I’ve thought about you often today, and although I thought of a couple of catchy starts to a new Post to blog, I forget them now.
Any wittiness or pithiness now escapes me.
I feel like I need a short vacation. Even a day off would be swell. I have always been one to acknowledge that a few hours off here and there DOES count as “time off”. I don’t have the grueling schedule that many pet care professionals have, and yet I feel just so weary.
I woke up achy this morning, and my first thought was, “Oh, NO, the Newfie puppy!”. The young dog had been described to me as 7 months old and “this high” (owner gestures about thigh high to me). The pet has not been groomed before, and the mrs. owner claimed that Sadie had just a few little tangles on her chest.
The fluffy little Newfie was not as big as I’d been led to believe, but much more matted. Sorry, but that’s the plain truth. This is probably just a function of her age and lack of experience/confidence/socialization, but she was so fearful that it was difficult to get her into my shop. I let her relax for a few minutes, and let the barky little boarders out to run around in the big courtyards.
When it was all peaceful and non-threatening in the kennel building, I set about to bathe Sadie. She was reluctant to be picked up, and though I know how to safely lift her weight (about 60 pounds) as an inanimate object, for some reason she could make herself seem like 100 pounds! It was as if she was bolted to the floor!
She urinated and defecated on me as I lifted her into the bathtub. I didn’t hurt her, and kept trying to reassure her without being wussy about it. Funny thing … she seemed to truly enjoy the bath, and I shampooed and rinsed for so long that the water ran quite cool, and Sadie didn’t shiver or look stressed. I clipped her toenails and started combing her coat while she was in the tub, and she took that like a champ, too.
When I tried to lift her out of the tub, she seemed bolted to the bottom of the tub. That lift was completely beyond me, so I combed and dematted some more where she lay.
Eventually, I convinced Sadie to let me guide her onto my grooming counter … very solid and not scary to most dogs. But every time I tried to nudge or manipulate her body, Sadie attempted to launch herself into midair, off the surface or back into the bathtub. It was a huge effort to finish the groom, and eventually she “got away on me” and into the tub. From there, I eased her onto the floor and finished drying and brushing her there. Mission accomplished!
There was a point during all of that that I burst into tears. The process was so tiring. My back feels that if I asked anything more of it, the muscles would rip. When Sadie hit the end of the leash after I lowered her back onto the floor from the tub, my hand struck a sharp spot in the wire kennels, tearing my skin. Oh well, better mine than Sadie’s!
Looking back, it was still a job well done. I’m pretty sure that Sadie’s owners won’t question the fee, and I hope they agree that I did well. I hardly shaved any of the puppy’s coat short, and it was extra work to preserve as much as I did. She was lovely for everything except being lifted or turned around, really.
After only the one grooming appointment and having lunch with Gary, I went back to digging in the garden. I didn’t take a picture, but I’m trying to combine two rows of perennials into just one. If I eliminate the weeds and a couple of plants I don’t want any more, I think it can be done, but it involves an investment of some time and quite a bit of effort. I got sitting down in the soil beside my row, and felt like I could never get up again.
Everything else was fine today. Kitty went home:
“Kitty” was a very special guest. He was being treated for ear infection at the time his owners wanted to go away on vacation. Though Kitty is a barn cat who just visits in the house for awhile each evening while at home, he was indoors full time at the Pet Hostel. I bought him a chair and put a comfortable piece of quilt over it, and I sat on a footstool beside him when I needed to treat his ears morning and night. He was gentle for his treatments.
I’m having trouble with loading of photos again. It is so frustrating to take 20 minutes to share a single picture, so I’m going to quit for the night. AGAIN.
Take care of yourselves. I’ll feel better tomorrow, too, I always do.