The 'it sticks with you for the rest of the day....sometimes the next day too....AND if you really have issues, it could stick with you forever!
What in the world am I talking about?
Okay....I am pretty sure that most every groomer can relate to this.....and if it hasn't happened to you, IT WILL!
It has happened to me a number of times over the years, usually with a new customer.
It happened to me Saturday, and the feeling from it never changes.
Okay, okay, I am finally going to explain.
My last dog of the day Saturday was a new customer with a Maltese.
The grooming instructions where 'do a puppy cut', which after more questions, turned out to be 'short but not shaved'.
The owner said that she was not picky about the groom, so do what I thought would make the dog look nice.
The hair on the body was a little over 4 inches long, with a tiny bit of matting on the hips and around where the harness touched the dog.
The head was pretty over grown, as if the head had been left much fuller than the body for the last grooming.
The ears were a little matted, but not bad.
As the owner tentatively handed me her dog, she kept repeating to the dog; "be nice, be nice, be nice."
She most definitely made me feel that her dog might be a problem.
I asked if another groomer had ever told her that her dog was hard to groom, or if her dog had ever bitten another groomer.
Her answer was that she didn't think so, but the dog had come home from a couple of groomings acting upset.
The groom was very simple.
I chose to use a #3¾ blade on the body, with a lighter touch and scissor on the legs.
The #3¾ blade on the top of the head, blending over the ears and down the sides of the head, and scissor the face nice and round, and in proportion with the rest of the body.
I dematted the ears then took about ½ an inch off of the ears.
As I said, it was a very simple, easy groom.
The dog turned out to be very good, although I don't think anyone had ever used a HV drier on him before.
I had to talk him through that, but he learned fast that it was not hurting him.
The only thing that he protested about were having the nails clipped, and that was only a tiny protest.
I don't know why, but for some reason I was very proud of this groom.
I thought that, compared to the way the dog looked when he came in, he really looked cute.
Because he had come in with the long, overgrown, old man looking beard, I thought that the shorter round face really made him look more puppyish.
(Sorry I don't have pictures to show. I have become a little gun shy about showing pictures when I am telling a story about a particular customer. Without the pictures, I could be talking about anyone in the world. :/ )
Anyway, when the customer came to pick up, I took the dog up to the owner.
I came out of the grooming room to the lobby.
Mother and daughter were standing at the counter.
I walked over to the daughter (she was closest to me) and stopped.
And stood there....
And stood there.....
And stood there.....
No greeting to the dog.
No squeals of happiness to see the dog.
No oohs and awes.
They didn't even reach for the dog.
I had to eventually just put him down on the floor and hand the daughter the leash.
I don't know if I felt more sorry for the dog, or hurt that my cute groom was not even noticed.
Don't get me wrong.
I am not looking for praise...well, maybe a tiny bit.
I certainly want the owners to be happy with my work and the groom.
But, come on.....at least a smile, or a smile at the dog.
At least tell the dog he looks good.
I have no idea whether they liked the groom or not.
I walked back into the grooming room feeling down and defeated.
I was hoping that the owners would like the groom.
I was hoping that they would think that his face looked really cute.
I was looking forward to their reaction.
It's funny.....it seems that whenever I do expect (or hope for) a good reaction from a customer....I get nothing.
Everytime it brings me down.
But, on the other hand...I can almost ALWAYS rely on the very simple, short hair bath owners to tell me that I did an absolutely wonderful job grooming their dog. ;)
It is one of the crazy things about pet grooming.
At least I knew that that Maltese went home looking really cute. :)
So, if this happens to you once in a while, try not to get down, or upset about it.
Just remember that you did the best job that you could, and you made that dog feel good.