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By Wendy Weinstein

The Salon Pup.

by | Mar 23, 2021 | GZ Salon News

Last Friday, March 12th, I had to do one of the hardest things a human has to do. I had to put down my buddy dog Dean Martin. It’s been a week since he passed, and the heartbreak I feel is only getting better because of the love I feel from my friends, family, and clients when they hear about D.

When people walk in the salon now, they have that look on their face like they can’t quite put their finger on what’s different. They’re looking around for that dog that may or not be an asshole that day. Let’s face it, Dean was a moody thing. He would bark at all the dogs that walked by (and in Mt. Airy, everyone has a dog!) and I had to figure out a way to stop the barking before Erin or I cut someone’s ear off. My friend Alex described Dean as a “character.” But I know anyone that reached down to pet that cute fluffy dog and got growled at, saw teeth showing, or even worse was snapped at, would not be so nice with their word choice. In Dean’s defense though, he was stepped on, banged into, or rolled over enough times to be a little grumpy. But like him or not, he was there every day with me for the past 13 years, and he stayed with me during all my long nights at the salon. He was just a little guy, but I always felt safer when he was around.

I got my Sheltie/Eskimo mix puppy at a pet store and named him Dean Martin because I already had three dogs at home that I referred to as my dog Ratpack. If you’re old enough to know who the Ratpack was, you probably laughed when you found out his name. Of course, he went by many nicknames: D, D Money, Money, and my favorite, “Dean Martin,” pronounced with a French accent. He was a beautiful dog and when he wanted to, he nuzzled up under your arms and you just smiled.

Anyone who has walked into a Ground Zero Hair Salon is no stranger to being greeted by a four-legged employee. Twenty-five years ago, when I brought my first golden retrievers, Joe and Jack, to the salon in Powelton Village, it wasn’t so common to bring pets to work. Then at Ground Zero South, I had to put my puppy Charlie in a crib so Jack wouldn’t bite him. And there was sweet Max from Lynchburg who all the boys hated in the Center City salon. All my dogs, Dean included, brought such personality, liveliness, and fun to the long days at the salon.

I always think of how lucky I am to have a business where I can bring my dogs. I suppose everyone working from home this past year knows how I feel. I’m also very lucky to have had a group of people that worked with me that loved and cared for those pups. To anyone who has ever walked, fed, or cleaned up after one of my furry kids while I was in the middle of applying hair color, I thank you. It totally goes above and beyond any job description.

When I decided to start a blog on Ground Zero’s website, I told myself I would write about anything as long as it pertained to things having to do with the hair industry and or the comings and goings of the salon. I really wanted to write about Dean’s passing because he was a salon pup.

Some clients feel the loss of every one of my dogs. Some had favorites. I’m sure some clients didn’t like any of them. The dogs had their favorites too, and I always took notice of who they liked the most. Whatever the feelings toward them, my dogs have been a staple in Ground Zero for a long time.

So I’ll miss my puppy Dean, just as I miss all of them. The salon feels empty without its salon pup. I swore I would never get another dog after D … I wouldn’t bet on it though.