Grooming is hard. The clients are picky, you stay covered in hair and your shoes are never dry. And how many modified lambs can one person take? There were plenty of times when I wanted to throw the clippers across the room and go home.
But I know a secret that keeps me coming back. Dogs have the power to heal you. The very worst days of my life were made bearable by the four–legged soul by my side.
Working with animals gives us a unique opportunity to learn something about ourselves. Grooming for me is a meditation and a sharing of life minutes with a unique individual. It is a sacred agreement of trust and touch and communication that is mostly silent. My tools are lovingly chosen and cared for so that I find pleasure in using them. I find the delight in the perfect shape and color of a toe pad.
These creatures, so different from me yet so much the same, are a spark of sensitivity and curiosity. Their lives are so fleeting that we only truly realize the blessings they bring when they leave us. Yet there are the clients that complain and the ones who do not care in a never–ending parade of demands that can threaten your very sanity. I am thankful for them, because without them, I would not have the opportunity to commune with their dog.
Dogs teach us patience and how to say more with less words. We get to share their unique and comical perceptions of our environment. Participating in a dog’s exploration of the world makes the experience deeper. There will always be challenging clients, peer relationships and problems at home, but at work, with a dog, is the perfect time to let it all fall away and live in a swirl of energy, sound, smell and movement. To experience the miracle of how they are put together and their willingness to trust us holding their delicate paw is a gift beyond measure.
So I choose to be thankful for the opportunity to serve the picky client, the penny pincher, the conversationalist, and especially the ones that bring the handmade, labeled drawings of how their pet should be groomed. I am thankful for the phone calls and the nail trim interruptions. I am thankful for the clients who are late in picking up that give me the opportunity to destress while giving and receiving love from their dog. I am thankful for the opportunity to meet so many precious, individual beings that are so full of life and emotion and come in so many variations.
My secret is…the dogs. They will always keep me coming back and they are always the reason that I fall in love with grooming over and over again. ✂️