Dog Owners Share Their Wildest Quarantine Grooming Experiences to Raise Funds for COVID Research

Pages of Pups

Scruffy: Our Loyal Pandemic Pooches and the Good, the Bad, and the Crazy Haircuts We Gave Them is one of the cuter things to come out of the coronavirus pandemic. Author Shelley Ross created the book, packed with pictures of pooches, before and after receiving haircuts from their owners during the quarantine, as a way to give back to humans and dogs. 

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Grooming Gone Wild

“On April 2, 2020, my friend Lisa Cohen posted a picture on FB of the pandemic haircut she’d given her dog, Lilli. Poor Lilli’s tail looked like it had been run over by a lawnmower,” Shelley Ross told PEOPLE about her first brush with the trend of pandemic dog haircuts. “I thought, with groomers also in lockdown, this must be happening all over the world. It was.”

Ross started to reach out to other dog owners to ask about their grooming experiences, and got plenty of adorable photos in return, like these shots of Henry who was trimmed into a pair of pants. 

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Dogs Doing Good

Ross compiled all the photos of clipped dogs, and the stories behind their new hairdos, she could get and compiled it into Scruffy, which also features an in-depth timeline of the pandemic. 

Scuffy is designed to help those affected by COVID-19 in two different ways. First, the book is meant to spread smiles to all those who are experiencing extra stress right now, and it also directly helps those affected by raising money for COVID-19 research. 

All of the proceeds made from sales of Scruffy will go directly to COVID-19 research sponsored by The Cure Alliance, a non-profit organization of top global scientists.

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“Fur” Good

That same week Ross got the idea to collect canine haircut stories, “a group of our Cure Alliance scientists was granted authorization from the FDA for a clinical trial of a novel treatment for the lung damage seen in the most severe cases of COVID-19. I saw Scruffy: Our Loyal Pandemic Pooches and the Good, the Bad, and the Crazy Haircuts We Gave Them as a way to raise funds — and awareness,” Ross, who is the president of the Cure Alliance, said of the events aligning, adding that she also hopes the book serves as a metaphor for the “courage, resilience, and personal joy we can find even through the most terrible crisis of our lifetime. “

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Mutt Memories

Along with helping those affected by the pandemic, the book also serves as a memento for the future. 

“I also made this as a book to gift, keep, and pass down to generations. The photos capture a window in time around the world,” Ross said. “The back of the book contains pages to keep your own personal journal, with prompts to help you remember things like what you stocked up on, what they were out of, what TV you binged on, the people you knew who were infected, and the specific impact on your life.”

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Rinse and Repeat

Ross, a proud parent to a Polish Lowland Sheepdog named Scout, has had an easier experience with grooming during the pandemic than some. 

“Scout is pretty easy to shampoo in the tub or shower with a handheld shower attachment. We use loads of hair conditioner. (She has hair, not fur),” she said. “We keep the long hair that covers her eyes tied up in a ponytail and I just cut off the mats as they turn up since she’s got so much hair.”

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Thanks for Being a Friend

Like many pet owners, Ross and the other dog moms and dads in her book, found they were especially thankful for their furry friends during quarantine, and that the feelings were mutual.

“She, like all the dogs in the lockdown, is ecstatic to have us home 24/7. We both are working remotely and her joy and companionship is our elixir,” Ross said of her pup. 

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

These photos are just a taste of the fur that is flying all over Scruffy: Our Loyal Pandemic Pooches and the Good, the Bad, and the Crazy Haircuts We Gave Them, which is available to buy now. 

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