Admittedly, she started looking like a sheep dog--or, better yet, I guess she was looking more like her "Best in Show" cousins with the long, flowing mane.
The long, flowing hair was difficult to keep clean in some areas (sanitary reasons), but it was also difficult to keep from matting, especially around her collar and behind her ears. I spent a great deal of time attempting to brush out the matted hair behind her ears--but even using special product to untangle the mess did not help. Plus, O definitely did not want to sit still whilst I used a prickly brush to pull on her hair.
After MUCH stress (and competing against every other dog owner in the area who had the same idea), I got Olivia into the groomer for what I thought would be a small trim.
When I arrived, however, I learned that the only solution to the matted parts was to CUT IT OFF. (Apparently, I should've been brushing O before washing her not after. Who knew?!)
I reluctantly agreed to the severe cut (poor O!, I thought) and left O in the capable hands of the grooming staff.
When I returned to collect O from the spa and they brought her out to me, I thought they'd brought me a Chihuahua.
Oh, but it wasn't a Chihuahua: it was Olivia.
I just looked at her and felt so bad. The groomer had to shave off more than we'd discussed when I dropped Olivia off (more matted hair from O's owner--i.e., me--not brushing her hair correctly or enough). I kept apologizing to O, not that she understood what I said.
Lesson learned, though: I need to brush O before I bathe her. (I got it. Message received--unfortunately at the expense of little Olivia.)