Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Just like that, it's over.

This year Christmas rush was 2 full weeks of mad chaos.  Normally it doesn't last quite 10 days, but since J had a part of that 1st week off, I got to reap the benefits. 

The schedule tends to fill slowly, fooling us into thinking "where is everyone??".  Then, it hits.  Grooming appointments go quickly, when everyone realizes there is a major holiday coming on, and people will expect the dog to smell nice.  The schedule fills in hours, reminding me of a Lady Gaga concert selling out in 15 minutes.  Then we start a waiting list.  There is invariably people who don't respect the fact that they actually got an appointment for before Christmas.  Like it's no big deal.  They no show.  They don't call.  They drive me crazy. I should also mention that this year the calendar made Christmas fall on a weekend.  This is a dream year for me.  I don't get paid for the holidays my place of business is closed.. this year that wasn't an issue.  This beautiful placement of Christmas also gave me FIVE full days before  to groom dogs.  People don't really like to try and keep their pets clean over a weekend before a holiday, so when Christmas falls on a Tuesday.. everyone fights for that Monday appointment.  I gave up working Christmas Eve years ago.  Too many crabby clients, no tips to speak of , and usually some dog who hadn't been groomed for 8 months managed to get in.

The first week I was ready. GAME ON.  I went to work with a great attitude, excited to be so busy and making money.  After the previous weeks of working only 1/2  the day, due  to everyone trying to wait til closer to Christmas, I was more than ready to start making money again.  When you've been doing a mere 6-7 dogs a day, and then go to 13 to 15.. it's a bit of a shock.  If I'm lucky the first few are in by 7:30, that really helps me get a jump on the day.  By the end of the day, I'm tired. Very tired.  We have a running joke that "after the next dog, I'm going to go to the bathroom".  Not kidding. We just don't have time.  Lunch?  It's a piece of chocolate or a Christmas cookie brought in by clients.  It's all good.. it's only for 2 weeks.

The second week was a bit tougher.  I had not had much of a laid back weekend, which really would've helped.  I started taking ibuprofen on Monday.. before bed, then again in the AM.. standing that long is tiring.  There also needs to be a perfect mix of dogs getting only a brush and bath (labradors, beagles, chihuahuas), difficult haircuts, and easy shave downs to make a 15 dog day work.  Also, it helps if each and every dog is well-behaved.  There were a couple of days during week 2 that were not ideal.  One dog has an accident and has to be re-bathed, can screw the whole system up.  Stress. Sadly, I had a Dr.'s appointment that week, where they found my blood pressure was a bit high.  Huh? I wonder why. 

All this craziness makes it a bit hard to enjoy Christmas.. only because you just want to sleep for 18 hours straight.  I didn't help matters much by going out with friends 3 nights during the Christmas crazytown weeks.  I need to have a life too, but maybe a different week would've been better.  All that aside, I did have a nice Christmas, I hope you all did as well. 

This Monday, December 26th.. it was over.  There were some dogs in our boarding facility that still needed grooming before they went home, and a few that didn't get in before Christmas who were still in need.  Mostly, we are back to 1/2 days again.  Heading into the great abyss of January.  Where it's either too cold to get your pet's hair cut, or you have spent every dime you had on Christmas, and there is nothing left for something as trivial as the dog's haircut.  Once February hits, we'll be back to normal again. This year I have something in my personal life forcing me to take a week off soon.  Yep, I planned it for January.. nothing else going on anyway.  That said, I've got more blog entries in my head, and I'll have plenty of time to type them now.

Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm a Winnah!

I thought you all would love to hear about a blog I read.  It's called Shaggy Dog Stories  Rants, Raves and Doggie Stuff Galore. The blog focuses on all things dog.  You will find out all about new products to try, and find out how the blog writer liked them.  The really fun part about this blog is the many cool give-a-ways they have.  I have actually won 2 of these, but since the most recent one was grooming related, I thought I better tell you about it. 

As I was backing out of my garage this morning I noticed I had neglected to find the Fed Ex package propped up against the "people" door (ususally I just use my garage door opener to get in and out) the night before.  So, I scooped it up and brought it to work.  I'm lucky it wasn't frozen solid, but it was really well-packed so it was just a bit cold.  It was very convenient timing, since I was bathing my own 2 dogs today, so I got to try it out right away.

Here is what arrived from EO Products. We aren't talking little sample bottles either!

Lavender and Aloe Shampoo and Conditioner and Citrus Mint detangler

EO Products has lots of natural and organic human products as well. Check them out!  The scents were AMAZING.  I know I should be all about the chemistry of a shampoo, but I'm a sucker for great smelling shampoos (for me and my dogs).  I especially loved the citrus and mint scent of the detangler.  YUM!  The shampoo cleaned my dirty dogs very well (it was a good test, as they have been running agility in a dirt floor arena every week), and I was especially happy with the fact that I could dilute it quite a bit and still got lots of suds.  The detangler I think works pretty well, but the spray nozzle is pretty small, and with my hairy dogs, it didn't cover much with each spray.  So, I kind of used it as a perfume. :)  I'm going to try and put it into one of my bigger spray bottles and dilute it down a bit. (it's almost a lotion)
River didn't think it was necessary to try any new products today.


2 Clean Dogs!

Thank you Shaggy Dog Stories and EO Products!

You can also find Shaggy Dog Stories on Facebook! 

 Be sure you visit.  You could be a Winnah! too!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Spellcheck, please.

I'll admit it, I have a bit of an obsession, quite possibly an unhealthy one, with correct spelling.  Maybe it's the fact that I have lived for my whole life with a name spelled in an uncommon way.   My Father convinced my Mother that it was the correct spelling.  Considering I was born before such great inventions as the epidural, perhaps she was just too exhausted to fight it.  So, I spent my entire life correcting people. 

People like to spell their pet's names in odd ways.  Sometimes, they think it's the "cool" or maybe just unusual way to spell it.  Kind of like the girl I went to highschool with, whose name was Julie, she signed all her papers "Jewel Lee".  That's cool, right?  Some of the time, though, I do believe they just don't know how to spell the chosen name.  I could be wrong, though.  Maybe I'm just overly sensitive about it.  The dogs certainly don't care. As long as I can correctly pronounce the dog's name, I have nothing to complain about.  Yet, I feel the need to tell you all about it.

The dog's name that spurred this blog post , was pronounced "Logan", but in truth it was spelled "Low Gun"  I'm not kidding.  Does this have some hidden meaning?  Anyone??  It is a hunting breed...  but still, what would make you spell it that way?  We also have one that the owners' call "Tootie".. but they spelled it "2D".   It makes that dog pretty unusual, as we probably don't have any other pets with a number in the spelling of their name.  Then there is Cuyan, which is how they spell "Cayenne"  We actually have the correct spelling in parenthesis so we don't inadvertently call the dog "Cooyan" by mistake.  It's just uncomfortable to have to say "how do you pronounce his name?" when we 1st meet.  That is what I do, though, rather than butcher it. 

That is my rant of the week.  Now I better press that spell-check button.  It would be highly embarrassing if I had any typos in this blog post.