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Dog died on my table today

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  • Dog died on my table today

    "Is there anything I need to know about Schnookums? Any arthritis, sore hips, knees, shoulders? Lumps, bumps, bruises or skin issues you'd like me to take a look at? ANYTHING that I should be aware of before I start the groom?" This is a standard question that I ask every new client before I start the groom on their dog. I guess I need to add another - "Are you planning on euthanizing your pet this afternoon?"

    Yeah. I showed up at a new client's house this afternoon to groom their ancient, decrepit, and absolutely sweet cairn terrier. Halfway through the drying, she put her head down on the table, sighed, and closed her eyes. How cute, I thought. She must be really relaxed from the massage.

    She was dead, which I discovered about a minute later when I gently nudged her. Completely panic stricken, I grabbed her under my arm, leapt from the van and went racing into the owners house. "Call your vet and start the car!". Instead of the expected response, I got, "Oh. Well, I guess she didn't make it then." No tears, no concern, no running around, just a quiet sadness.

    Utterly baffled and sobbing, I stood there in the hall (the half-groomed dead dog still in my arms) while the owner explained. Apparently, this was Schnookums last groom, their final "treat" for her before being pts. They had planned on euthanizing her this afternoon. They [B]deliberately [/B]withheld this information from me because they thought if I knew that, I wouldn't groom her. Then...THEN...they held out a black plastic garbage bag in my direction.

    A million responses flew through my head, not a single one of them polite. I settled for an accusing look and stony silence. Brushing past the owner, I gently placed her in the little bed that I saw in the living room. Then they asked me if it was still the full price since I never finished the groom. Handing them a business card, I instructed them to call the office and speak to Bossman. They did NOT offer an apology, or a tip (not that I would have accepted either one).

    I am beyond livid & appalled that they would put me in such a situation. I can still feel that dog's weight in my arms, her limp little body...I doubt I will sleep very well tonite. I AM glad that I was able to give her some comfort in what would turn out to be her final hour on this planet (she REALLY loved being bathed, brushed, and pampered). But I am still royally pissed off/sad/confused/upset/exhausted over this whole episode. Right now, Im just counting the minutes until DH comes home, because he always seems to say just the right thing to make me feel better.

    Has anyone else ever run into this type of situation and, if so, how in the world did you handle it??
    Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
    George Sand (1804 - 1876)

  • #2
    The only one upset is you. They lied to you, that is on them. At least the dog was being cared for in a kind manner when he crossed the Bridge.

    You did your best. Move on. But remember if they call again if and when they get another pet they'll throw in the trash.
    "With God's help, all things are possible!"
    Laura Lee Ray
    I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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    • #3
      OMG! I can't even imagine what kind of panic then horor you must of felt. I have to wonder sometimes if people just think we're robotic with no real human emotions. Sounds like you were way more upset about this than they were. Sounds like they had already accepted what was going to happen that day. It would have been nice to at least enlighten you. I know that would be a tough decision but if someone asked me to do the last groom because the dog actually enjoyed getting a bath I probably would do it but would be an emtional wreck. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
      ~*~Robin~*~
      "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

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      • #4
        OMG, I am so sorry for you PF!! I have tears running down my face from just reading your post. How could the owners be so calloused about their pet dying and how could they not tell you about their dogs fragile condition? Then to question the PRICE?! And hand you a garbage bag? Like their dogs body was just a piece of unwanted garbage? I just cant understand.....At least she was cared for and loved in her last moments with you...

        I cannot imagine the feelings that you have right now, all I can do is offer you my sympathies for you being but in that situation and send you a big hug. ((HUGS))

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        • #5
          At least she died in caring arms. I have done "final" grooms before but the owners let me know ahead of time.

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          • #6
            No words

            OMG I can't believe the nerve of people.... I'm so sorry that you had to go through something like that. It's hard for any of us to think about treating an animal that has been a part of the family in such a poor matter. For those people to not even consider how this would effect you....unthinkable. The only thing I can say is I'm sorry......
            "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,
            and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck
            www.wagmoresalon.com

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            • #7
              Puppyfluffer,
              I am so sorry you had to go thru that...I'm crying as I sit here and think how any owner could be so cold and unfeeling. I don't know what to say to make you feel better, but just knowing that you gave the little one a relaxing goodbye should make you feel good. I don't know if I could have but I would have wanted to try and finish the groom the best I could?? Depending on how far you had gotten?? But, like I said, don't know if I could do it or not?

              Not that I had one die on my table, but I did have a little pom crash on my table a few weeks ago. Dad was right outside my truck so when I realized she wasn't breathing, I snatched her up and ran her out there...told him she wasn't breathing, he took her and just sat there and kept telling her to "relax"..."breathe"...after a few minutes of that and a blue tongue, I talked him through canine cpr and he got her back...she would walk around, seem better (a little disoriented but) then all of a sudden, stop breathing again. After about 5-6 times of this back / forth...(with me telling him from the get-go to take her to the vet...NOW) I told him I was going to leave with my truck (maybe it and me, were causing her stress related symptoms??) and he finally agreed to take her to the vet. Scared me silly! She was a real squealer so when she stopped making a ton of noise, I knew something was wrong.

              I hope your day gets better. RIP little one!

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              • #8
                How awful for you. So glad you laid her in her little bed. That, in itself, sent a strong message to the owners. RIP little cairn girl.
                Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                Groom on!!!

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                • #9
                  I just don't know what to say.
                  I guess the worse part of this whole thing is, they didn't tell you that it was the last groom for the little guy. guess there is another worse thing....they gave you the garbage bag to put their pet in. Terrible.
                  I'm so sorry you had to go though this.
                  "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                  Diane

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                  • #10
                    OMG. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. i would be devastated,im sure. At least she was with you and getting some pampering when she left us.RIP little baby. You need to have a drink and try to sleep.

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                    • #11
                      I am so sorry, how scarey and disheartening this must have been. At least she passed with kindness

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                      • #12
                        Oh Dear Girl,

                        I am so sorry too that this was your day to loose a dog. Even if it was the only time you ever groomed her, you gave her love in her last moments. I am glad for that. I am particularly fond of cairns and terriers. If I were the dog, I would be glad you were with me at my moment. I am sure in her way, she was thanking you for caring. Take comfort in that. This brought a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat. I hope you have a super duper special day tomorrow.

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                        • #13
                          I am so sorry this happened to you. The owners should have told you this was his last groom. It could have been a cherished moment for them and you.

                          One of my dearest customers, a toy poodle who I have groomed for over 12 yrs. every 2 weeks had to be put down. Her owner called me up on Sunday with the news and asked if I wanted to see her before she went to the vet on Monday. I told her yes and gave her a time that morning that I knew we would not be crowded in the shop. Her mom brought her in on her pillow as she was too weak to walk on her own. As they walked in the door Brandi started wagging her tail but could not lift her head but followed me with her eyes. Mom asked me if I could do anything to make her look special and wanted Red bows and polish on her. I shaved her face and feet, polished her nails and put bows in her hair. We spent at least an hour crying and saying goodbye. It was very emotional but I feel so privileged to had been asked to spend those last moments with her. I will always cherish that time with Brandi and her Mom.

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                          • #14
                            I am horribly sorry that you had to deal with this. It is heartbreaking, and these people should have been honest with you about it and let you make a choice. I feel for you on that.

                            Regarding the garbage bag: When I read that, I didn't give it a thought, until I read some of the replies. I imagine they were not THROWING THE DOG in the trash. That is standard procedure for holding a deceased pet in a freezer at the vet's office awaiting collection to be cremated. The plastic bag keeps the resulting body function loss contained. I only say this to ease your heart seeing what you must have been thinking!

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                            • #15
                              I don't know about some people.

                              They shouldn't have questioned the price... You technically saved them the cost of euthanasia. They could have afforded to pay you AND give the dog a nice burial. They obviously loved the dog, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered with the groom. So even though the situation was most unpleasant... I can see where they were coming from. The groom wouldn't have been nearly as relaxing for the dog, as your emotions would be running high, should they have warned you. Personally... I bury or cremate my critters... They may have intented to. Even the vets put the bodies in garbage bags when they dispose of them.

                              Once you relax and get over the shock, it won't be as horrible as it seemed while you were going through it. Tomorrow is a new day!

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