About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why, Why, Why...

Why do I keep grooming 'Chauncey'?
Who is 'Chauncey'?

He is a Lhasa that I have been grooming for almost ten years.
What is the problem?
I really do not have time to list all of the problems over the last 10 years that lead me to feel this way.
I actually get angry at myself for feeling this way.

There are not many dogs that I can say I really don't like.
Come to think of it, I do like 'Chauncey'.
I don't like GROOMING 'Chauncey'.     
I think it is just that he has become so hard and dangerous to groom, that I don't like when he comes in.
I can honestly say that his owner irritates the He** out of me.
She manages to push ALL of the wrong buttons.
** She No shows.
** She forgets appointments, even when we call to remind.
** She cancels appointments 10 minutes AFTER she is supposed to be here.
** She shows up late for appointments.
** Shows up late to pick up. (after we closed)
** She is a hypochondriac about her dogs medical problems.
** She calls to ask about an appointment she never made, and insists that she did.
** She has special Holistic instructions for bathing the dog. (really don't have a problem with this one)
** She waits way too long between groomings, causing him to be more work then he needs to be.
** She sends the dog back one or two times, when she picks up, to shorten the ears or tail.
 Is that enough reason to irritate me?

WHY do I continue to groom her dog?
** She found me after other groomers refused to groom her dog.
** He is a biter.
** For many years I had no problem grooming 'Chauncey.
** He does have a lot of medical issues, and I felt sorry for him.
** I do like working with difficult dogs. (not difficult owners)

Soooo, I have put up with this owner over the years for her dogs sake.
But, 'Chauncey' is 16 years old now, and his twisted front legs really bother him.
He has really bad arthritis, and has become a very testy, rotten old man.
I can't say I blame him, I don't think I would be in a very good mood if I had all of the aches and pains that he has.

The last few groomings have been very scary and difficult.
Not because of his biting, I am used to that.
It is because he never stops moving, not even for a second.
He falls over.
He wants to turn all of the time.
He just shifts his weight constantly, back and fourth, and sideways.
You can be scissoring, and he will suddenly shift his weight right into your scissors as you are cutting.
He is now so bony, that it is impossible to get a smooth cut on his body with the clipper.
Where as, he has always been a biter, mainly for his feet, he now bites for EVERYTHING.
Most of all, if I ever cut this dog accidentally, his owner would expire on my lobby floor.
I would have to clean her up.
I just don't want to be bothered with that.
Does that make me sound mean and unfeeling?
I have a lot of patience, but everyone has their limits, and this owner is really pushing it.
Has pushed it.
Is past pushing it.

Again, I ask why, why, why?
For the dog.
For the dog.
For the dog.

 Two grooms ago, I sent 'Chauncey' home shortly after he arrived for his grooming.
We had gotten him in the tub, then he would not let us touch him.
He was in one he** of a bad mood.
Well, mom had canceled more times then I could count over the years, now it was my turn.
I almost NEVER send a dog back home.

Needless to say, 'Chauncey's' mom was not happy.
"What do you mean you can't groom him?"
"He needs it. He is over due." (not my fault, I am here everyday)
"OMG, what am I going to do? Please groom him!"
"What is the matter with him?'
"Why is he in a bad mood?"
"How do you know he is not feeling well?"
We calmed her down, and told her that we would reschedule him, to try on a day that he may be feeling better.
We did groom him a week later, the best we could.
We told the owner that in order for us to continue grooming 'Chauncey', she had to understand that we would do the best we could with what he would let us do.

'Chauncey' was in on Saturday.
I have his mom bring him in as the last appointment of the day.
I have to get myself into a certain mind set to work on 'Chauncey'.
I must keep myself calm, and just let the grooming flow, and do what I can.
This is definitely not the time to be a perfectionist, and stress over the things 'Chauncey' will not let me do.
It is more important not to upset him at his age, not that I ever want to upset a dog at any age.
Of course I don't want to be upset either.

 Why, Why, Why....
I am doing this for the dog.
I am doing this for the dog.
I am doing this for the dog.

P.S. To the groomers out there....don't look too closely at the finished grooming. :)
Happy grooming, MFF

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