Dog grooming parlour celebrates 50th year

Christine and Emma with Daisy. Picture: Julie Bull
Christine and Emma with Daisy. Picture: Julie Bull
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SHE has bathed and trimmed the hair of one of the Capital’s most famous residents in a career that has spanned more than half a century.

Now Christine Cadger is celebrating 50 years of running a pooch-pampering salon, attracting four-legged customers from across the globe.

Christine, 68, who once bathed and groomed the star of Disney’s Greyfriars Bobby, has since had thousands of dogs in her Gorgie Road salon.

She established Christine’s Dog Grooming Parlour in 1964, where she still works today with daughter Emma McGarry.

“I didn’t think I would still be cutting dogs 50 years later but I couldn’t think of doing anything else,” she said.

“It’s been right down the family tree. My uncle had greyhounds, so I started working with him and would go down to the racetrack when I was 13, and my other uncle bred Scotties.

“Now I run the business with my daughter – it’s in the blood. I still love it but it has definitely changed over the years.

“Folk are now going more for the fancy dogs like the cockapoos, the labradoodles, schnoodles, the jackadoodles, but I prefer it when they stick to the one breed.

“Some breeds have gone out of fashion but it’s nice to see them coming back in again like wirehaired terriers and Scotties.

“When I think we used to charge two and six, or five shillings and ten shillings, it shows how long it has been.”

Grandma Christine started training at plush department store Kenneth Gibbs in Shandwick Place, which had its own animal grooming section.

It was there the producers of the Disney blockbuster brought “Bobby” to get him looking his best for the 1961 premiere.

Christine said: “It was getting shown at The Regal, and Walt Disney’s trainer came over with the dog and some other people. I got to wash and bath it.

“It was a mongrel, not a Skye, it didn’t have the long body of a Skye. There was a chief constable who got the dog when they all went back to America and left it and they would bring it in regularly.”

Three years later, she had bought her own shop, where she built up a reputation for being one of the best in the business.

Now dogs from as far away as New York – whose owners were staying at The Balmoral – have had been given the VIP treatment at her premises.

She has regulars from the north and south of England as well as other parts of Scotland, who go on monthly trips to the Capital.

Christine has even adopted dogs abandoned at her parlour.

Emma said it was her mother’s caring side that had kept the business going for so long.

She said Christine had taken on mistreated dogs and even adopted pets that owners never came to collect.

“I grew up in the shop with my mum and I couldn’t wait for her to teach me how to do it,” she said.

“With the shop being there for so long, we have done different generations of people on their dogs which has been great. It’s still nice when you see them going out and how happy the dog is.”

Customer Shirley-anne Cook, whose family has been taking dogs to the salon for ten years, was full of praise.

She said: “Both of my dogs love going to get their hair cut, and I always know when I leave Benji he is in safe hands.

“They do a fantastic job, I’m sure there’ll be many more happy days to come.”