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  • What would you do?

    A friend of mine who is a mobile groomer called me the other day in a panic asking for my advice.

    She had just groomed a smallish terrier mix that was 12 years old. This was the 2nd time she had goomed the dog. During both grooms the dog was alittle nervous and shy. She completed the groom without incident and returned the dog to the owners. The dog was happy and was running around (you know, showing off the new haircut thing). The owner paid and my friend was on her way to the next groom.

    Thirty minutes later the owner called her and told her that after she left, the dog went out to pee and fell over and died. The owner wanted to know if she had given the dog anything or if anything unusal had happened during the groom. My friend assured her that she had given the dog nothing and nothing had happened during the groom.

    Of course responsible or not, my friend feels terrible and she wanted to know how she should handle it?? I gave her my opinion but I was curious what you all thought. Would you refund the groom amount?? Pay for a necropsy? Send a card? Think that you had done something to the dog to cause this?? What would you do?

    Scott

  • #2
    Since your friend is not responsible for the dog's death, I don't think she should refund or pay for anything. I would talk to the owner and encourage her to get a necropsy for the owner's peace of mind. With a 12 year old dog there are several conditions would could be aggravated by an increase in blood pressure and pulse which could be caused by a groom and running around afterward, but certainly would not have been anything evident to your friend.
    Lisa VanVleet, RVT

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    • #3
      OMG That is absolutely horrible. I have no idea what I would do considering the owner but I know personally Id be inconsolable and even though I knew in my head that I didnt do anything wrong Id feel filled with guilt anyway. Your friend is probably going to need lots of love and support right now. I hope you are able to help her through this rough time.

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      • #4
        If it were me, I would send a pet sympathy card and call it a day. Any offer of any sort of reimbursement for the groom shows fault, even though that's not the intent. If she's feeling guilty but wanted to do something nice, just offer a donation to a charity in the pet's name.

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        • #5
          Your friend did the work and should be paid for her time. She did not kill the dog. If it were ME personally, I would refund the groom fee and send the owner a card and/or flowers. In times like this, her compassion for the owner will be shown through her actions, and that owner will likely become a staple word of mouth advertisement. The owner may or may not decide to give the money to her anyways, but it at least shows that she cares, and a little love goes a long way.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hello Kitty FTW View Post
            If it were me, I would send a pet sympathy card and call it a day. Any offer of any sort of reimbursement for the groom shows fault, even though that's not the intent. If she's feeling guilty but wanted to do something nice, just offer a donation to a charity in the pet's name.

            I agree totally. Send a sympathy card, maybe even a small floral arrangement, but no refund, it could be misinterpreted as fault on her part. That is an terrible situation to be in, I feel bad for your friend...

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            • #7
              That's awful. I don't mean to sound heartless but I would probably ask the owner if she would be willing to have a necropsy done to determine cause of death...does that sound cold?
              "The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind"-Theodorus Gaza

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hello Kitty FTW View Post
                If it were me, I would send a pet sympathy card and call it a day. Any offer of any sort of reimbursement for the groom shows fault, even though that's not the intent. If she's feeling guilty but wanted to do something nice, just offer a donation to a charity in the pet's name.
                I think this is the way I would handle it also.

                So sorry your friend has to deal with this.
                "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                Diane

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                • #9
                  I'm so sorry for your friend, that is horrible indeed. I had an airdale die in the shop I worked at years ago. It turned out ok because it was'nt our fault and dog was old. But we all felt horrible none the less. In this case we did not charge because it happened in the shop, dog just passed away sleeping in a crate. But I agree with the others, send card or small floral arrangement but I would not refund money only because it infers guilt.
                  This is also why all my customers sign a release form. Not to avoid blame but more to educate people that grooming can be stressful to senior dogs even though we do our best to make it as comfortable as possible. Tell your friends shes not alone and it can happen to any groomer.

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                  • #10
                    If the dog were two and not twelve

                    it would be harder. No doubt it was the dogs' time to go and obviously wasn't well. I think a card and flowers or bettter a donation is enough. Too bad the dog didn't live long enough for the owner to get the full benefit of the groom. Heck, some people ask groomers to groom a dead dog. At least the little fella went to the bridge all nice and clean. But The groomer deserves to know what happened to the dog.

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                    • #11
                      I totally agree with Hello kitty and Pixie.\
                      It is going to be really hard on your friend.So sorry.

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                      • #12
                        Update

                        Here is a update. The owner had a necropsy done and the vet was unable to determine what caused the death.

                        My friend met with the owner and everything seems OK. The owners aren't blaming her at all. They just needed some closure and wanted to know if she had noticed anything during the groom that would have indicated a problem. Which she didn't.

                        My advice to her was pretty much the same as Hello Kitty FTW. Knowing how my friend grooms and the care she takes, I think it was a cruel coincidence. It certainly has shaken her up.

                        Scott

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                        • #13
                          All your friend needs to do is send a aympathy card, and leave it at that unless the owner pushes it,, then it would be the owners responsibilty to have a necropsy to prove it was something the groomer did. You should take your friend somewhere for a quiet meal or bawling session, or both .
                          ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~

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                          • #14
                            it's a sad thing that sometimes happens and usually it's just coincidence. Just as much as a human could go get their hair done and then an hour later have a heart attack.
                            I also agree with hello Kitty.
                            I'm really just a little dog in a big dog's body (I really should cut down on those milk bones).

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                            • #15
                              I still think the necropsy was a good choice. It's what it DIDN'T show that would be important to me...bruising, internal injuries, heat stroke, etc....
                              Now a symathy card and flowers woud be nice!
                              "The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind"-Theodorus Gaza

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