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After Oil Layoff Man Tries Mobile Grooming

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  • After Oil Layoff Man Tries Mobile Grooming

    His boss had said they would be fine, so that’s what Josh Gibson told his wife and children, but seven months later, he was working a new job in a new city, driving a truck with a cartoon bulldog and his cell number printed on the windows.

    His phone rang.

    “I’ll have to call them back later,” Gibson said, on his way to meet a woman who needed her Shih Tzu fully groomed and her mixed-breed dog neatly trimmed.

    Hooked to the back of the 37-year-old’s truck was a renovated horse trailer equipped with the essentials: doggy ramp, bath, clipping table and hair dryer.

    He had spent his life in the oil industry, from rigs to welding to hauling chemicals. Now, he was the only mobile dog groomer in Casper.

    Minutes before 11 a.m., he parked his trailer along the curb of Shelly Cohee’s house. Gibson walked to the front door and introduced himself, then crouched on the steps to meet his newest clients.

    “This is Lucy and that’s Baile,” Shelly said, her dogs sniffing the stranger’s hands.

    Gibson reached to pet Baile, a 14-year-old Shih Tzu. She jumped.

    “Aw, I scared you,” he said in a high-pitched whisper. “And I didn’t mean to. You must not hear very good.”

    Shelly wanted a full groom for Baile, including a trim, nail clipping and a bath. Gibson cradled the dog in his tattooed bicep, scratching behind her ears.

    He walked the doggy ramp to his trailer and opened the door, placing Baile on the grooming table. He fitted her neck with a leash before turning on the propane-fueled generator, then grabbed his clippers and gently ran his hands through her thick summer coat. He paused.

    The dog was shaking.

    “Stay right there, sweetie,” he cooed................
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