I was once accused of "shaming" a client whose dog was very matted. I actually never thought of it that way. She had a high maintenance breed which she wanted kept in full coat. I'll admit.. he looks beautiful in this trim. That said, as usual, I don't believe in causing pain to dogs for the sake of the owner's vanity.
It's not their fault they became matted. They didn't choose to be kept in full coat. I really believe, that given the choice, (my own dogs included) dogs would choose to be shaved every time. Let's face it, the long, beautiful flowing coats... that is for us, not the dogs.
The "shaming" in question happened when this client had her dog's coat get away from her. She really does normally brush her dog, otherwise there would be no way to keep him looking like he does. She went through a phase where brushing the dog wasn't top on her list. The day in question he was very matted. I barely saved his coat, by splitting through the matts, and he still ended up with brush burn. Brush burn is caused by constant brushing in one spot, causing a sore on the skin. We avoid doing this as best we can. It's usually seen on pink skinned/white coated breeds who have had to have alot of brushing to get rid of matting. I feel horrible me when this happens. The poor dog! It's one of the reasons why we many times refuse to brush out badly matted animals. I told the client, though I had saved her dog's coat today, if he came back in this condition, I would have to shave him. I suppose that did sound a bit like shaming. (?) Kind of an ultimatum, I guess.. but that day I wished I would've called her and told her shaving was the only option, instead of torturing her dog.
The next time she came in, the dog was in much better shape. I mentioned it, and it was then that she told me "well, last time you shamed me". I felt bad.. I don't want to have my clients feel that way. I felt I gave her a choice, but perhaps it could've been worded better. That said.. it worked. He never came back in that condition again.
It does make me wonder, though. Have I shamed others into going to a different groomer? I realize I actually did nothing wrong. But, people want what they want. Sometimes they try to find someone who will give them that no matter what.
It reminds me of a cat we used to groom, who absolutely hated grooming of any kind. Her owners were told there was no other choice for us but to sedate her for grooms. She was very unhappy with that choice and moved on to another grooming place. She told us "they have no problem with her". We found this really hard to believe, but hey, good for them. Years later I spoke with a groomer that worked at the place she went. She told us it took 3 people to hold the cat down, and that sometimes she would pass out from fighting so hard. If that was my cat.. I'd want to know the truth, and would realize that sedation was a better answer for the cat. How sad.
My clients, when told that their precious pet was good for her grooming, will many times say "you say that to everyone" or " you wouldn't tell me if she was bad". Wrong. I do tell people. They need to know. Maybe they can change something with training at home, maybe they can't, but it's important that they know.
If that is shaming, I guess I'm going to keep doing it. The truth hurts sometimes.