Captain of the Swiss team, Karine trains with Allison in her Jura living room before the world championships.
The hair dryer that would dehorn an ox, should we call it a hair dryer in a grooming salon? In Alle, near Porrentruy, those who bring their dog or their cat to Karine enter her home like in a hairdressing salon, except that instead of the chairs, there are two grooming tables.
On a display stand, canine perfumes have the names “Malabar”, “Bodyguards” or “Diablesse”. In the world of Karine Cordella, everything is in her scissors and those handled by Allison Cabibbo, her employee elected best Swiss groomer last year, six years after being best apprentice in France.
Both are part of the national team selected for the next World Team Grooming Championships which will take place in the fall in Belgium, Karine as captain, Allison as competitor, with three other Swiss groomers. Apart from the registration fees, everything is the responsibility of the participants, hence the kitty open at the show.
The training sessions follow one another, but Karine and Allison have little risk of losing their touch: the clients follow one another in their living room. Karine has, as she says, “always had dogs at home”. Trained in Paris, she wields a depilatory knife with “Honey Moon”, a “westie” terrier.
A depilatory knife? “The dead and hard hair is in any case called to leave”, explains Karine. Cosmetics is never far away: “It’s a craft”, dares Karine, who opened her salon four years ago, coming from Belfort. Ticks are never far away either: “I removed three,” Karine told a client.
In Alle, groomers work by the hour. All cats and dogs are alike, but some are more work-intensive than others when their coats are all matted. Karine and Allison continue to exercise their knowledge of morphology.
The groomers cut the pants with scissors, if possible once a week, to avoid knots. The other day, they “pulsed” a bichon poodle, but in Switzerland, the profession of canine groomer is not recognized by a diploma. The chic of the chic is a large royal poodle, a show dog pampered for hours. It is a dog, as they say “extravagant”, from the court of Louis XIV, with its “lion macaron” cuts.
The macaroons left on the side have the function of protecting the kidneys from the cold. “The real poodle was used for duck hunting, the egg cut in the coat gave it weight to dive into the water,” says Karine, who fears Italian groomers, but also French.
The Japanese are never far away, but in a register that includes colorations, with Asian cuts. Of the “Aslan grooming”, say the Jurassiennes.
In Alle, extensions are sometimes installed. “We stay in the realm of the living: a dog is not a doll!” says Karine. There is the hair, which causes allergies when it is not lightened: “We see the eczema”, breathes Karine. But the nail can also be problematic when it is ingrown. The ears are also cleaned, whereas “a hairdresser only does the head”, according to Karine’s expression.
“We are not veterinarians”, specifies Karine. “A dog is never perfect, but you can hide its faults”, slips Karine. Next fall, the standards will be international. The Swiss are not favourites, but they have the dog!