Tia Resleure: shaman, artist, canine dental hygienist

March 5, 2006

Twice a year we take our two Italian Greyhounds to get their teeth cleaned – I know it sounds precious, but these dogs are famous for having their teeth rot out of their head, so our breeder insists on it. (Do YOU brush your dogs’ teeth every day? You’re supposed to!)

Tia Resleure

Tia Resleure: photo © 2006 by Roger Bourland.

The canine-dental hygienist-cum-shaman who was recommended to us is Tia Resleure. Tia is a strong, beautiful woman with wild grey hair that is tamed in back by a clip, and has a face with one of the great smiles I know. I was able to see tatoos on her arms and I assumed there are more but I didn’t ask. She lives alone with room-mates and her dogs somewhere in the bay area. Digging beneath the surface wasn’t too difficult and I discovered an amazing artist whose art incorporates taxidermy — not creepy like Joel Peter Witkin. Visit her website, which is called A Case of Curiosities. She has been attacked by folks from the Christian-right and told she would burn in hell. I encouraged her to start a blog, start up a conversation or black list ’em. I hope that I encouraged her to get over them, to go ahead and follow her marvelous muse.

First Diva

“First Diva” by Tia Resleure

At age 7, Tia’s stepfather father insisted she have braces so that she “could be more beautiful.” As a result, braces at that age can cause trauma to the teeth, and now, years later, she has very few of her original teeth left. So it appears her karma has brought her around to helping keep our dogs’ teeth tartar-free.

I had to first bring Giacometti over for his one and a half hour treatment. Tia puts the dog on his back and her thumb between the teeth and scapes off the tartar with a professional dental pick. We talked the whole time. (Next time I’ll bring my banjo.) The picture you see above is Tia pinning/dominating our second dog, Cody.

She told me about a job she had the other day where she had a half mastiff half pit bull with jaws of steel, and she had to do the tartar control number on him. She turned him into a pussy cat by the end of the session. Today, while I waited, she cleaned the teeth of a very large greyhound. While we waited, various Italian Greyhound owners and wanna-be owners sat around an outside table on a chilly Santa Monica pre-Oscar afternoon.


“Studio of the Painter” by Joel-Peter Witken

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

victoriavon March 8, 2006 at 7:38 pm

I am lucky enough to know Tia personally and as a friend. She is passionate and devoted to her art, her dogs, and her convictions. Tia is a woman of honour with a will of iron. Anyone would be lucky to count her as an ally. I bet she would be damn good on your side in a fight too 😉

tia March 9, 2006 at 8:48 am

Just some minor corrections and comments.
1. It was the evil step-father who made me get braces at age 7. I don’t know if it was karma about ending up a dog dental hygienist but I sure thinks it’s ironic!
2. I WISH I lived alone! 10 years ago I got burnt out of a cottage I lived in for 13 years. Going back into the market-value SF rental market was a shock and I was forced to live with roommates, something I hadn’t done since I was 16 years old. Makes one feel like kid…
3. It’s basically one tattoo that goes up my arms and down my back side. The tattoo artist is Don Nolan, one the great oldtimers. I started with him 27 years ago.

Regarding Joel Peter Witkin. I used to love his work… until he spoke in public about it at the SF Art Institute, 1980 something. He didn’t really have anything to say about the content of hs work other than “Madam, I’m dealing with DEATH.” I didn’t have a problem with his subject matter, I just wanted to hear about his motivation. HOW is he dealing with death other than looking at it. Yes, the print quality is lovely.

Yesterday I went through msot of Roger’s website. I played the Crocodile’s Christmas Ball over and over. The Delight Factor was way up there with Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann. Very inspiring!

Roger Bourland March 9, 2006 at 9:05 am

Thanks Victoria! You are lucky to have Tia as a friend, and I assume, neighbor. She only gets down to LA every 6 months…

Tia: Thanks for your corrections and additions, and thanks for letting my write about you.

Colleen S. June 29, 2006 at 5:47 pm


Hey! I am wondering if I can paas my info on to Tia. I have a sweet dog, who is very mouth-handling-friendly, and I’d love to get her teeth done without anesthesia. Would you mind? I’m comdelarte@hotmail.com… thanks!

Roger Bourland June 30, 2006 at 5:29 am

Happy to pass this on to her. Hmm, it may be about time for us to visit her again….

Previous post:

Next post: