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I don't complain much... (long)

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  • I don't complain much... (long)


    I don't complain much, honestly, but this really bothered me! I have to write about this to someone who might understand. How would you feel in my position? I'm just really upset about this.

    I had a lady come in with a bearded collie. The dog was terribly matted, all around his face and neck, the entire tail, and from hips and shoulders down to the feet. She says she brushes him at home but apparently she just brushes his back or the top of the hair.

    I told her I would have to clip the dog short because the matting was too severe to brush out. She said, well, can you just leave an inch or two of hair? I said no, in order to do that I would have to be able to brush out the dog and he was too matted to brush out. Well, how much could I leave? I told her maybe a fraction of an inch. Can I leave his face and tail long at least? No, I'm sorry, see how matted this is all through here? (I show her with my comb. The tail is like in a cast and the face has big chunks sticking out on the sides and underneath.) The dog snaps at me when I touch his tail.

    "Well, I don't want him to look like a retriever! The last groomer was able to leave some hair!" I said, "I'm sorry, but it would cause him pain to try to brush this out, and the coat is too damaged." She says, well, fine, just get the vet back in here then and forget grooming him. (She was in to see the vet when she asked me about grooming.)

    Oh, BTW, also this dog had a big, open hot spot on his hip. Very nasty, painful looking.

    Anyway, I was a little upset that she acted so angry with me, and I honestly was trying to be very nice and even told her, "I'm really not trying to be mean, I just can't demat him. I don't want to hurt him." She was very rude to me, I felt very intimidated and was literally shaking when I left.

    Well, the vet comes out later and I see her walking the dog back into our kennel area, past my grooming room. I went and asked her what was up with the dog? She said, "Oh, I told her that I'd have the vet techs groom him since you didn't want to."


    I said, "I didn't say I didn't want to, I said he'd need to be clipped short and she didn't want that. Didn't you see how matted he is?" She said, "well, she wants him brushed out, so the vet techs are going to give him a bath and brush him out!"

    This vet was now obviously annoyed with me, and one of the vet techs told me later that she was annoyed with me too, and that she also didn't want to groom the dog but she had to. I told her I was sure she could not brush the dog out without hurting him (I'm sure she won't be able to brush him out at all!), and to be careful. I also asked what tools she was going to use, and she said, "Well, I guess we'll have to use yours." She said it as if that were obvious, as if they always did that.

    Now, I didn't go into it, but I have suspected people using my tools while I am not there for a while now. Stuff put back in the wrong spot and all. I never asked about it because I didn't want to seem like I was being mean or selfish, but this is all my stuff!

    Anyway, when I left today I packed up all my more expensive stuff, including clippers, blades, scissors, and the more expensive brushes, leaving only a few cheap brushes and other random things that didn't fit into my bag.

    I guess now I will have to take my stuff with me every day! I don't feel safe leaving it to be used on dirty, matted dogs without my permission. And on top of that, this vet made me look like a jerk, and made me feel like I'm incompetent, because I can't brush out a dog. It's so easy that she'll just have the vet techs do it instead!

    Also, this was not the first, or even the second time this vet has told a client I could brush out their dog. I had a pelted bichon recently whose hair came off in one piece. She saw the dog all curly, dreadlocks hanging out of the pelt, and said, "that's just how they are supposed to look." She also always talks about how other groomers are so incompetent when they "just shave dogs". She has insulted other groomers in front of me to clients, to try to get me to agree with her that I would not have shaved the dog. I don't agree with her, I say, "well, I don't know what condition he was in when he was shaved..."

    Okay, I'm sorry this was so long. I did get some pictures too, but they aren't great. I had to take them through the door of the dog run. I wish I had gotten the tail or better pics of around the dog's head, but this is what I have, just to show you that it really was matted and I'm not just crazy. I can't wait to find out how the vet techs manage later today...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Alice; 12-01-09, 12:29 PM. Reason: updated

  • #2
    Personally, I would start looking for another job. I would also start taking ALL of my equipment home with me or buy a locked tool box to keep everything...and I mean everything ...inside. Your vet is insulting, greedy and dismissive. If I was the vet tech, I would be pissed off too. Don't be intimidated by this kind of behavior from the client or the vet. You did the right thing so don't apoligize.

    I wonder what the vet will charge the client for brush burn? Hmm..? I wonder how fast the dog will be wearing a muzzle and fighting like a bear. Those aren't exactly "pin" mats now. If this vet gives you a hard time, you may want to remind her that you are trying to establish a clientel for grooming, not satisying a woman who wants her dog clean for company.

    What a shame.


    • #3
      WOW! How infuriating! I can't wait to hear how the vet tech did either.


      • #4
        start looking for another job! any vet that would allow the dog to be put through that is no one I want to be affiliated with, animal cruelty is even worse coming from a pro,imo.and if you run into this again tell the techs that they willNOT be using your equipment.the vet can buy the techs stuff, if you pay for your stuff then no touchy!
        ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~


        • #5
          Egads! You would be lucky to get a 7 through that mess. Instead of packing your stuff home with you all the time, you could invest in one of those locking drawer thingies. You might think also about investing some time and looking for a place of employment that values your skills and judgment as a professional groomer.


          • #6
            Grrrr! Stupid vet. You would think that if the vet hired you she would trust your opinion since you are the expert. You don't go in there and tell her what can and can't be done in a surgery. She should listen to you. I would tell her that you're a dog groomer, not a dog torturer. Brushing that out would have been mean. That poor dog! The expert says it's a bad idea, so I'll just have my techs that don't have a clue do it?! People like that burn my butt! It's going to be agony for that poor dog. And when the dog's skin is ripped to shreds and a mass of brush burns, then the owner will have no one to bitch at but the vet. ARGH! The more I think about it, the more miffed I'm becoming. She totally undermined your authority and they're using your personal equipment without so much as a by your leave. And not helping to pay to keep it sharp when they're using it on creatures like that. I bet if the dog could talk it would be saying "Shave me!" I just cringe at what that dog is going to be put through. I wish the owner would have to stay to see how much pain her dog is in. Then perhaps she'd change her tune. Or tell her you'll demat it for her. The rate is $100/hr on top of the normal grooming price. Your dog should be around $450-$500 bucks. 50% cash in advance. I'm sorry, but I thought vets were there to alleviate a dog's pain, not be the direct cause. *grumble grumble* I'm gonna go back to my table now and smooch on a dog now, make myself feel better. You did right, Alice, absolutely the right thing.


            • #7
              clearing one thing up...

              First of all, thank you so much for those of you who responded. I really just needed to get the opinions of other groomers. I needed someone to back me up, you know? I left today just furious! And I am not someone who gets upset easily at ALL! I don't like drama, and I am very responsible and also mind my own business.

              What I did want to clear up though, is that I don't really understand where this vet gets the "authority" she supposedly has to make the vet techs brush this dog. She is not the owner, nor is she the manager. She is employed by our clinic, although she has been there a long time. One vet owns the place and also practices there, and this vet and one other work there. I don't know much more than that because I have tried to "know my place" and not butt in on other areas at work. (Wish they'd give me the same respect.) I do my job, do my own scheduling and deal with my own clients, and, as I said, mind my own business.

              I've been there for two years though, and have a good reputation among my regular clients. I honestly was glad when this person opted not to have me groom her dog (thinking she'd go somewhere else) because I don't want to have anyone upset with me over something like this! I figured, either brush the dog and hurt it (I won't do!) or have her upset anyway because I shaved the dog. This is why I did not give her an option. I am up-front if I have to shave. No suprises. I'd rather not deal with this client at all, after the attitude she showed me. So really I'm upset with this vet. (And the fact that they are using my stuff!)

              I certainly will take my stuff home from now on, even if it means extra time packing up at the end of the day and setting up in the mornings.


              • #8
                Sucks when the people you work for and with embarass and disagree with you in front of client's.

                I would never feel bad about telling people not to use my very expensive equipment and have done so in the past and don't really care if they consider me selfish cause I am and don't like to share especially without my permission.

                I always locked my things when not around otherwise they grew legs and walked away or were improperly used and never cleaned.

                I would have a talk with the vet and let them know how them disagreeing in front of the client made you feel or look for a new job.


                • #9

                  Why not go to the owner??? I mean do you think this is going to just stop happening? If it is bothering you and it obviously is for all the right reasons then you need to put your foot down! This is your best chance to do so and now you have the back up of many other professional groomers on here. Some of which have veterinarian experience. They are not going to be able to brush that dog out correctly, no way, no how. I wouldn't even do it and by the looks of those photos I'm not sure I could. I mean IF I really had to I would hand scissor through all of the matting (with dull scissors) down to an inch or less and then bathe condition blow ect. BUT that would be a very long and delicate process and it would have to be the perfect situation for me to even attempt that, like if someone just rescued the dog and the dog had great tolerance. The fact that he snipped at you just from touching him shows he in no way could mentally/psychically take that kind of job. Someones gonna end up hurt here for sure. Either that or the job will be half done only condensing the matting further. That vet could use a good free slap.


                  • #10
                    I would have a long talk with your employer, not this the owner of this clinic they need to be aware of the actions this particular vet and the use of your equipment.this was very unprofessional behavior for another employee to go around you and make unqualified employees do your job.As for your tools they are just that Yours not clinic property.I would make it very clear and yes I have had to also in the past these are private property not for others use period!!!! If you boss will not correct this situation look for another job.This is not acceptable work conditions or environment.sometimes you just can't sit back quietly and let others walk all over you.If you won't stand up for you no one will.


                    • #11
                      It would have taken all I had not to tell that vet off! I would be furious!!!!!


                      • #12
                        Another case of a Vet with a big head and giant ego thinking they know everything. I would be upset too-in fact, I'd be a lot madder than you I'd bet! From the pics, and from your description, and from 28 years of experience,,that dog shouldn't have been brushed out. What pain must it have had to endure after it left your care? the owner is a selfish dummy, too- IMO. Knowing that poor dog was made to feel ANY pain in order to give a client what they want really pisses me off!! I wouldn't work there another single day. And I would give this Vet and her idiot staff a good long piece of my mind before I left, also a good helping about helping themselves to your tools and her staff also being disrespectful to you. Of course, that is how I got fired from the last Vet clinic I worked at years ago. I don't do surgeries, and Vets DON'T groom. And if someone is being money hungry or an idiot, I'll tell them I've noticed, degree on the wall or not. Nuff said. Except: Grrrrr.
                        Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


                        • #13
                          The vet is extremely unprofessional. I'd tell her so too privately with the clinic owner present..."Have I ever told one of your clients that your recommended course of treatment is wrong? No I don't because it is out of my realm of practice. I would like you to extend me the same courtesy. And as I do not use your very expensive tools, please reciprocate the favor. Let's have a professional working relationship revolving around mutual respect." I would nip that behavior in the bud.

                          I think you can rest assured the vet techs will quickly realize you are quite correct in your grooming recommendation. When the woman comes back in to have all the post matted bath hot spots and brush burn treated what is the vet going to say then? The mats well be that much worse. Forget the 7, she could end up with a 10 shavedown. That'll be unpleasant. 'Sorry to tell you, due to your dog being bathed with extensive matting still present and improperly dried, he'll have to be this much shorter than I could have done it when you refused.' Or the dog chews himself raw over severe brushburn and ends up with bald infected spots all over his body.

                          It sounds like she likes to tell people what they want to hear to make them happy. As long as it doesn't trouble her. I will not demat a dog causing hours of pain to please an owner's vanity. Not going to happen.

                          I'd take my stuff home every night unless the clinic paid for it.


                          • #14
                            I would go to the owner and explain what a liability situation the associate is putting him or her in due to the fact she is ordering you to commit animal cruelty. If the owner does not listen get a new job. You have photos to back you up. After you are secure in your new job turn the associate in to the authorities.
                            "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                            People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


                            • #15
                              I hear you pain. I have kind of similar boss, who doesn't understand all things involved in grooming and tries to make us groom "liability dogs" at discounted price.

                              Can you talk to the owner of the clinic about your tools being used without your permission and how the other vet "overrides" you grooming decisions?

                              The problem I see is that the vet in question insults other groomers in front of the clients and you. Unprofessional!
                              When you don't agree to brush out the dog and she makes techs do it, she sends a message to the client that says "the groomer we have here is not competent because this job could be done even by techs without grooming skills". Not a good message to send to prospective clients and very unprofessional.
                              If the tech doesn't finish the job to client satisfaction, the clinic is going to loose that client all together.

                              Without seeing the dog up close, I can not tell if I could have saved any hair without brush burn or causing pain. Don't get me wrong I am not questioning you judgement or abilities. I have worked in the shop that would brush out anything and I had to learn how to do it.
                              I have saved some hair on pelted dogs in the past without brush burning them, but it was achieved by really knowing what to do and use of various tools and products and taking my time. They did not look taht good after it but the job was done and client was happy.

                              I don't see how the tech with cheap brush and no grooming skills can brush out that particular dog without brush burning or cutting it or even finishing the dog.
                              If she was able to do anything, the dog probably left with mats.

                              The second issue is that you tools are YOUR tools and by using them they are oversteping boundaries. Those are your personal items! You buy them, you maintain them and they should not be touched without you permission. You would not go into vets locker room and borrow things out their personal lockers.
                              If they want their techs to be able to provide grooming services, they need to buy them tools. Or leave the grooming to you.