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.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What Would You Do?...So Sad

This post is not my usual 'What would you do' post.

The question today was not how would I groom this dog, but should I groom this dog?

I had a regular customer come in with her dogs today for her scheduled appointment.

My son brought the first dog back to the grooming room.
I immediately notice the fresh 'Vet shaved ring' around the dogs front leg.
Before I could say anything, my son told me that the owner only wanted a bath and neaten today because the dog has been sick.

"Sick how?" I asked my son.
"I don't know," he answered. "Dad is still talking to her, but she wants to pick her up as soon as she is done."

To look at the dog, she seemed fine, she just looked a little sad.
I usually have an owner have their Vet give the okay to have their dog groomed when it has been sick, but this owner did not call ahead of the appointment to let us know that her dog had been ill.

I was about to find out just how ill this dog was.

My husband came back to the grooming room about 10 or 15 minutes later, after the owner had left.

"What is wrong with the dog," I asked him.
"She is dying," he told me. "The Vet expected her to pass away this past weekend."

"Why is she here?!"
"What is she dying from?" 
"Why is she here?!" I said again.

"She was born with deformed kidneys and they are giving out on her," my husband explained.
"She was given fluids and a couple of shots and sent home, given only a couple of days to live.She started walking and eating again yesterday and her owners feel that God gave them a miracle.The owner just wants you give her a bath and she will come right back to pick her up," he finished.

"Why didn't she call and  to ask if it would be okay to still bring her?"
"Did she ask her Vet if it was okay to groom her?"
"What if her kidneys give out on her while she is here?"

My husband looked like a deer in headlights.
He could not answer any of my questions.
He didn't seem to see anything wrong with grooming the dog, because it was only a bath, and the dog looked like she was okay.

So what would you have done?

Send her home immediately?
Go ahead and bathe her, and get her back to the owner as quickly as possible?

What did I do?

I got her done and back to her owner as fast as possible, without making her feel rushed.
She did great.
You wouldn't even know anything was wrong with her other than she gave off a very sad vibe.

I did one other thing too.

I took a picture for her owner.

One that they could frame.

 I feel like I did the right thing. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. If I hadn't already cried 3 months worth of tears this afternoon, this post would have made me cry. Old (or sick) dogs make me sad. When I lost my boxer mix to cancer last summer, I didn't want to put him through the stress of a bath, but I can understand how people want their dogs to look nice in the end...

    OK, maybe I have a couple of tears left.

    Beautiful post.

    1. Thank you Jennifer,
      It was harder to write then I thought it would be. I do think that she felt a little better getting all cleaned up.
      I hope that everything is okay....
      Lisa, MFF

  2. I think so too! What a beautiful gift to the owners and to the dog! Probably one last pampering for her, and I'm sure she enjoyed it!

  3. What a great photo. As a pet owner, I think you did exactly the right thing. It's nice to pet and cuddle a clean dog and I'm sure there is going to be a lot of that in the week to come. How sweet to make sure the dog is looking pretty at the end. I can certainly see why you would have wanted more information from the owner before proceeding but I'm glad you decided to go ahead.

    1. Thank you! It is nice to have a pet owners perspective. It is extremely hard to work on a dog that is living on borrowed time. Especially such a small amount of time. I agree with you...hugging a clean dog is the best. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  4. You gave her lots of love and possibly for the last time you will see her. :) I think dogs appreciate things like that more than we know.

  5. This post made me cry. You did a wonderful thing for that owner.

  6. Made me cry! What a little beauty! I have no doubt that I would have done the same as you did...we work on dogs with hidden illness all the time...we just don't know about it until we get one of those dreaded phone calls...where you say " But I just groomed him recently and he seemed just fine!" I work on many old dogs with fragile health issues, and each time I wonder if this will be the last, but they are like a Timex and they keep on ticking! I always hug and kiss each one and thank them for coming to see me. It was thoughtful of you to take a pretty picture. Love, Mo

    1. You are so right Mo.
      I have three very elderly dogs with multiple health issues that I was sure would not make it through the year and they are still going strong. Then you get that call about a fairly young dog that blows you away. I would rather not know that it is their last time, but when I do know, I try to make it as pleasant as possible for them. I also give them tons of hugs and kisses. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  7. What a beautiful picture and a great gift to the parents! She does not look sick on the photo, she looks very serene and that is how the owners will remember her when she is gone - thanks to your thoughtful gesture.

  8. This is so sad i would have been bathing him and crying :( you did the right thing :)

  9. Thanks tvergirl and Jessica,
    I got a call from the owners today. She has passed away. :(
    Lisa, MFF

  10. I've been grooming for about 2 years now, and last week my most favorite little guy passed away :( I've never lost a client before. I've been grooming him since I was training. He was so sweet and would just let me hug him and love on him the whole groom. I got a picture of him last time I groomed him, and I plan on doing the same thing and giving his parents the picture. I miss him so much :(

    1. Hi,
      It is amazing how attached we can get to dogs that are not ours. I am sorry that you lost such a sweet dog/customer. His owners will love the picture. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  11. As groomers we do get attached to the dogs we get to know. To give a dog a bath or a groom for the last time is very sad, even if you don't know the dog. We love all dogs or we would not be groomers. It makes a sad day for all. Love the picture.