Tag Archives: Dog bathing

Bathing Dogs, Two Down…

If someone had been around my house yesterday, they would have thought that a tiny puppy was in trouble or that someone was killing a puppy. They would have been wrong. I was simply bathing Nia.

I decided that I’ll spend this week bathing and grooming the dogs. The first to get a bath was Haley. She wasn’t too bad; reluctant, but not bad. She got a bath, a brushing, and a trim. Things went so well that I decided that I’d bathe another dog. I decided on Nia because I didn’t think she’d give me any problems. I was wrong.

As soon as I got her in the tub and turned the water on she started whimpering and crying. Many times she tried to jump out of the tub or climb the walls. Due to that, the bath took longer than it really needed to.

She was more than happy to get out of the tub, but that was before she realized there was more…the blow dryer.

I had her leashed so she wouldn’t escape. She strained at the end of the leash to get away from the blow dryer, calling to anyone and everyone to free her from the torture. Sometimes she’d even climb into my lap, hoping that it would keep her away from the dryer.

Drying took longer than anticipated as well because I stopped frequently to brush her out and talk to her. One thing I have to say about Nia is she loves being brushed. She’s curl up in my lap as I brushed and combed her hair out. Sometimes she’d stretch out so I could really brush her only to resume yelping when the dryer turned back on.

Eventually she got dried and brushed out. She has beautiful hair and oddly enough it doesn’t mat easily. I think I finally have the Shih Tzu that I want–one that I can keep her hair long. I just need to work into my routine to brush her–and the others–every day.

So…two dogs down and three to go. I’m not sure if I have the energy, but the baths must go on. Or at least until I get the other three done. Then that will be that for another two or three weeks.

Well I guess that’s about it. Sorry that this was a boring post. I’m still adjusting to my medicine and I’m a bit sleepy. So, until next time, if someone presents a brush sit in their lap and milk the attention for all its worth.

Fun, but Dangerous

As I’ve said many times before, I love working at a grooming salon. Not only do I get to bathe dogs (and then am relieved when I can send the bad ones home), I get to do a lot of thinking after all, it doesn’t take much brain power to bathe and brush dogs (once I become a full-fledge groomer, this might change). I like to think about my life, stories I want to write, dreams I had, and things I want to do when I get home.

However, as with any job, dog grooming isn’t without its hazards. Last week I bathed a Newfoundland. He didn’t want to be on the table and jumped off. Well this was an older grooming table and it tipped over crashing to the floor. Unfortunately my leg was too close to the table and I got a nice cut on my leg.

Or yesterday, a Great Pyrenees puppy got her foot caught in the kennel grate and was yelping. I tried to help her get her foot out, but she bit me. It was more of a biting scratch. She wasn’t trying to hurt me. Eventually she realized that she was pulling in the wrong direction and once she stopped resisting her foot came right out.

Also yesterday, a Jack Russell mix playfully jumped up on one of the groomers and scratched her on her wrist very close to where she just got a tattoo.

A few weeks ago, fortunately on my day off, two dogs bit four groomers and one of the bites was really bad.

There are many other stories like that, but fortunately these incidents are few and far between. Most of the time we have some crazy dogs, but we’re never really harmed and blood is rarely drawn. Dogs that are downright mean, or are incredibly stressed are sent home so no one is harmed.

Pet parents are often angered by the fact that we require rabies vaccination verification. We explain to them that it is a liability to have a dog in there that isn’t up-to-date on his/her rabies vaccinations. Some owners understand, but other owners storm out believing that needing the rabies is a stupid rule. I don’t know about the owners, but I don’t want to get bitten by a strange, unvaccinated dog and then have to go to the hospital and get a rabies shot in my stomach.

You know, even if I got bit every day I don’t think I’d change occupations. I guess it’s because I know that bad days only last for a short time and are always followed by good days and good dogs.

So, until next time…be kind to your groomers, they’re the ones who are holding the razor.

Confirmed Dog Person

I remember when I first started blogging…again. I wrote about depression, dogs, movies, books, and whatever else struck me as a good topic. Lately my posts have been revolving around dogs. At first I was reluctant, but since my whole life revolves around dogs, I realize now that I’ve found my blogging niche.

I think the reason why I haven’t had near as many depressed episodes is due to a combination between dogs and medication. I still have my moments, but they’re not as bad. Even when I have a fairly bad episode, I know I still have to care for the dogs and that gets me out of bed.

It sounds bad, but I prefer to cuddle with my dogs before cuddling with my husband, but then again I’ve always been like that. I show affection to animals, but I find it hard to show affection to people (outside of my parents). I haven’t quite figured that out, but I do remember that the author of Pack of Two wrote about something similar in the book. She wrote about how her family wasn’t an affectionate family, but they would show affection to the dogs. When they were sitting doing something, someone would reach down and scratch the dog.

So that brings me back to my original question: Why is it so easy to show affection to dogs (and other animals) than it is to people? Is it because with dogs there is a complete trusting relationship that we can’t find with humans? Dogs don’t hide behind masks. What you see is what you get. They are the few creatures on this planet that have seen every side of a human’s personality and still remain loyal. When I’m having a bad day, one of my dogs will sit beside me. They’re not trying to “fix” the situation as humans are wont to do; they’re not trying to make the situation go away; all they are trying to do is offer comfort to a hurting family member.

I guess another reason why I love dogs is, for me, they’ve always been there. I was born into a family who loved dogs and had dogs. When I was old enough, my parents got me a dog (and I don’t even recall asking for one, but I think it was because they missed their American Eskimo Dog, Shep). Even though my parents would sometimes express that they’d like to not have the “burden” of owning dogs; that if their current dogs die off they won’t acquire anymore. Twice this has happened and twice my parents have adopted another dog or two and they say that they can’t imagine their lives without them. I can’t imagine my life without dogs either.

I didn’t mean to get all philosophical with this post, despite the fact that I love philosophy. I just noticed that I haven’t posted in a couple weeks (been sick, busy, or both) and I decided to just do a reflection piece about my love for dogs.

Oh, and Shaffer is staying with us. I’ve just decided that we’ll figure out some kind of compromise with him. Besides, I’m attached to that annoying dog. He’s my dog and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that.

So, until next time keep your toys close, your humans closer, and your human’s hamburger closest.

Why I’m Glad I Own the Dogs I Do

Working in a grooming salon has made me appreciate my dogs a whole lot more. I used to get annoyed at my dogs’ quirks: Shaffer’s cat litter eating (actually that still annoys me), Haley’s bladder and bowls of steel on rainy days, Molly’s poo eating (wait, that’s still annoying). However, days like yesterday made me come home, hug my dogs, and tell them that I’m glad they’re well behaved.

So what happened yesterday? To say the least, it was a stressing day. BUT, I don’t want to say the least. Whatever ill-behaved dog that lives in this city was in our grooming salon. As early as 7 am, the groomers were having problems with dogs. Before I got into work at 1, they had used the groomer’s helper (it keeps the dog from thrashing around), muzzled a dog, and just had general chaos.

My afternoon consisted of a Dalmatian mix that I had to send home because she wouldn’t stop growling at people. If someone even looked at her, even from across the room, she’d growl. I didn’t think she’d actually bite, but I also didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. Once the owner was there, she was fine. Of course the owner did tell us that she was the more stubborn of the two sisters, refusing to learn even the most basic of commands.

Now get this, her sister was there as well and I had no problems out of her. She was a bit shy, but she didn’t growl at me. She didn’t thrash around. She was all around a good girl.

I also had a French Mastiff that was stronger than even the strongest groomer in our salon. He wasn’t a bad dog, but he knew he was strong and made sure to demonstrate his strength by dragging me all over the salon…In hindsight, I bet that would have been pretty funny to see.

There also was a Great Dane. The only problem: he was afraid of everything despite the fact that he’s been there many times.

My other “quirky” dog was a Beagle mix who was sweet, but very energetic and didn’t sit still for anything. I couldn’t do her nails because she kept turning around in circles. I could barely brush her because she was circling. It still makes me dizzy thinking about it.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted, agitated, and wasn’t sure I loved dogs anymore. Then, my sweet babies greeted me at the front door, later on Molly fell asleep on my lap, and finally before I fell asleep Shaffer and Haley cuddled up with me. Yeah, I’m so glad that I these dogs. They’re not perfect, but they are the perfect dogs for me.

Interesting Dogs Who Have Come Through the Salon

I love making bullet lists; it’s one of my favorite things to do. So I decided to make a list of interesting pets and pet parents who have blessed us with their presence. Some of these dogs I’ve bathed; other dogs I’ve just observed. I hope I’m not violating any laws by posting these stories.

  • A woman came in with her maltese named Twinkie Diva. How she got her name? The dog’s mom wanted to name the dog Diva because the dog wears dresses. The dog’s dad wanted to name her Twinkie because he believed that Twinkies were going away. So they compromised.
  • A chubby Chihuahua named Poo Bear.
  • An English Bulldog who was supposed to be a normal bath and brush (usually lasting about 3-4 hours) was bumped to an express (usually about 1.5 hours) because she was in heat. I won’t complain about this dog though, because the owner gave me a nice tip.
  • A three month old Shih Tzu puppy that was the size of my six month old Shih Tzu puppy. We speculated about whether or not this puppy was actually three months old.
  • A three month old German Shepherd puppy that cried every single time someone passed his cage. He was yelling so much that one of the managers ran into the salon thinking that he was hurt. I think all of us lost a percent of our hearing due to his yelps.
  • A six month old German Shepherd puppy who had few, if any manners. I didn’t think he knew sit until I realized that his owners probably speak Spanish to him when they’re at home. So I used my limited Spanish and told him to sit. He sat. Who knew?
  • A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Shih Tzu. One moment she was enjoying the blow dryer; the next moment she screamed bloody murder; the next next moment she was enjoying the blow dryer.
  • (One of the groomers told me this story) An owner called the salon and made her take the phone to his dog so he could talk to his dog.

Those are the only ones I can think of right now. When I collect some more, I’ll post them.

A Few Stories to Tell

While bathing dogs, I always have blog posts in my mind, but by the time I get home I’m too exhausted to write anything. I have today off so I decided that I’d post a few entries today. I apologize for the multiple posts. They won’t all be posted at once, but probably throughout the day between running errands, shaving a Shih Tzu puppy, and bonding with Netflix.

So, stay tuned…

Ticking Biological Clock

Like many women in their late twenties, I have a biological clock that ticks from time to time. However, my biological cock doesn’t tick for babies, but for puppies. While working, I see many tiny (and not-so-tiny) puppies walk past our glass windows and sometimes they even come into the salon. It makes my heart beat fast seeing or holding a puppy and suddenly I want a young puppy to cuddle with.

Then common sense hits me with a baseball bat and I return to my senses. I don’t want another puppy. I have one of my own and she’s teething. I certainly don’t want to go through the teething stages yet again. We don’t have enough chew sticks and chew toys for that.

Besides, we have enough animals in our house.

I did get to bathe a puppy today. She was so cute–a Jack Russell Terrier mix that will probably be close to the size of a lab. I really enjoyed bathing her, but I was more than happy to send her home when it was time.

I have to say that Shih Tzu puppies are my favorite…obviously. Unfortunately, as a mere bather I don’t get to bath Shih Tzu puppies all that often because most of the time they come in to get a haircut. Perhaps one day in the future I’ll have my Shih Tzu puppies to groom. Until then, I own a couple that really need haircuts. Perhaps on my next day off I can finally give them that needed haircut.

Things Dog Groomers Wish You Knew

1. Please remember the your groomer is caring for three or four other dogs. That means that your patience is greatly appreciated.

2. Try to relax when dropping your dog off. Your anxiety directly affects the dog and if you’re nervous about the trip, then your dog will think that this is a bad place to be. We want the dog to enjoy the groom not fear it.

3. Please, please, please don’t call to check up on your dog unless it is past time to pick the dog up. Every time your groomer has to answer the phone and you’re merely wondering how your dog is doing means that it takes your groomer longer to groom the pets.

4. Be specific about what you want, even if it means bringing in a picture. Your groomer wants to please you, but can’t if you don’t know what you want. Similarly, your groomer knows what he or she is doing so listen to his or her advice especially when it comes to breed specific cuts.

5. Treat your groomer kindly, not simply because your groomer is doing you a service, but because sometimes the groomer deals with difficult dogs and might be stressed. Your groomer really appreciates smiles and thank yous.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask your groomer for advice concerning coat care. Your groomer is probably the best source of information.

I hope the above doesn’t sound too harsh, but groomers encounter these things every day. For those who don’t (or in some cases do) the above, groomers really appreciate you.

Goodbyes & Hellos

Sorry I’ve been MIA. It took me a couple weeks to get used to working. Now that I’m used to it I can go back to my usual Wednesday posts…maybe even more because working at a dog grooming salon is fodder for many blog posts like: the different types of owners, what over-coddling can do to one’s dog, the perks of being a dog bather, the downside of being a dog bather, and many others. However, I’ll save those for another week.

A little update on what’s going on at our house. We had to give Shelby back to my dad. She had become a very good escape artist to the point that I was always worried about her at work because I feared that she’d hurt herself trying to get out of the crate. My husband and I were very sad to see her go, but from what my dad has told me Shelby is happy to be back with her brother and parents. He thinks she misses being inside, though.

After Shelby left, I toyed with the idea of getting another dog that would enjoy being inside. I searched local shelter websites and found two Shih Tzu at the OKC shelter and a Poodle Schnauzer mix at the Moore Shelter. Unfortunately the two Shih Tzu weren’t up for adoption (I think they were picked up as strays, but had owners), so I turned my attention to the Poodle mix. I even called about him once.

Then one day he disappeared off of the website. I don’t know if he was adopted or not. Needless to say I was a bit disheartened, but I knew that it wasn’t meant to be. I decided to take a break from searching for dogs for a little while, build up my banking account, and then start a search again.

I never had to search for a dog thanks to our Persian. Close to midnight my husband told me that Holly, the Persian, had plastic stuck between her teeth. She is notorious for chewing on plastic. I saw that it was a plastic zip-tie. However, neither of us could dislodge it. So we went to the nearest 24-hour vet, which is about five miles away.

It didn’t take long for the vet to extract the zip-tie. In fact it took so little time that she didn’t even charge us. After that “ordeal” was over, we stayed and talked for awhile longer. We also played with the office animals which consisted of a dog and three of the cats that live at the facility. All, but one of the cats, were up for adoption. The dog, an Australian Shepherd named Shaffer, bonded with my husband and I. The vet told us that he’d never bonded with anyone outside of her. We both fell in love with the dog.

To make a long story short, after we took our two Shih Tzu to visit him, we decided that we wanted to adopt him. So today I checked my banking account and found out I got paid. Withdrawing $80 I ran my errands and then went to pick up Shaffer. The vet cried. Shaffer seemed scared at first. Then we got to Petsmart so I could give him a bath and brush. He dragged me into the store; his tail was up and he was curious about everything. Good sign.

After a bath and brush, we came home and let him explore. Right now all of the dogs are sleeping. The girls aren’t sure what to do with their new brother, but I’m sure the three of them will become friends eventually.

Anyway, without further ado, here is a picture of my new boy.


So You Want to Be a Groomer?

When I told people that I got a job bathing dogs (and in the future probably grooming dogs) I got one of two reactions. Reaction 1: That’s wonderful! Working with dogs is right up your alley. Reaction 2: You have a Masters, why are you grooming dogs?

Most people fell into the first category. Only a couple people were truly upset that I was going into this field. These were the people who I expected to understand the most because they’ve known me the longest, but perhaps that’s the reason why they objected the most. What’s funny about these two people is one of them recently reconnected with me when she found out I was getting married, and the other is a friend’s mother who feels like she knows best.

No matter how many people congratulated me, I still was a bit hurt by their comments. I couldn’t get their comments out of my head (even though I could have deleted them off of facebook). I have to remind myself that their opinion doesn’t matter. My parents and my other friends who are looking out for my happiness–not just money–are the people whose opinions really matter.

That being said I think I’m going to love my job. I got to hang out with the groomers yesterday and all of them are really nice. They were eager to answer my questions. In fact everyone at the Petsmart where I work are really nice people. I can’t complain.

So, I’ve told myself to put the hurtful comments out of my mind and focus on being the best dog bather that I can be.

Until next time…keep your fur clean.