I nicked a dog today. :(
I truly have no idea how or why it happened.
Well, I know how.
I mean, I have always worried that I would accidentally cut this particular dog.
He is one of my 'special cases'.
The very first time I grooming him he went for my face and just missed nailing my nose big time.
He was a quick, determined biter.
Determined to draw blood.
After the first time I groomed him, I talked to the owners about bring him in on a regular scheduled so that he could get used to me and being groomed.
I told them that my goal was to get their dog used to me and learn that he could trust me.
The owners listened to me and understood what I was asking.
They are great customers and have kept their dogs on a regular schedule since then.
This dog was one of only two dogs that I had to muzzle to groom.
But, I worked with him.
No one touches him but me.
Slowly, very slowly, I was able to groom parts of him without the muzzle.
Eventually I only needed the muzzle when I was clipping and scissoring his feet.
It took several years.
I haven't had to use the muzzle at all for his last four groomings.
He still goes after me once in a while, but he is a senior now and not as fast as he used to be.
Plus, I am always on alert with him.
I know his trigger points.
I know his body language.
My biggest fear while grooming this dog has always been that he would bite my clipper while it was running and cut up his tongue, or bite my scissors and slice his mouth.
So, what happened today?
He was in a pretty good mood today.
He only went after me once.
He had let me clip an scissor his face without getting upset.
He does not usually like me holding his head still to scissor close around his mouth, but today he just sat there and let me scissor away.
Even the hairs under his nose, that he usually sucks into his mouth and wont let me touch.
I had clipped his body, and scissored his legs up.
I was ready to turn him around and finish his other side, I just wanted to run the blade of him one more time.
I lifted his front leg and took the blade down his chest.
The blade suddenly caught and I quickly pulled it away.
'Hmmm, has he got a wart there?' I thought to myself.
I lifted his leg again to get a better look at the chest.
There was a teeny, tiny red mark, and no wart.
I couldn't believe it.
I was using a new #5F blade.
I have never had a #5F blade catch on a dogs skin before.
It was a tiny V cut about the size of a sesame seed.
Yes, that small.
It was only the top layer of skin that was cut.
It did not bleed.
The most amazing thing of all?
This dog that is so sensitive about everything didn't even notice that I nicked him.
He was too busy watching out my window.
He likes watching out my window. :)
Did I say that I couldn't believe it?
I can't even remember the last time I nicked a dog with a blade.
I kept going over it in my mind.
I checked the blade, although I had used it on several dogs already with no problems.
The blade seemed fine.
I still took it out of the rotation just in case.
My guess....is that even though I had lifted the leg so that the skin was tight over the chest, he is a senior dog, his skin is thinning with age and not as tight as it used to be.
I am very thankful for my quick reflexes.
I have made it a habit to always pull the blade away at the least feel of any type of resistance.
Even when I know the resistance might just be a mat.
I never force a blade through.
I credit this habit for the nick being so tiny.
Still in all, I felt and still feel terrible.
I feel like I must have not been paying attention enough.
Still can't believe that a #5F blade caught the skin on a flat area of the dog.
I am very thankful that the dog did not feel anything.
I worked way too hard to get his trust.
I told his owner what happened and apologized.
He was very understanding.
I did not charge for the groom.
It has always been my policy not to charge for a groom if the dog is injured in any way.
Even if it was an accidental injury caused by the dogs sudden movement.
I will also pay Vet bills if the injury calls for a Vet visit.
The owner thought that I was nuts for not charging him.
Especially after I showed the nick to him and you could already hardly see it.
I know I am nuts.