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.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sick Days

What's that?

I used to get sick days back when I worked at a Bank, before I became a dog groomer.
They were paid sick days.
I actually got paid for being sick and not working.
That was a long, long, long time ago.

I don't know about all groomers out there, but most groomers don't get the luxury of sick days.
Some may be lucky enough to have a job with a shop that is able and willing to give sick days, but I never worked at one.

I still don't. :)

It is so hard for a groomer to take a sick day.
Most groomers are paid by commission.
If you don't go to work and groom dogs, you don't get paid for that day.
So a lot of groomers go to work sick.

Don't they?
Please tell me that I am not the only one who drags my butt to work no matter how I feel.

I can count, on one hand, the number of days in the last 28 years that I have called customers to reschedule them because I was too sick to come in to work.
I have groomed through severe head colds, sinus infections,  and the flu.
I groomed through all three of my pregnancy's.
I got Shingles (a form of Chickenpox) when I was 3 months pregnant with my daughter.
I worked everyday with that pain.
I don't wish that pain on anyone.

I worked till the day before each one of my kids was born.

With my third pregnancy, I groomed 12 dogs, 20 minutes after I got home that night, my water broke.
I had my son the next day, 3 weeks early.
I was trying to get as many of my customers dogs groomed before I took off for a week.

I did hire a couple of groomers to take over for me when I had my daughter so that I could actually have a 6 week maternity leave...without pay.
I only took 3 weeks off after my oldest son was born.
I didn't want to hear all of the complaints that I heard from my customers the last time I took off to have a baby.
I only took one week off after my last son was born.
My customers were happy that I was only gone a week. :/

It depresses me sometimes that a lot of my customers don't care how sick I may look when I wait on them, as long as I still groom their dogs when they want them groomed.

I have always said that I wanted to draw a cartoon and put it on my lobby wall.
The cartoon would be a drawing of a coffin with flowers next to it that has a ribbon that says 'Rest in Peace Lisa'.
My family will be standing at one end of the coffin and at the other end will be a customer with their dog.
There will be a bubble over the customers head saying "What do you mean Lisa can't groom my dog?"

I know.

I am morbid.

Jessica woke up sick today.
She was really feeling bad.
In eleven years of grooming she has only missed 1 day of work.
It took me an hour today to convince her to miss her second day.

She had 8 dogs on today, and we are both booked out till mid May, and then there are only one or two appointments open.
She was more upset about where to move these people than about being sick.

It sucks not to have paid sick days.

Even when you own your own shop, if you don't do the number of dogs in a week to cover your overhead for that week, you don't get a full weeks pay.

She stayed home.
I moved 6 of her dogs.
We will have extra dogs for a few days next week.

You lose pay when you stay out sick, then you have to kill yourself making up for it later.

Sometimes you really have to love this job to stick with it.

Happy grooming, MFF


  1. Sick days??? No way. My co-worker and I have only taken a handful of days off in the 20 plus years we've worked together. Only serious things like hospitilization or projectile vomiting will keep us home. No work, no pay. Plus, we know the other one will have to pick up the slack if we can't get all the early dogs called before they start showing up.

    You are so right about the clients being unforgiving, and your cartoon idea is sadly so true. I got a client (not very proud to say) when one of the local groomers was on maternity leave. The client told me she would be switching to me, as her groomer left her high and dry. REally??? Because she gave birth??? How dare she! Sickening.

  2. Hi D,
    It is sad isn't it.
    I hope that your employer knows what great groomers he has working for him.
    I have often wondered if my customers would be as understanding if I canceled their appointments at the last minute like they do with me...all of the time. :/
    Lisa, MFF