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Charity or love of profession?

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  • Charity or love of profession?

    I'd like to know HOW do you all draw the line? Yes, we are professionals but also very close to most peoples hearts at the same time.
    I recently had 2 chi chi's left to me, in a Will, when the lady died and I did find them a home, now I'm babysitting a 8 year old mini poo, who I have groomed since a pup. Mom is in hospital and this time, I think for good. This dog has a home with family up north but want me to keep here until mom is gone, just in case?, and have no time limit as they are waiting to see what happens to mom. So, I'm taking care of this dog indefinetley. I usually charge for my babysitting services but they are strapped for money. Very long story, in mean time I'm caring for the dog. My probem is I cannot seem to say No. I am so attached to some of these dogs, yet, I have a life, with many, many, complications too.
    Am I the Only One? Am I the DUMB DUMB?
    This is so awful but I'm the groomer, not the dump your dog person? Worse yet, I've been grooming many many years, but here for 11 years so, I'm loosings many to old age. Is it just here where I live? Are any of you dealing with anything like this? Whats next, I open an old folks home for dogs?
    I am in business but my business envolves life and love, where is your LINE?

  • #2
    We ended up with a similar situation 2 years ago. A long time client (93 years old) was put in a nursing home and we were asked to care for her 10 year old Lhasa until other arrangements could be made. We made it clear that we would be paid for caring for him, and they agreed. They paid for 6 months of boarding, but we could see at that point that the lady would never be out of the nursing home and she couldn't care for her dog. We had her caretakers sign the dog over to us, permanently, so we could find him a home. Guess what...we still have him. He's not a bad dog, now that he's healthy, and has had some basic obedience training, but there is no way we're going to find a home for him. He was grossly overweight with skin and heart problems when he came here. After dropping 18 lbs. (yes, a Lhasa that weighed almost 40 lbs.) with a strict diet, supplements for his terrible coat and skin, one wouldn't recognize him - he's actually a pretty good looking dog (we keep his coat long). Now going on 12, nobody would take him anymore. His heart problems were caused by his weight.

    I guess if I were you I would at least ask for some sort of payment for caring for him, or ask to have his ownership transferred to you so you can find him a home. All of us are suckers when it comes to the well being of animals, but a line has to be drawn or you will constantly be taken advantage of. I know that we probably won't take in a dog like this again. We have limited room and resources, one can only do so much. Circumstances like this is why this country has humane organizations and rescue groups.


    • #3
      Great ideas come from impossible requests so you may have an idea of old dog's home. Figure out a few things and it could be a good business.

      We have our three dogs and cats in our wills with money to care for them. I can say whomever gets the cat is lucky cause he goes with as much cashola as the dogs..anyway....You stated your problem..start working on saying no.


      • #4
        I seem to attract people who want to give me dogs, I get at least 4 calls a month about this dog needing a home and I would be a perfect home for it ect. I started saying no after i adopted the first to!


        • #5
          I am very happy to do a lot of things for clients and neighbors (I babysit dogs all the time). My line: it's my choice to donate my time or services. If someone EXPECTS or feels entitled to something, I generally won't do it.

          For me the sign is that I am feeling resentful then I need to say no the next time.
          "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


          • #6
            hmm whats that quote...If you love something learn to let it go? or something like that? When I was a child I started raising rabbits for 4-H and national shows. I grew very attached to many of them but I lived in town and I could only have so many rabbits so I learned at an early age how to let go of some rabbits that I really cared for. It was a decision I had to make, not my parents, and it really taught me a lot of life lessons on responsibility, and knowing my limits. My point is that as hard as it is and even though you may of been grooming the dog for many years, it is important to learn how to let it go because you simply cannot or don't want to care for it. (AND THAT DOESN'T MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON, IT MAKES YOU A REASONABLE AND RESPONSIBLE PERSON, especially since you didn't buy the dog to begin with.) Talk to shelter volunteers and they will agree. I've volunteered at shelters for years now and it seems that one of the major reasons people have to stop volunteering is that they can't deal with not being able to take animals. The ones that stay learn how to say and think, I may like this animal but I can't take it.

            I'd make a list with two columns, in one column list all the reasons you'd like to keep the dog (or keep it generic for anytime people offer a dog to you), in another write down all the reasons you don't. for example, you can't afford the extra food, vet bills, not enough room, not enough sanity, I'm sure you can find many reasons why keeping another dog is a bad reason, and weigh pros against cons, and keep the list around so you can keep looking at it. It is hard to change that part of you that feels sorry for the dog but it will help change your thinking and help you say no.


            • #7
              There's a difference between someone who's truly grateful and can't change their circumstances, and someone who is taking advantage. I have a client who is disabled and if I give him an inch, he'll take a mile. I feel bad telling him no at times because of his situation but he KNOWS he pushes too far sometimes. (The last time he wasn't feeling well and asked me if I'd pick up his lab and groom him at my HOUSE...which is not set up for grooming, let alone a huge hairy. This dog has undercoat like a Sibe! I told him it was too bad he was sick and I'd see him next week when he was better.)

              I think you can't really have a blanket rule because every situation is different. Yes, this business requires you have a heart and soul! (mostly.) Listen to your gut. Most people are very understanding and will not impose. If you can no longer care for your client, call up her owners and work out a compromise.
              There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.