I know I have taken dogs from other local stylists and they have taken what I would call “mine”. I also know that there is an ethical and honest way to do it. Sometimes it’s “another one bites the dust” others it’s like “what did I do?” Some like the ones I’ll touch on in this blog are the “jeez I hope they are ok” ones. Today it made me see even more that my “clients” are the dogs and the way I run the spa is working. It was a proud moment, a relief of some sort. This is sweet Abby’s story, looking up at me from under the desk, she’s a terrier mix, an “older woman” she’s in about every 4 weeks an only dog owned by a husband and wife whom I’m positive adore her.
Repetition: The action of repeating something that has already been said or written
It has been five years of repetition, five years of a red bean bag in the right hand corner of the spa that was open for Abby’s snuggling and comfort, no gates, cages, or comfort mesh beds were needed, just that old red bean bag in the corner for her to trot into without being told to do so. She would always sit patiently and wait for us to pick her up and bathe her. We had made a few changes and made separate sitting areas or holding areas with brand new mesh beds for the dogs and blankets were put on top for snuggling. Yesterday when Abby came in, I walked her over to the mesh bed and I put the bean bag on top of it. She is behaved so she sat in it. I walked away to the desk to finish my morning routine and I looked …to see… Sweet Abby under my desk speaking to me with those beautiful eyes… I knew almost instantly she wanted me to put “her” bean bag in the right hand corner of the shop where it had been for 5 years. Our understanding of comfort is repetition, with dogs is almost necessary.
TRUST: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something
Call me crazy but I have talked new clients into returning to their previous groomers, I always ask WHY they are switching, I always try to educate them on the “possibilities” that could be corrected if wronged. I honestly believe some dogs need certain stylists and others can shop hop with no issues. I want an understanding that a sort of TRUST is built by stylist and the dogs, just like that face they give you at dinner time just like they know you will open the door they use to go out for potty, Trust is built over years, so next is a situation that may touch base.
I have had Tink for four years, she HATES her bath but is very good for grooming, I had to gain her trust in order for her to not climb the tub walls or suck up water when trying to wash her face, it took months to get into that routine I spoke about, a routine that was to her preference. As the years went on medical issues left Tink with surgery and the removal of both eyes. I knew that the inevitable was to happen so I began sensory activities in the three hours I had her every 6 weeks, I would just let the clippers run and tell her “clip” I’d scissor her feet and tell her “scissors” I’d say “left” “right” and “step”, “easy now”, Can you imagine how advanced the other senses become on a dog when they lose their sight? Dogs have 18 muscles in their ears and have a frequency range of up to 45,000 HV now these things over power when one is lost!! So grooming is usually easy going, but with her out of her element or not having months of sensory activities things may not have ended up so well.
Loyalty: A strong feeling of support and allegiance
I love new clients, new styles, new beginnings and correcting behaviors some groomers do not have the time or education to change in a dog, More so I love making people understand how attached and how dedicated I am to being a pet stylist , “It’s not a hobby It’s my career”~ Judi yester. I think puppies should be in a spa atmosphere after the completion of their shots, you would not send your children to a new school without knowing the teacher has updated their standards each year, that the environment was safe and sterile, you would not just drop your child and watch them go with a stranger I don’t believe you would switch schools every other month, So please take a moment and think about the effects it has on the animals you love. Visit spas PRIOR to making an appointment, TEST the stylist ASK questions, ask for a tour of the place! Never assume your stylist understands your wants and please understand an ethical stylist will ALWAYS do what’s needed not what you want.