Friday, November 16, 2012

What do you really think goes on back there?

I often wonder what people think.  We take their dirty dogs to the back, they leave them with us for a time, and they come back clean and looking good.  It's mysterious, I know.  We don't allow people to stay and watch their dog's grooming.  It would be very distracting to the dog, and let's face it... dogs generally act much better when their owners aren't around. 

We do let people come back and see where their dog is groomed of course, where they are kept for the day, etc.  It's not that big of a secret, and we really have nothing to hide.  Of course, certain dogs are very dramatic, and to the untrained eye, it might seem like we really might be hurting that dog that is screaming like we are about to amputate a limb with a butter knife.  We exert enough force with some dogs, just to get the job done, as if we only did things that the dogs "like", there would be alot of unfinished groomings.

With that in mind, I do question what some people really think happens "back there".  I figure that they really do trust us with their dogs.  But, who knows.  Today we had a couple of examples of why I tend to wonder.

J had a nasty little Dachshund today.  He has always been nasty.  The owners know this.  He is nasty to them.  However, every single groom, they ask how he was.  Hope springs eternal?  Her answer was "He was how he always is, he doesn't like his grooming".  To which the owner replied "Did you put him in a choke hold?"  Uh.. yes, then we waited til he lost consciousness so we could trim his nails without a fight.  J said, "no, we did muzzle him, so we wouldn't get bitten."  Would you actually bring your dog, no matter how nasty to someone you thought might use a "choke hold" on??  I don't get it.

Mine was a bit worse.  A naughty cocker who also has been bad from day one came in today.  She is cowering behind her owner.  The owner asks "was she bad for you last time??"  I replied that she was the same as always, she really doesn't like grooming.  Then, the owner goes on to say "Well, I thought maybe she was bad for you, she's never been this scared to come in before".  So, I take that to mean she thinks the dog was so bad that I beat it into submission?? Maybe used the choke hold??  I just take offense to that.  Some dogs just don't like grooming, it's a fact of life. Rarely it's because someone hurt it while grooming.  Many times, it's simply that the owners spoil the dog, and it just doesn't like to have to do anything.  Here comes the really odd part of the conversation.  I say (to the dog) "Come on now, it's not that bad".  The owner says "Easy for you to say, no one is going to stick their finger up your butt!"  Wow.  Let's break this down.  1st:  I don't do anal glands internally, so I'm not sticking my finger up anywhere.  2nd: Did you not want your dog's anal glands done? I'm happy to skip that step.  3rd:  EWWW.  Thanks for adding me personally into this equation. WHO SAYS THAT??  In case you are wondering, I did not respond.  I don't know what I would've said.

It does make you wonder what the average person thinks happens to their dog during it's stay with us.  I have many friends that have stopped to visit me at work and have witnessed groomings, and they will tell you we certainly don't abuse anyone.  Hopefully people like these are in the minority.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Client Craziness

We have had some incredibly strange and stupid client conversations lately.  When I say "We" for the most part I mean our sainted receptionists.  They've had the brunt of them this week. 

Let's start with Stupid.. shall we?  I came up to the front desk where one of the receptionists, Saint J was very obviously trying to disengage a client on the phone, so she could do the rest of her job.  Some of these clients just seem to want to talk.  About EVERYTHING.  Maybe some of them are lonely, or just don't have friends that want to listen to every detail about their precious pets.  Either way, though we try to be as polite as possible when dealing with clients on the phone, there are possibly other things going on.  Maybe there are 6 people at the front desk waiting to be checked in, or the phones (we have multiple lines) are ringing off the hook.  When I arrived, this is what was being said:  "No, sir, I would NOT recommend that."   "I think it would actually end up costing you much more than $300 if you do that"  "And, you could be arrested for animal cruelty.. no I actually am serious."     She eventually got him off the phone.  He had found a male dog.  He thought he would keep it.  However, it needed to be neutered.  So, of course, after hearing the price quote on an exam, vaccines, and a neuter, he thought he'd ask if she thought it was ok to just "band" him to neuter him. (Because, she probably just forgot to give him that option.)  His logic was "they do it to pigs".    By now you are thoroughly horrified and disgusted as you read this.  I'm here to say, it gets dumber.  The reason he needed to get this dog neutered (other than the obvious, good pet owner reason)?  He didn't want this dog to impregnate his Goldendoodle.    Seriously.  He plans to breed her, to what I have no idea.  He just can't have this mongrel dog getting her pregnant.  The last part of the conversation switched to "where can I find a doggy sperm bank around here".  Because of course, he has yet to find the right stud dog for this Doodle.  Now you know why I call them the sainted receptionists.

Next up, we have a story from Saint S, another receptionist.  She took a price quote call from a seemingly normal, intelligent pet owner.  She wanted to know what we charged for vaccines.  Rabies, Distemper, and the Border Collie vaccine.  Saint S thought she heard wrong.  Yes, of course she meant the Bordetella vaccine, which gets called lots of things, like the bordello shot (my personal favorite).  But then, at the end of the conversation she repeated it.  "How much was that Border Collie shot?"  It was an innocent mistake, but how S kept from laughing, I'll never know.  Was the dog a Border Collie?  Uh, no.  It was a Havanese.  It was a black and white Havanese, maybe that was the catch.  What would a Border Collie shot do for your dog?  Make it incredibly intelligent?  Give it the urge to herd livestock?  Give it a tennis ball obsession??  So many questions.

This next story is one you've already heard if you are one of my facebook friends, but I needed to add it to this group.  A small toy breed comes in for vaccinations and grooming.  She is 10 months old, and quite overdue for boosters.  When the technician gives them the estimate for what would be done that day, he said "Oh no, we won't be needing that Rabies shot, her little teeth would never even break skin".  Really?  Small dogs actually CAN'T bite?  How do they each hard kibble?  Considering most groomers will tell you if they have been bitten by a dog, it was by a toy breed, this is just not good information.  After a short talk on the importance of the rabies vaccine, the little dog is now protected. 

Last, today I had a Scottish Terrier come in, who has been a regular for me for a few years.  He is a horrible brat, and in all those years, I've never been able to brush out his face.  Why?  Because I can't remove the muzzle he is required to wear for the grooming.  I'm not willing to risk my hands to brush his face.  The owner started coming to me because she was kicked out of the last groomer's place.  They told her they wouldn't groom him without sedation.  I get him done, but I refuse to brush his face.   I'm the only one who can muzzle him for the vet, who he is even worse for.   These people KNOW this dog is nasty.  They can't brush his face either.   You are probably thinking: That dog's face must be one solid matt!   My answer to you?  No clue, I would never actually touch this dog's face, it's too dangerous.  They, however are in denial and like to tell me he is the "best dog they've ever had", and "he's so sweet".  Today, the husband dropped him off.  He was carrying him in his arms.  He offered to hand him to me, which I turned down.  I told him the dog didn't really like me, and probably wouldn't want me to carry him.  The owner feigned surprise, and said "I can't believe he isn't good for you!" "This dog is perfect at home!"  "You can do anything to him, you can lay on him, you can ride him.."  RIDE HIM????  This is a Scottie!  He is maybe 12 inches tall at the shoulders.  Who rides him?  A baby?  A Gnome?  A Monkey?  No clue, but I had no time to see if he'd like to elaborate.  It did give me a good laugh, though.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Is it fun to complain?

We have some clients who just love to complain, or at least that's how it seems.  We have to wonder, why do they keep coming back if things are so horrible?  I just have to assume that they complain everywhere they go, it's just a way of life for these people.  Does it hurt to be satisfied?  I don't get it.  Today J had to deal with one of her complainers. 

Mrs. S. apparently really loves the way J does her dog, though you'd never know it.  She once brought the dog to a "cheaper" (her words, not ours) groomer, and had to bring her to J the next day to have her fix the haircut.  After that, she swore she'd stay loyal to J.  She likes to complain. 

She complains the haircut takes too long.  No matter what time J tells her to come, she always comes a half hour earlier, then acts very annoyed and huffy when the dog isn't done.  By the way, she's always the last one in the door in the morning, as she doesn't like to get up too early.  Guess what?  The last dog in the door in the morning does not get to be the first one finished.  Surprising? 

She complains about the cost of the haircut, apparently forgetting the "cheap" groomer experience.    She complains when the dog has to be shorter than she wanted.  Never mind she puts off  the dog's haircuts as long as she can, and doesn't ever brush her.    Here was today's complaining conversation when J brought the dog up at go home.

J:  Wow, Blackie was extra dirty today, I had to give her 2 baths.
This was just an observation, small talk if you will.. the black dog came in grey, she was actually that dirty.  But, hey, dogs get dirty.

Mrs. S:  OH.. is THAT why it was so expensive this time??

J:  No, I charged you the same as last time, and the time before.  I didn't charge for the extra bathing.

Mrs. S:  Well, I spend more on her haircut than I do my own!
Don't even get me started on this comment!  We get it all the time!  You can't think of any reasons why it might be more expensive to have the dog groomed?  Hmm.. Nail trim, full body bath (not just their head!), ears cleaned, brushing out tangles (hopefully you don't have tangles in your hair when you show up at the hairdressers)anal glands expressed..  OH, and wait.. you hold still for your haircut! 

J:  Well, she does have alot of hair.
What else can you say?

Mrs S:  Why WAS she so dirty???
Huh?  How the heck do we know why she is dirty?  Does she think we threw dirt on her when she came in the door?

J:  I don't know, maybe because it's dusty and dirty in the fall.  Do you bathe her at home?

Mrs. S:  NO..That's what I pay you for. 

Mr. S dropped the dog off this morning.  He was more pleasant.  When J asked how he wanted the haircut he replied "you always do such a good job, that's why I drive 45 miles to come here".  Well, it's actually 45  miles round trip, but who's counting.  I wish he'd tell his wife that J always does such a good job.

I can only believe that with out a complaint of some sort, Mrs. S's day is not complete.  It gets really old.  I would think it would be exhausting to be that crabby all the time.   We end up working twice as hard to attempt to make these people happy than we do the rest of the clientele.  That is just not ok.  I'm sure anywhere you work there are Mrs. S-type people.  What makes them so unhappy?  I'm sure I'll never know. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On this election day, something to make you smile.

I know, its serious business.. it's election day!  Don't worry, I voted!  That said, I think we all need a little bit of lighthearted fun, or if you've been reading this blog awhile, you would be right to expect some lighthearted craziness.  You will not be disappointed.

This is one of those "please don't say where you get your dog groomed" moments.  This dog's owner requests him to be shaved, as he's going hunting, and they don't want him to pick up burrs.  Also, it seems he's going to be featured on a local hunting show on TV.   The important part of his haircut?  I have to leave his "mohawk" (really more of  a tuft) on his head, as it's his "personality". 

So, yeah.. I don't find that very attractive.  You see, the tuft only grows long on the brown/liver color on his head.  So, it's really only 1/2 a mohawk? 

Oh my.

It's my hope that it will be a calm day on TV show filming day.  And someone pets him on the head to flatten it down.  A "comb over" of sorts.


Now, are you ready to laugh?????? I sure hope so. 

Here it comes.

This is what I saw in a kennel that came in with a dog brought in to see the Dr.'s today.

Anybody know what that is??

Does this seem familiar?

Yep... it is actually a SHAKE WEIGHT... as seen on T.V.!! HA!!
Who knew it made a good dog toy? 
What you can't see in the photo is that it has teeth marks all over it.  It's a well-used toy!   Apparently it means alot to the dog, as he had to bring it with him when he went to the vet. 

The dog must be pretty strong..  carrying around that weight for fun!

Hope you enjoyed..I know we got a good laugh!