It was a typical December Saturday morning for Ms Daisy and me. She faithfully awaited me while I hobbled around the house attempting to wake up and gather energy to face my day. Instinctively, I brewed a pot of coffee and flipped on the local news. As customary, the stories were predominately bleak and tragic; an innocent bystander shot here, the economy continuing to plummet and the weather was to be cold and dreary for at least 3 more days. Basically it sucked the holiday cheer right out of me. All this pleasant “news” and more forced me to turn off my TV and find sanctuary in work and my dear Ms Daisy.
Today a new client was on the books. A dear woman who had been recommended to us by her holistic vet, since one of her two toy poodles was repeatedly being clipper burned. The client requested her babies short with the traditional clean face and feet, (of course the sensitive
one has to have the clean face scissored in) so it seemed that the day would be fairly uneventful and rather simple. Her home was located in a typical middle income area of town. The sea of Florida tract housing, each stucco covered edifice the same as the last. Of course there was a community gate, that imparted a sense of security from the government housing just a few blocks away, despite the spindles being far enough apart that a grown man could slip through. Essentially, I was in the epitome of a Florida neighborhood.
Upon arrival, I fetched one of the two adorable toy poodles and whisked them away to Ms Daisy. As we began the groom the sound of sirens blared in the distance. I took note, but the noise seemed to be fairly distant so my alarm was not raised. As I continued to shave the sirens grew and rapidly approached the street where we sat like ducks. Mentally I brushed it off, since I was in a gated community and parked right outside a client’s home. Then, just as I had assuaged my fears, the van was pelted with some short of flying debris. It couldn’t be hail, this is Florida and no rain was in sight. Then the sensational news stories I’d poisoned my mind with that morning flooded my brain. I snatched the poodle from the table and hit the deck of Ms Daisy to avoid what I feared may have been gunfire. Thoughts raced through my mind. I’m not meant to go his way! I’m supposed to be 80, well pickled, in Boca Raton wearing my glitter tennis shoes, a Dolly Parton wig while zipping around
in a scooter with a Hot Tati in my hand. I have to live long enough to humiliate my kids and grandkids!
While lying on the floor with this poodle, the cacophony of dings and pings continued. Convinced I
was meeting my maker, an odd noise arose; children screaming and giggling. Perhaps I had lost the few marbles that still rattled in my skull? Curiosity drove me to peer out my cabin window at the carnage I was certain was just outside Ms Daisy. Instantly I was horribly humiliated. There was a caravan of fire trucks, police cars and ambulances cruising down all the neighborhood avenues. And atop the fire engine lie the cruel culprit of my panic. A large, jolly, bearded delinquent stood, aka Santa, waving and throwing candy as he went. Apparently aim was not one of the fat man’s
strong points so Daisy was being pelted with sweets.
Slightly miffed I regained my composure and finished thegrooms. As I drove home, I was grateful
I’d survived my imaginary threat. Mobile groomers do face a certain amount of calculated risk. Essentially with new clients, we are going to complete stranger’s doorsteps and hoping that their intentions are strictly to have their pet serviced. That’s why if I ever get a bad vibe when I pull into a new client’s drive I simply refuse service. It’s not worth the risk and the world has too many wack-a-doos. In the name of safety, I always lock my van while grooming too. This is so no one can jump in a drive off with me in the back or open my door and accidently let out a pet or try to harm me. I have even installed a little, plastic, weather proof business card holder on the side my Ms Daisy. Above it is a sign that reads “DO NOT Knock on the van. For the safety of the groomer and pet please take a card and call.” So although the day had burst my ego a tad and made me feel like a
delusional moron, it did at least provide me with a reflection on my safety polices. Then I chuckled at what a ridiculous news story I’d have made…”Groomer violently beaten by Hershey kisses
and sweet tarts by an unknown jolly, robust man atop a fire engine.”