I took these two photos on the same day last week, and when I looked at them it got me thinking about how good groomers are flexible. I don’t mean the sort of flexible that conjures up thoughts of groomers doing handsprings and splits… I mean the kind of flexible that means “go with the flow.” This older spaniel mix made it very clear that he would rather lie down for the grooming process thank-you-very-much! And his stylist “listened.” She did as much of the grooming as possible while that dog lay flat, most of the time he appeared to be napping. There is a real possibility that his clipping would have looked a bit nicer if he had stood for the process. The final results might have been a bit more smooth and professional looking. But that dog left our shop happy, tail wagging, well rested! If his coat was not quite even in every spot, does that really matter?
And these two? Despite what you might think at first glance, they are not conjoined twins! But they are deeply bonded to each other. These dogs were rescued by some saintly customers of ours from a puppy mill where they had spent their lives in a cage cranking out babies. They must have shared a cage because they inseparable friends. We bathe them together, but if we put one on the table so we can groom the other, the dog left in the cage will leap up down, even smacking her little head on the top of the cage as her debarked voice croaks in protest. So, we put them on the table together. It makes for some challenging moments while they are clipped and scissored, but it relieves them of anxiety during the process. I know many, many groomers. They differ widely in experience, skill, education and personalities. But the best and happiest groomers I know are flexible in their work practices. They allow the pets needs to dictate how they work when possible. And isn’t that what it is all about, keeping our work animal centered and pet friendly? I think so.