The world is full of speculation as to whether telekinetic, psychic or supernatural abilities exist in mere mortals. After years of dealing with the public and their pooches, there is no doubt in my mind. Groomers have a sixth sense. It’s that Denorex tingle and involuntary eye roll that happens over the telephone receiver when a potential client tells you they have a small doodle that’s slightly knotted and simply must be serviced today. The little voice in your head muttering “great…yup friggin great” as you hear that no groomer has ever gotten it right on a traumatized rescue that is “funny”. And somehow despite my better judgment I still relent and acquiesce to the all mighty dollar and my hatred of conflict/confrontation.
Mid afternoon and the final pet had just leapt into his parent’s chariot. As my coworker and myself swiftly began the closing duties in hopes of perhaps sneaking out early, our groomer senses instantly tingled and jaws clenched as the phone rang with an unknown caller. After glancing at each other with trepidation, my coworker, who too has SUCKER branded on her forehead picked up the phone. From the eye roll and rhythmic head bobbing that ensued I knew our senses hadn’t failed us. A new client, armed with an elderly cocker, urgently rambled on the phone about how the last groomer didn’t do cockers correctly, the haircut hadn’t lasted long enough and the dog didn’t act the same afterward. Of course after staring at this “horrid” groom for 6 months, the tragedy must be addressed today and how much would this cost them.
Probably as a defense mechanism to this auditory rape, we agreed to let them bring this mission of mercy in, only if they could have it in our doorway no more than 30 min after ending this lovely conversation. An hour later, we were both still staring at each other with no pooch in sight. Like a true grooming shop soldier, I refused to leave my coworker behind and run AWOL home. Finally, after another 30 minutes and much kicking ourselves in the pants, a buff creature that resembled a cocker waddled in. Despite a truly unique odor and vagabond appearance, this creature did not appear to be the cocker version of Cujo. On the other end of the flexi-lead was a beautifully coifed lady perched on stilettos in the process of procuring something important from the depths of her Coach bag.
From this designer satchel, came a bluff stuffed animal. “This is cocker spaniel,” was uttered as she placed this child’s plaything on our counter. No words need be said as both of us looked at the stuffed animal that looked like any generic floppy eared dog and then at each other. It was an unspoken yet shared “what were we thinking?” Unable to take a living creature and turn it into an inanimate object, we started to go over what exactly she liked about the toy. “It’s short on the body, floppy ears and the feet really short…but no nails.” We both assured her that we could do the shave (as if there were any other options after 6 months of growth) and that the nails would be as short as possible. “No, no nails!! Period!!” Without missing a beat, we went over quicks/bleeding and if she’d prefer we could attempt to leave enough hair so she wouldn’t see the nails if that’s what she meant. “No, look at the toy puppy! No nails at all. I want Bella’s gone too!”
Suppressing the laughter and disbelief I existed into the back, before my filter failed me. My saint like comrade respectfully explained why such witchcraft was not possible. On does not “de-claw” dogs and even if such was the case it would be a vet procedure not something a groomer did on a weekday afternoon. “But they say this is a cocker spaniel why does my real one not look like this?” Unable to resist any further I returned from much needed backroom composure gaining trip. “Why artistic license Mam!” “So you can’t get rid of the nails?” “Nope only trim.” “Whatever, I guess I’ll need to find someone who can ….sorry bye.” And with that a sigh of relief issued, as the toy was hastily shoved into its prison and Bella entwined her mother with the flexi-lead as the door swung shut. Dodging a grooming bullet we both chuckled and promised to next time give ourselves over to the groomer force and schedule unknown callers for the following day after a certain hour. Oh and to make sure we update our Notes from the Grooming Table with some pictures from Toy’s R US.