A dog that is new to our salon came in for a groom. His name was Benny and he wasn’t scheduled with me, but he ended up being my dog. I was grateful for this because I’d like to keep practicing dogs that need patterns. When his owner was telling me about him, he told me that the other salon he normally goes to has to muzzle him for his legs and nails. Benny was shaking with nervousness but didn’t seem to be so fearful as to bite me without warning. At the other salon he isn’t high velocity dried because he freaks out for the dryer so I note all these things, made notes in the computer as well, and went to work after telling his owner I’ll be careful and work cautiously, but that I’d like to get a feel for him before I go straight to muzzling the little guy. Ya know, I explained that it would depend on the vibes I got from Benny.
I worked on him for quite awhile, and I took my time. I gave him reassuring hugs when he’d get skittish about his legs and after a few seconds he would let me continue. He didn’t put up any more of a fuss than most typical dogs do for his nails. He wasn’t excited about his bath either but really, what dog is… The one time he lost his mind for a moment was when I was still bathing him, and another groomer went to dry their dog. He heard the sound of the HV dryer and started dancing crazily. I held him close to me again and hugged firmly around his chest (making sure not to have my face where he could bite just in case) and gave him a minute to adjust to the sound, and then continued bathing him. He obliged. Before the other groomer finished and shut off her dryer, I turned mine on a low setting with the nozzle still on, and very slowly started drying his rump. He did surprisingly well and even let me dry his face as long as the nozzle was removed and the hose held under my arm and pointing at him from a little distance, freeing up both hands to rub his face and ears.
When his owner came to pick up, I apologized for the extra wait, but told him about how the groom went. He said he was very glad to hear that Benny did so well for me, said he looked very nice and that he would for sure be back again. I told him if he would ask for me, I’d be more than happy to groom Benny again next time, and he took one of my business cards.
This positive made up for the big negative I felt the other day when I lost another request dog because it’s a bath dog only… Tank the Great Pyrenees, i might’ve wrote about him. He was an awesome dog with a beautiful coat and very nice owner. I did Tank for his first groom at our salon, too, and it was so nice to hear that a client first experience went so great they don’t feel the need to try a different groomer out. Unfortunately, now that I’m a groomer I’m not allowed to only bath and brush dogs. They have to have a full service or premium groom or else the dog is given to a bather.
Enough pouting and back to the positives. I really hope to hear back from Benny’s owners again in six to eight weeks!