The Last Groom

I  had a moment today unlike any other that iv had. I don’t get silenced often I never am at a loss for words or struggle to  muster up something to say to my clients owners. Iv been in this situation before,im trained to be ethical. Over the last few months iv had tragic things happen to 3 people who bring their dogs to me, one was horrible and the dog passed away with their daughter in an accident, even after that did not have this feeling like today.  Mr Wilson pratt is not a favorite of mine despite the love i have for him, his beauty, amazing temperament, his perfect table manor or his frequent visits every 4 weeks, he is just an “old man” I think I overlooked a little. His partner in crime Jackson is who I’m fonder of, a dog I also used in advertisements for my business.  Wilson has two moms who I love speaking to when they drop the dogs we always have great conversation, we have had hard conversations, iv seen them go threw a some hard times with death and they have cried to me before about things in life.

Today was a different conversation I was told he had a life altering cyst on his bladder, his mom tried to speak but even she couldent, I understood at that moment I could not cry I should say I’m sorry, but all that I could say was ok, ok,ok, ok , . her face and her heart were enough to silence me, this little old dog who was their world is at the end of his road, this dog iv been grooming for years was going to maybe be his last with me.  After she left, I looked up quickly at a co worker and she said “its the hardest part of the job” I again had no words, I try to go about my day I couldn’t  even play with him (I usually have a few moments of time for the dogs before grooming) I could not look at my bather bathe him, I chose to groom his house mate first, I was a wreck, I am never a wreck,. Placing him on my table just like 4 weeks ago I noticed his body withering his weight lowered his eyes a little more foggy, he was not as strong standing as he was a few years ago.

I tried to be easier i tried to leave the noose loose, i tried to keep him a little more comfy I tried to give him a little more, then I stopped because he was not complying he sat he lowered his little head.  Ok so usually id stop and just be done figure they have had enough and everyone is ok with that, but when i stopped he sat up, so i tightened the noose to proper hold, I stopped catering to his needs and began to groom him like usual, i began to stop thinking so much and i finished without trying to make this his day, because really it was not his day yet.  I figure i was taught a lesson today because when i was done Wilson held his head higher then ever in pics i took of him, the pictures were a little blurry but that too a part of his

As a Pet stylist i think i can speak for may of us in saying we try our very best to be the best to keep every thing on point and as perfect as it can be, we groom to breed standard and alter imperfections. Today I tried to alter my ways thinking it would be better, that his parents needed to see him at his absolute finest in his last days or weeks, even though as things progressed over the months his groom was not perfect.  I was wrong I’v been wrong. That way of thinking had taken its toll on my  mind and shut me down today.  I cannot change my pattern to be better because what i was doing was better to begin with, the dogs style was perfect to begin with, my handling was soft enough, Wilson was used to my ways and was expecting the usual. My noose was never to tight or hooked improper, his mom did not expect a show dog she expected her dog to look the same as 26 times before. I was working to hard to fix things that were not broken yet, Wilson the well behaved, sweet old dog silenced me to just like his mom.

Today he showed me just how stoic a dog can be, they live their days without thoughts of the next and are completely happy with the moments they know and trust, hes not thinking about the future that awaits him, hes thinking he would enjoy his head out the window on the way home, he thinking treats, a soft bed and maybe a good nap.  I finished gave him a kiss on his head and said “thank you handsome”.  for that dog, mr. Wilson Pratt has given me what I tried to give to him, a perfect last groom.

One thought on “The Last Groom

  1. Oh Sheena, this made me cry. So beautifully written, straight from your heart. This is why I love you so much. You care about your clients and you don’t hold back, whether good or not so good. Your honesty is refreshing and your care is beyond measure. Thank you for sharing this story. It reveals so much about you and your character. Rocket and I are blessed to be your clients and I consider you a friend. I trust you with the most precious dog I’ve ever had and always will.


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