Spider-man was bestowed his spidey sense and in turn groomers have their own unique version of a 6th sense. Mine often burns, tingles and practically screams when I hear a few key phrases over the phone handset. The words “traumatized”, “rescue”, “slightly tangled” and “little funny” can almost be guaranteed to incite a reflexive eye roll and cringe. Despite the extrasensory perception and cumulative past experiences, undoubtedly I still take the new client. This particular instance was none other than my own sadistic inability to just say no.
Welcome to the jungle! It was the Friday of a holiday weekend and the grooming crew was already up to their knees in quick sand. If it was geriatric, irritable bowel or a DaVinci of a desired cut….it absolutely MUST have a haircut instantly. And the barrage of impatient customers were swarming via the phone and unexpected walk ins, just to see if their babies were done since it had already been 45 min to an hour since drop off. There was not enough Jimmy Buffet or Advil to make this a joyous occasion by any means. So when the new client with her “rescue” strolled in, my groomer sense was fully aware this was going to be a doosy.
Tightly clenched to her chest, was a tumbleweed of gray trembling. After numerous hints that I must remove the dog from the vise-like grip in order to access, I finally got a good look at the creature formerly known as a poodle mix. Every fiber in its body was tense and obviously required a high and tight. Although understanding, the parent made every pitiful noise in grief as she left and uttered as the door was shutting behind her “my baby never bites, she just smiles.” With this single phrase all the groomers in the room turned and shared a joint look of consolation and eye roll.
The 15lbs of gray, was stubborn as a mule. All the pet’s joints instantly became fixed and this pint sized puppy wasn’t going to make this a walk in the park. However after making it through the nails, ears and half of the shave I was starting to feel that perhaps I had been wrongfully judgmental. Reaching for the front legs, my hand found itself in those yellow, little teeth grinning right into my flesh. When the pup had returned my appendage, I did what most groomer’s do in such a situation. I muttered under my breath, cleaned out the wound, found a bandage (and because we are all moms in the shop it either had a martial arts reptile or a theme park loving, female, royal family member on it) and finished the job. Hey, I might as well get paid for the work rather than get bitten and have nothing to show for it.
Despite the appendage appetizer, the groom turned out pretty cute thanks to some magic in order to safe some semblance of a head. Plus, we discovered that the pet was not just gray , but a brindle as well. Mom was grateful for the prompt service and cute do, but as she signed the credit card slip noticed my bandaged hand. Matter of factly she uttered “Why that wasn’t from my baby was it? She NEVER bites.” Without missing a beat, grinning from ear to ear, I cheerfully replied, “You’re right she doesn’t bite, she just smiles REAL HARD when you touch her front legs.” Needless to say the mom mad sure to write a thank you on the tip line of that receipt.