After being told by several people, and then finally the vet, that Kip's hair was "kinda long", I started seriously looking around for a decent groomer. Which was when I learned that the reputable ones I might maybe perhaps trust were a) really really far from where I live and b) cost a mint.
So -- lightbulb moment -- I decided to trim her myself. The thing is, I never had a problem with Kip's scruffy look; I actually like her like that. And I've always been pretty conscientious about keeping her clean and brushed, so she doesn't have any mats or skin issues. But I had to agree with the vet that giving her a trim would cut down the increasing tangles, and help her keep cooler and drier.
Me? Too long?
No look, really?
Sigh, ok, if you say so.
And so me, who had only ever had to deal with Labrador/Alsatian/Beagle types in the past (read super easy grooming issues), got myself a dog trimmer.
This is what we ended up with:
While certainly not professional-groomy-perfect, I think it's okaaay, and I have to admit she looks neater and cooler (in the less warm sense). Well practise makes perfect they say (and saving 100 bucks each time certainly doesn't hurt)!