Nothing bad has happened, but it still feels like this week has kicked my ass.
Today I groomed this Landseer Newfoundland pup; Panda is not full grown. He arrived three hours early for his appointment, but when I got him from his kennel and he was very difficult to lead (pulling ahead of me and then changing direction suddenly and almost pushing me over), I knew I was in trouble.
I got Panda over to my electric lift table, and he went flat as a pancake on the floor, a hundred pounds of refusal to be lifted, nudged, or coaxed onto the table. I’d get his front end on, with difficulty, and as I got a grip on his hindquarters, the first end would bail off. He completely emptied his bladder on my jeans, shoes, and the floor (which just made me feel sorry for his fright. And it could have been worse!). Somehow, after many attempts and at the end of my strength and patience, I got his rear end on the table and THEN the front.
It still took a Herculean effort to keep him on that table as I slowly and quietly raised it to working height. By this time, I had him hooked to the wall, but Panda was still determined to get down. He’d have his tail and a back leg off, almost causing the table to slide away from the wall. To even lift his great head to shear off matts was a challenge.
Suddenly, he didn’t seem to think I was going to kill him, and he relaxed so thoroughly that he was almost sleepy. I “bucked off” a few more matts and tangles and then wrestled the dog into the tub. He took a little while to get accustomed to the bath as well, but here again he was hooked to the wall. Two gallons of diluted shampoo and ALL of the hot water later, he was as clean as I could get him in a single session. Wrestled Panda back onto the life-saving (and back-saving) table.
Then followed three hours of blow drying, combing, snipping more knots out, and clipping of the nails. We had exhausted each other! Panda seemed composed the whole rest of the time after the bath. When I was finished, I unhooked the dog from the wall, lowered the table as low as it goes, and told him “Okay, you’re done, Handsome”. As I gathered up the laundry and swept the floor, Panda just watched me! Finally, he decided to step down, and strolled around the building as if none of the morning had been any big deal to him.
I have a new couple of doggy friends from quite far away. New customers are in the Valley for a family reunion (of other people I don’t know). Here are Puddles, a Newfoundland cross, and Frank, who is a Great Dane cross puppy who looks for all the world like a purebred Catahoula Leopard Dog. Both have been sweet and as good as gold.
Zoe went home yesterday. I needed her indoor-outdoor kennel for the above two newcomers, so I took her with me while I cleaned garlic. I think she didn’t mind waiting for her ride home this way.
Smokey took Zoe’s bed when the dog got up to stretch, but at least they both could still rest in the shade.
Smokey also helped with the cleaning of garlic yesterday, as did our dear Lady.
Cleaning garlic happened this morning, and I groomed dogs in the afternoon. I had requests for 2 pm. and 3 pm. appointments.
The first dog had dozens of LICE on him. Yes, I have disinfected everything that could have picked up a louse, and I coached the owner.
The second dog is an 18 year old cocker spaniel cross who fought me for EVERYTHING. She used to be so trusting and compliant for clipping, scissoring nails … all the grooming steps. She is stone deaf and almost blind, and it seems like she has lost all her nerve. Tikka has multiple health issues, some chronic. The owner thinks that Tikka’s stroke is what has affected her the most. I’m afraid that the dog smelled foul from multiple weepy warts and chronically infected ears. I used Gold Bond powder on some of her lesions and applied quite a lot to the insides of her ears. Not only is that stuff soothing, but it smells nice.
This morning Tikka’s owner phoned and asked what I had put in the dog’s ears. I thought… “uh-oh”, wondering if the Gold Bond powder had caused an undue reaction. No! Tikka’s ears had never been as “dry” and good-smelling. Hurray. I thanked Tikka’s owner for bearing good news … I always love to see that lady.
Can’t find a picture of the dog, sorry, not even one of her in her younger day.
I finally got a picture of the handsome Emerson and sweet little Ruger. They have been very little trouble. I was asked to clip Emerson’s nails, and with a bit of coaxing and maneuvering, got that done.
Many of you know that we are particularly busy on the weekend that the Robson Valley Music Festival is held nearby. We used to even attend the Festival, but in recent years, the responsibility of caring for other peoples’ dogs has kept us home. I was quite wakeful last night, worrying where to put every pet, and I need to start turning down business as of tomorrow. I hate turning away anyone.
We also have a large order of garlic to fill before that Festival is over, as that is when the biggest bunch will be picked up. We have worked on it every chance we’ve had, but still have about 1500 heads to clean. We’ll get through it, even if we have to deliver to our Jasper customers some time after the weekend.
Between these few things and the garden needing harvesting, I’m staying out of “mischief”. I don’t mind staying home most of the time, which is good, and good for business.
I’m afraid I have to say goodnight. I can’t seem to string a lucid thought together.