A place for me to share my experiences as a Groomer - both good and bad. I will also give advice to anyone who needs help with dogs and cats with grooming questions.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Have I mentioned I hate Saturdays? XD

So, I'm not posting any pics from Saturday. I just didn't think you would see the changes.

I wound up having only three dogs. Two were old clients - Max, an English Springer Spaniel who was getting a bath and trim, and Rufus, a Shih Tzu that is very good on the table, which is a rare thing as far as Shih Tzu's go. He was getting a bath and trim as well. So no big deals there.

My problem for the day came in the form of Lola, a Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier. Well, it really wasn't Lola that was the problem (although she wasn't a great dog, she wasn't horible either), it was her owner. I was called at home on Thursday (my day off) to be told that Lola's mom wanted to speak with me. She told me that the previous groomer had always made an exception for her and dematted her dog. Given the fact that everyone had told me that the previous groomer shaved every dog, I was inclined to believe her.

We decided that Lola would be dematted and would get a bath and trim.

When I came in to work, I took one look at Lola and wanted to cry. This dog - as far as fur goes - looked hopeless. She was matted on every part of her body; even her privates were matted to her legs. I called the owner and asked if I could shave her. My response was this: My husband will kill me if I bring her home shaved! Please, PLEASE just demat her!

I'm a bit of a sucker. She already knew it was expensive, so I couldn't scare her away with a price tag. I tried the pity route - your dog is going to be in so much pain! - but it didn't work. She didn't seem concerned that Lola was going to be hurt in the process. I gave in.

Now, keep in mind that I only gave in for two reasons: 1-If I don't do it, who KNOWS where she'll go, and who will do what to poor, sweet Lola. 2-These mats were not against the skin. They were half an inch or so away from the skin. Had they been attached to her, I wouldn't have done it. So I went to work.

So, one effect of dematting is time. I had to devote all my time to dematting Lola. Another effect is the dogs' pain. Poor Lola was screaming half the time because some of the mats are in sensitive areas, like her muzzle and stomach. Now, don't get me wrong - I would rather hurt myself than hurt my dog, which is why another effect of dematting is MY discomfort. You can only do so much before your hand starts to cramp up and hurt. Also, my left index finger hurts because I use it as a guard from the dematters' blade as I hold the fur away from the skin. So my hands are quite sore tonight.

Lola is quite smart. She knows how to stop me from doing whatever I'm doing and uses it to her advantage. During one of the times she was trying to stop me from dematting a front leg, I placed a hand on the loop around her neck. I brushed against what I thought was a mat.

It turned out to be a lump.

The first thing I do when I notice a medical problem is check the dogs' chart to see if the problem has already been noticed/recorded. If so, I leave it. If not, I bring it to the attention to one of the doctors. In this case, there was no record of Lola having a lump on the underside of her neck. So I let Dr. Stoyanovich know. She had the girls up front ask Lola's mom if we could run tests on it.

She refused.

Lola wound up having fleas and ticks as well, and she was given a pill for the fleas and a collar for the ticks. But something as important as what could be a tumor? Nothing.

What logic is it that tells you to spend so much on NOT having your dog shaved, but not on checking something out that could be cancer?

I was livid. I sulked around, and everyone agreed with me, but as they say, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." In other words, regardless that I found the lump and advised her, it doesn't mean she's going to have the lump checked out.

In the end, it took me 3 hours total (an hour and a half, a 2 hour break, and then another hour and a half) to demat little Lola. It took me 4 hours total to groom her. The other two dogs took me only 20 minutes each to do, not including the bath. Only on Saturdays...


Diamond Emerald-Eyes said...

It is very sad that the owner allowed the dog to get into the condition in the first place. She probably spends no time brushing her in between groomings and if she has fleas and ticks, it wouldn't surprise me to find out she left outside much of the time. Some people should not have pets.

Emma's Kat said...

Poor Lola! Why!? That's the million dollar question, huh? Well, maybe she'll get it checked out. It sucks Lola's owners couldn't be there to see what she had to go thru. Maybe...just maybe, they'd think again about having her dematted. Like you said though, GS, at least you were doing it and not some other jackleg that didn't know what they were doing, lol!

momsbusy said...

isn't it considered neglect when you know there is a problem and don't deal with it? really irks me that someone refuses to get a medical issue checked out on an animal that gives unconditional love. just plain sucks.

hope she has a change of heart and gets the lump checked out.

caspersmom said...

Hi Rita. Glad to see you back to blogging. Really like your before and after pictures. The dogs are so cute. Natasha has such a happy face. I felt so sorry for Lola, guess we'll just have to pray it is a fatty tumor. That's what Amber had. Doesn't make any difference Lola needs a different owner.