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.


  1. My sympathies.

    I have a screamer, myself. I put that muzzle on before I hand him over (just nails and anal, he's a rat terrier)

    Over the years (7 of them) he has gone from sounding like a stable full of burning horses to simply sounding like each toe is being cut off. And we've gone from 3 handlers to one. I count this progress.

    I know he doesn't like the process. I know he's a handful.

    Thank you all for dealing with our little monsters. Some of us appreciate all of your efforts!

    1. Thank you, Jenn! What a nice thing to say! And.. It's so refreshing to hear of someone who admits their dog is a bit of a problem. :)

  2. I'm in tears picturing what a "choke hold" would look like. Great Blog!

    ~The SugarHighK9s

  3. I was the one who always got the "difficult" dogs no-one else could get done. Sometimes it just takes the right approach. Sometimes the right restraint. Or an extra pair of hands. Doesn't mean hurting the dog. Though they might act like you're hurting them. I have so many stories of faker dogs from the grooming salon.
    And my s.o.'s dog is a drama queen too. If she even thinks she is in trouble, she will yelp and scream bloody murder when you're not even touching her. But when she's playing you could rough house and toss her around like a rag doll without so much as a whimper.