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, April 1, 2014

Right? or Wrong?

Over the years I have had many different types of owners walk through my door.
Some owners carry their dogs in and hold them tight until I take the dog from them. (or pry the dog out of their hands)

Some owners walk their dogs in and hand me the leash without much ceremony.
Other owners rush in, shove the dog in my arms, say 'do the same as always....call me', and are out the door and gone before you can blink.

Then there are the owners who walk in my door, sometimes with the dog on a leash, sometimes not.
They walk in and immediately give their dog a stern command to sit and stay.
I stand back and wait to get the okay to take the dog.

Now, I have to interrupt my own story here to explain something about myself.

I have a bad habit.
What is my bad habit?
I let dogs jump up on me to greet me.
I have been doing it as long as I can remember.
I feel that the first meeting, in my lobby, between me and the dog is very important.
I love when dogs run into my shop and jump on me to greet me.

Of course, I have paid for this bad habit more than a few times over the years.
A paw punch square to the chest.
A dogs head smack to the jaw, hard enough to rattle my teeth.
Pee all over my shoes as the over excited dog is jumping all over me.
Knocked backwards into the wall.
Sharp, long toenails to the belly.

All of that and I still let the dogs jump up on me. :)

 I have been scolded by several owners over the years for doing this.
Some owners are very strict when it comes to their dogs training.
If I notice that an owner does not allow, or like their dog to jump up, I am very quick to back off and gently push the dog away till it sits in front of me.
That is if the owner has not already roughly yanked their dog away from me and is scolding both me and the dog.

I also try to very quickly defuse the situation by apologizing and blaming myself for the dog jumping up on me.
The last thing I want in my lobby is an angry owner scolding their dog to try to prove to me that they are in control.
I have had a few pet owners get so angry with their dog, that they yank, yell and put the dog through all of its training paces before they will let me have the dog.

Then they leave the dog with me, and I love up all over that dog and apologize to the dog for the owner that they have to deal with.

Don't get me wrong.
I would much rather deal with a well behaved dog then a spoiled brat dog.
I also teach my own dogs not to jump up on other people, BUT if someone invites my dog to jump up and greet them I don't get upset at the person or my dog.

Anyway, back to my story.....

I have a customer whose dogs I have been grooming for a very long time.
This customer has stuck with me through my shop moving a couple times, grooming out of a van, and back to my current shop.
I groomed this customers first Wheaton till she passed.
The last year of the first Wheatons life I went to the owners house and groomed the dog there, because it was too much for the dog to come to my shop.

Then the owners got another Wheaton.

Where as the first Wheaton was very calm, their new Wheaton is a wild thing.
A very sweet wild thing.
She is very loved, very well taken care of, and very spoiled.
And no......there has not been a lot of training.

I have trained her to be a very good dog on the grooming table.
She is very wild when she first comes into my shop.
She drags her owner to the door, and runs back to the groom room and picks out her own kennel.
She is so excited to see me, that she runs in, crashes into me, and jumps up to get her hug.

When some dogs are dragged in the door for their groomings, and other dogs are shaking out of their skin because they know that their owner is going to leave them for a while, it makes me love it all the more when a dog runs into my shop so happy to see me.

Soooo, I let them jump up on me.

Well, this particular Wheaton came in for her 4 week appointment four weeks ago.
The owner was out of town, so her pet sitter brought the dog in.

Now....here is where the problem starts.

My daughter went out to the lobby to get the Wheaton from the pet sitter.
As usual the Wheaton was very happy to see my daughter and be at the shop for her grooming appointment.
The pet sitter was having none of this dogs wild ways.
She did not hit the dog, but she (kind of forcefully) made the dog sit and got right in her face talking to her in a very angry voice before she would let my daughter take the dog.
When my daughter came back in the groom room with the dog, she was upset.
She told me that she hadn't ever heard any dogs owner sound as nasty as the pet sitter just did.

My husband was also upset by the way this pet sitter was acting.
(He had walked into the lobby just as my daughter was taking the dog from the pet sitter)

We all knew for fact that this particular pet owner would not be very happy about how her dog was being treated.
We talked for awhile as to whether or not we should tell the Wheatons owner.
The pet sitter left the dog at our shop long after we had called her to pick up the dog.
As a matter of fact, we had to call her a second time to make sure she did not forget about the dog.
I also did not like the way she left with the dog.
Yanking on her to sit before they went out the door, and then yanking her neck again to walk without pulling to the car.

Fast forward to today....

The Wheaton was in again for her four week appointment.
Again the subject was brought up as to whether or not interfere on behalf of the dog and tell her owner about the pet sitter.

Now, I understand being responsible for another persons dog.
I also understand having to control a dog that is not well trained and can be wild.
Those kind of dogs give me heart attacks everyday.
I find myself doing some form of training everyday to teach a dog to pay attention to me and hopefully behave for the grooming so that I will not accidentally cut him/her.
I do this training as positively as I can.
My goal is to get the dogs to trust me and not be afraid of me, or the grooming.
Being nasty or mean will not get anyone anywhere.

I don't like or want to get anyone in trouble, but this bothered me (us) so much.
This was a very good customer, with a very sweet dog that I really like.
It came down to...if it were my dog, I would want someone to tell me if they thought that someone, who I have left my dog in the care of, was not treating my dog right.

So, what did I decide to do?

I told the owner.
I told her that the pet sitter did not strike the dog, but that we did not like, nor thought (in our opinion) that the way she treated the dog was necessary.
The owner thought that the pet sitter may have been angry about bring the dog in for grooming, because the pet sitter had wanted an extra $20 to drop the dog off and another $20 to pick the dog back up. (she had never asked for this before)
This on top of the fact that she had also just raised her pet sitting fees.
The dogs owner understood charging for mileage, but thought that $40 for a 20 minute round trip was crazy and refused to pay it.

If the pet sitter was upset with the owner, than she should have refused the job, not take it out on the dog.
There have been a number of pet owners over the years that have really pissed me off, but I have not ever taken it out on their dog.
As a matter of fact, usually when a dog has an a**hole for an owner, I give that dog some extra lovin', because I worry about how that same owner is treating their own dog. :/

The owner was very happy that I told her.
I felt happier that I had told her also....but I also felt like a big old tattle tail.

I hope that I did the right thing.


  1. If it was my dog, I would want to be told. So I think you did the right thing.

  2. You were absolutely right...for what its worth, I would have done the same. I wonder why a pet sitter would treat a dog roughly in front of a groomer? Don't they know 99% of us are super softies at heart...

  3. Good choice. In my shop the dog ALWAYS comes first. Has made for awkward moments but we are their voice.
    Had to smile about the dogs with A### owners, I do the same thing. Figure they could use some love, they have a tough job living with that person.
    Love the blog - thanks for sharing.

  4. I feel you did the right thing telling the owner. I would want to know when Iam away the person looking after my dogs is kind and loving ...even if they are hyper its part of the job to have patience every dog is different and had different needs. Just imagine if she was like that in front of people how was she behind closed doors to this pet:(

  5. ....I think you did the right thing. If I treat my dog one way, anyone I entrust my dog to should treat them the same way (within reason). If someone that knows that I would NEVER treat my dog this way sees it, I would want to know!

  6. I definitely think you did the right thing. If I were the owner, I would want to know! If anyone yells around my dog, or if it even sounds like two people get in an argument nearby, my pointer mix goes into shaking fits. We never yell at him because he cannot handle it. What if the wheaton was like that, and the sitter made it extremely upset? Not only that, but depending on the dog, it could have upset it for the entire grooming, being yelled at prior. Good decision, in my book.


  7. Yes you did the right thing. Where I work owners tell at their dogs when they are droping them off. It upsets me. I would want someone to do the same thing if it were my dog