The Truth Behind That Viral Photo of a Dog with Glitter-Coated Testicles
Three weeks ago, the Facebook page Groomery Foolery — a self-described “groomer humor page made by groomers, for groomers” — posted a shocking photo of an intact male dog with glittery, blue testicles.
“I have seen so many things in this career. Very few things surprise me,” the page’s manager wrote alongside the graphic photo. “Yet here I sit looking at glitter dog balls.”
After this post, the same shot began to appear in other Facebook posts about dogs with glitter-coated testicles, including on the Facebook page for Royal Paws Pet Salon in High Point, North Carolina.
The salon’s post about the photos reads, “I just thought I would let everybody know the latest creative grooming trend is glitter balls! Please know that I love doing creative but, I will NOT be doing this. Posting for your entertainment.”
Word that covering a dog’s testicles in glitter was now a grooming trend went viral online, with many expressing their concern over the news on Twitter.
Jordan Burns, a professional groomer from Louisville, Kentucky, told PEOPLE that the public has it wrong, and this is not in fact a trend. She knows because the dog with the glittery, blue testicles in the now-viral photo is her 2-year-old standard poodle Valo.
Burns, who also breeds and shows fully health-tested standard poodles, said she took the now-infamous photo in March 2018 at the Columbus Pet Expo in Ohio. According to her, the shot was meant to be a one-time joke among her and the other breeders at the expo.
“I actually didn’t do it for the grooming community. It was a joke between other breeders,” Burns explained. “We get a lot of backlash for having intact dogs and someone made a joke that we should start glittering our dogs’ balls to make them even more noticeable. So I thought a pet expo would be a great way to jokingly test that out.”
Burns achieved this unique look with a dab of corn syrup and some edible cake glitter, ingredients that were safe for Valo to consume in case he licked the area.
“My boy is very desensitized to being touched since he is a show dog so he did not mind the process or notice the ‘glitter’ the whole time we were there,” the owner added.
Burns said she wants to emphasize that she only did this once to her dog, because she knew he would not be bothered by it. Unsure of how the photo resurfaced online after so many months, Burns stressed that this is not and never should be a grooming trend.
“This is not a service any groomer, including myself, will ever offer in the future,” Burns said.
“I have received some backlash and wanted to say that I would never put my dogs in harm’s way or mistreat them,” she added. “This was a one-time joke among friends and not a trend.”