that YOU are in control!

Essentials of Maintenance Grooming - Part 2: Eyes

Looking After Sight: Caring for Your Dog's Eyes

Your dog's eyes are among its most valuable assets and should be cared for accordingly.

Eyes should be cleared of crusts daily to keep them from building up into a hard concretion which can scratch the eyeball or be painful to remove. Use your fingers or a cotton ball soaked in warm water to pull or wipe away the crusts.

Be alert to changes in the type or quantity of “goop” you find in and draining from the eyes. Opaque discharges, especially yellow or green, are often indicative of an infection and should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian as should unusual blinking, squinting or tearing.

Do not take chances with your dog’s eyes, they are easily damaged and often slow and difficult to heal. Frequently, injury to eyes can only be detected with specific tools which only your veterinarian has.

Essentials of Maintenance Grooming - Part 3: Ears

Now Hear This! Caring for Your Dog's Ears

Ears are a chronic source of problems for many dogs and once an infection has gotten a foothold you may have recurrent problems throughout the dog’s life. The chances of infection are much reduced if you keep the ear clean and hair-free.

The first step is plucking the hair out of the ear canals. This hair is often waxy and hard to grasp so sprinkle ear powder into the hair and work it in with your fingers. Then pluck a little at a time until you can’t reach any more. If you are confident you can also use a hemostat (or tweezers) to pluck deeper hairs. Just be careful not to pinch skin. If the dog complains too much about having this hair plucked then try pulling smaller amounts at a time.

Next, clean the ears with a flushing agent. There are many types and brands of ear wash/flush/cleanser to choose from. Fill the ear canal almost to the top with solution and massage gently from the bottom of the ear canal up to the top. Have a gauze pad or cotton ball ready to absorb the excess that comes out of the ear. Allow the dog to shake it’s head and bring any debris closer to the surface. A little bit of dark debris may not be a problem but indicates, at least, that cleaning needs to be more frequent.

Signs of ear infection are dark wet or crusty discharge, foul smell, scratching, “hot” ears. Ear infections are stubborn because they are usually due to bacteria or yeast which prefer hot, moist, low air environments. Schnauzers with natural ears may have more problems with ear infections than those with cropped ears, though both types certainly get their share. This is an area where prevention is so much better than the cure that adequate attention is required.

Essentials of Maintenance Grooming - Part 4: Teeth

Oral Hygiene for a Healthy Companion: Caring for Your Dog's Teeth

Teeth should be cleaned as often as possible, since this is not something your groomer will typically tend to.

Just like your own teeth, tartar and plaque build up on your dog’s teeth. Dogs are not prone to cavities but plaque buildup causes the gums to recede, in bad cases exposing the roots to tartar and plaque, loosening teeth and causing pain and odor. Badly neglected teeth and gums can introduce infection into the bloodstream which is an unnecessary burden on internal organs and can be a cause of heart disease

Clean the teeth with a canine toothpaste, applied with a gauze pad wrapped around your finger or a toothbrush. Plaque builds up the worst on the molars in the back of the mouth, so these should get extra attention.

By gradually increasing the time you spend and the degree of invasiveness over a lot of frequent sessions, your dog will accept having its mouth held open or closed while you work. While working, look at the gums and be sure they are uniform. Cancerous growths can start here so any overgrown or pendulous areas of gum should be examined by your vet.

Even if you regularly brush your dog’s teeth, you will sometimes need to have your dog’s teeth professionally scaled. If you can get a fingernail under the plaque and chip some off, it is high time for professional help. Some dog owners and groomers may know how to use a scaler to get the plaque off the teeth, but this should be limited to small amounts of plaque that are easily chipped off. Scraping the teeth with metal instruments will actually speed up the rate at which plaque forms because of tiny grooves left in the enamel. In most cases, your veterinarian should be the one to clean and scale teeth. Your dog will be sedated and after the plaque is removed the teeth will be polished and possibly even given a fluoride treatment.

Some dogs have gums that overgrow the teeth, rather than receding, and this leaves lots of pockets to harbor infection. Many vets can perform a gingevectomy (trimming of the overgrown gums) at the same time as a dental cleaning.