Rainbow Golden Retriever with dyed hair in Minnesota

By Kelly Loeffler | May 26, 2022 | Dog friendly, Minnesota, Pet Photography


Dory is a 2 year old golden retriever and absolutely loves attention. She has a beautiful bright personality and that shines through, her bright tail just adds to that. Dory’s photos got a lot of attention on social media so I wanted to give some info on Dory and her specific groom job

I asked Dory’s mom a few questions and here’s what she had to say about her star Dory the rainbow golden retriever

About Dory

Words from Dory’s mom

“I have dyed Dory before at home! She has been rainbow twice and then orange/purple for Halloween. She’s very good for the process, but I did not have the patience that Liz, the groomer does! Plus, the products I used were just not quite on par with the professionals!”

“If you have met Dory, you know she’s an absolute clown. She loves any amount of attention. So I really did it for her, since she loves the attention. But I also dyed her so that kids felt more comfortable with her. She loves children so much, and it can be a real talking point for kids to want to engage with us. When I dyed her at home, the color really only wanted to stay in the lightest part of her fur, the undercoat, which is that floofiness on her legs and tail. Rather than make her (or the groomer) spend a ton of time to dye her whole body, I opted to just dye the areas that would best hold the color.”

“Dory is a water fiend, so we spend a lot of time swimming in lakes, rivers, creeks or at The Dog Tank the doggy pool! We have started the sport dock diving this year, so we plan to compete more this coming summer!! Hopefully we will be able to get out and do more hiking and camping this summer as well, Dory had a ton of fun on the North Shore this fall. She swam for hours thanks to her Stunt Puppy life jacket, I’ve never seen a dog so blissful and lazy paddling in the sunshine. Otherwise, Dory spends her time as the Metro Dogs mascot. She loves nannying the puppies in the Puppy Pre-K program!!! She loves puppies so much. But she also loves playing with all the other dogs in daycare and saying hi to all the human clients.+

“I actually didn’t “plan” to get Dory. The pandemic hit, my job was shut down (non essential), and I was stuck at home. I NEEDED a dog or else I was going to go bonkers. Plus what better time to get a puppy, I had all day to potty train!! A family I dog sit for referred me to their breeder in Wisconsin, and I got really lucky. Because of the pandemic someone had backed out and there was one available puppy. Since her breeder matches puppies to the family purchasing, I told her what I wanted out of a dog, a fun active companion. She gave us “orange girl.”

“Dory lives with two cat brothers. She loves them, they’d rather she not exist, but they’re warming up after two years. The more a cat dislikes her the more she wants to love them, so I think they’ve all come to a truce.”

“I have so many favorite stories for Dory, but I think that this viral TikTok might take the cake. If only Dory could understand social media, because I promise you she’d be over the moon with all the attention! Even the hate, too, because any attention is good attention in Dory’s book. I’m so happy we did the photoshoot, they show off Dory’s personality perfectly.”

About Sunshine Pet Spa

I also want to make sure I showcase the amazing artist behind this groomer and dye work. Liz of Sunshine Pet Spa was the groomer. She kindly answered a few questions about herself and her work. Some have been the frequently asked questions on social media

What dye do/did you use?  “I have tried many different pet safe color and my favorite that I use at my salon is Crazy Liberty “

Did you go off of what the client specifically said or did you have creative freedom? “With Dory, her mom gave me a general color scheme that she was looking for and the areas she wanted colored. From there she gave me creative freedom. Most clients who want color do the same thing. They will give me their general ideas or their favorite colors And let me run with it.”

How long does the dye last? “The color is surprisingly long lasting and I will usually tell clients about 6 months until you notice the color really fading. For haircut dogs, it typically just ends up getting cut off eventually.”

How long does a dye job like dory’s take? “Dory’s color took me 3 hours to just place the color. I take my time and give dogs breaks as needed so it isn’t stressful for the dogs and they can still enjoy their spa day.”

How long have you been grooming? “I started grooming professionally in early 2015.” 

How long have you had your salon in minneapolis?  “My salon is still new, I opened up part time in August 2021 and now I am there full time as of January 2022.”

whats one of your favorite groom jobs you’ve done? “If I had to pick I would say Larry the giraffe. His mom and I were both so excited to do something special for his hairdo and Larry just soaks up all the attention when he is getting groomed. It was the first time I have gotten to do something where I styled a dog after another animal and it’s definitely been a highlight.”

Whats one thing/groom youd love to do in the future, whats one dog you havent groomed that youd love to?  “I just look forward to the opportunity to do some more creative grooms and color since they are my favorite. One color I have always wanted to do is some Lisa Frank inspired leopard print.” 

“I have done so many large breeds but I haven’t  been lucky enough to meet an Irish Wolfhound.” 

A little About the groomer My name is Liz (Elizabeth). I do have some babies of my own, I have two dogs Valentina, the French bulldog and Creature, the chihuahua. I also have three cats. Acorn, the sphynx, The Mayor and Prince Boy VonCuddlesworth, my Persians.  Growing up I always wanted to work with animals so I used to think I wanted to be a veterinarian. As I got older the reality of working with sick animals made me realize I was not cut out for that career path. At the time I was working at a tattoo shop. A friend of mine suggested applying to a corporate salon for their grooming training program so I could follow my heart and get to finally work with animals. Grooming wasn’t something I had ever thought about doing before. I fell in love with grooming immediately. It was the perfect combination of animals and art. But my favorite part of grooming is building a connection with each pet. I fall in love with every pet I meet. This is what made leaving my previous salon so hard for me. It’s saying goodbye to your four legged friends from the last 5+ years. I feel so lucky to meet new friends here at Sunshine and see so many of my hometown friends here in Minneapolis.  

It was my pleasure photographing Dory the rainbow golden retriever. She is just as fun and happy in person as she is in these photos. I’m also so glad photographing her lead me to meeting Liz and learning about her awesome grooming salon.