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Oh I have a dilemma...(Kinda long)

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  • Oh I have a dilemma...(Kinda long)

    I worked for a salon for 3 years before switching to a boutique about 6 months ago thats about a half hour away from me. Most of my clients didn't follow me-understandably-due to the distance. The ones I loved and were good clients I set up a little enclave in my house and do a couple on the weekends. The rest I referred to a good friend of mine.

    Yesterday, while running some errands, I ran into my worst client. He's a black Am cocker, and the only dog I've ever truly been afraid of! He is truly "Cesar Milan" bad. I've never groomed a worse dog! He will go from licking you to 100% aggressive, can't-wait-to-eat-your-face-off quicker than I can say 1. He has many bite triggers and if you get stern at all (Think, a firm no, not a yell to the face) he gets instantly terrifed and has a panic attack, pee and poo all over. Usually I will shave his face, muzzle him, hook him up to the Groomer's Helper, and hang on when he has an episode. Once he's done he's ok. I have no idea how to turn his behavior around-he was 5 when I started grooming him. He had been kicked out of every grooming shop in the area and used to have to be completely sedated to be groomed before they found out he had a heart problem and they had to stop.

    My problem? I am the only groomer out of MANY she's gone to that the dog will even tolerate. This sounds weird but he actually likes me. He's only like this for being groomed. Since I've left she hasn't been able to find anyone that can handle him and he keeps getting worse and more panicked the longer it goes on. I feel really awful for him. At my work, we don't do dogs we have to muzzle (I'm pretty good at getting around it, haven't had to turn anyone away yet) and I don't have muzzles or a Groomer's Helper at home. I also don't feel comfortable doing him there in case anything happened. He's a significant risk.

    She BEGGED me for my number. I said no, but she ended up giving me her card. I can't get him out of my head! I don't know how to help this lady. She is truly nice and knows how he is. She tries to work with him as much as she can and gets him done faithfully every 4 weeks. He's absolutely sweet outside of grooming.

    What would you do? I can't really do him either place I groom, but it seems I am the only one willing to work with him. I know I can't refer him either because my friend does not have the equipment she needs to keep herself safe. Also, I would like to continue our friendship. Lol. Vet is out. What's the alternative?
    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.

  • #2
    you do not seem comfortable grooming this dog .I feel for you because I know you wish to help the cocker .I would do the same, but you must think of the dogs safety and health, and your own safety and health.If you can provide that at your home set-up I would say do it. But if you can not I would tell the owners (with heavy heart ) that they must look elsewhere for a groomer.

    Your hands are your lively-hood you can not risk them.

    I hope I have helped .I know you will make the right decision.

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    • #3
      charge double

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      • #4
        Why is a vet out?

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        • #5
          First off I wouldn't work in a place that doesn't allow the GH or muzzles. To me that is the boss saying that they don't care about your safety over what clients "might" think if they see a dog muzzled or hooked to the GH...............shrug...........just had to get that off of my chest.....lol

          You mentioned that you do a little grooming in your home. Why don't you want to groom him there? If it's because you don't own a GH and can't afford one, perhaps you could speak w/the owner of the ckr. She might be willing to invest in one for you so that she can get her dog groomed again by the one person that he seems to respond well to.
          SheilaB from SC

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          • #6
            Ask her to provide you with a groomers helper and muzze for him if you really want to do him and charge her enough to make it worth the trouble.

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            • #7
              It sounds like the Groomers Helper must have belonged to the former shop where you once worked since you don't have it at home. So if you really want to groom this dog (and it was possible using the G.H.) I think you need to invest in the G.H. for you home business.

              You do need to charge MORE for this dog, after all the owner is pleading with you and she realizes one else will do it. Plus, you must understand that it takes only one good bite and you could be out of work for 1 day or even forever. Consider that if you decide to take him on privately.

              You obviously love what you and are very compassionate, good luck with this decision.

              sittingpretty

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              • #8
                Since he is such a prob dog, maybe she would invest in a groomers helper for you to use at home. Tell her that is the only way you can groom him safely. Puts the ball back in her court.

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                • #9
                  Would you feel comfortable working on this dog at home with a muzzle and a groomer's helper? If so, ask her to buy these items for you. If she's that serious about you groomer her little Cujo, then this gives you a way to do it. The other option would be to find a salon in the area (maybe where your friend works) and rent a table with a GH for one groom. Of course, charge appropriately for your time.

                  Good luck
                  "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." ~Dr. Seuss

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                  • #10
                    can the mom stay while you groom him ? maybe he will be better if she is there to tell him no dont bite .(at your house) I would probably try to do him you know if nobody else will do it hes gonna start looking awfull and getting matted.or maybe you could teach the mom how to do some basic touch up grooming,

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                    • #11
                      If you are not comfortable working on this dog - DON'T . I to owrk alone and there are a few I have tunred away for the safety reason. Do not let yourself be guilted into it as there may be dire results. I ahve always advised groomers that if they have that bad a feeling about a dog then do nto groom it. Call her and explain that you cannot groom him for the reason you have noted and stand firm, tell her you will look around and call her fi you find someone who might be capable under the right circumstances. People are great fro giving groomers guilt trips and we should not fall for them because we feel for the dog. We have to realize we have to protect ourselves too.

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                      • #12
                        This is the sort of dog you can't "turn around". This dog is wired wrong and the behavior is engrained and will not change. Your only option is to protect yourself when you groom him, if you groom him at all.

                        The only way you can protect yourself is by using the necessary equipment to do so - a muzzle and/or some sort of restraint system. If you are unable - or unwilling - to use restraint, don't do the dog. It is unsafe to do so and you already know it.

                        At the very least this dog needs to be securely muzzled and a working "muzzle" can be fashioned out of something as simple as a ten cents worth of cotton clothesline.

                        So, my question to you is, knowing this dog is a dipsh*t biter, why are you dithering over the idea of muzzling him for grooming when it is so easy to do so and, once muzzled, he can't possibly hurt you?

                        With headcases like this dog, the last thing I worry about is the dog's opinion of the whole matter. Especially when the dog thinks a perfectly acceptable reaction to grooming is to rip the groomer's face off for no good reason, that after doing back flips and taking a dump on the table to boot.

                        But then, I have never been one to let the monkey run the zoo.

                        But if your policy now is that you never touch dogs that need to be muzzled, then the matter is settled - you won't do the dog and that's the end of the subject.

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                        • #13
                          Don't do him

                          If you don't want to do him, don't do him. He will make every day that he is booked a miserable, unhappy day.

                          Why is a vet "out"?? The DOG should be PUT OUT!!! So a vet is the most reasonable place to have him groomed.

                          You feel bad saying no, but the alternative is much, MUCH worse. Unhappy, hurt, maimed - all are not just possible, but highly likely. So keep saying NO.

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                          • #14
                            Hi guys...thanks for all the sage advice. I'm still weighing options. I think I may call around for her and see if I can find someone nice who will be safe.

                            To answer some questions-
                            He used to be completely sedated to be groomed but then they found out he has a heart problem and their vet advised them not to do it anymore. He said it wasn't safe. I don't know exactly what the problem is with his heart, but I'm gonna go with the vet's advice on this one.

                            My boss is actually wonderful, it is this shop's policy that we don't use muzzles. We have a Groomers Helper, I just don't have one at home. She wants it to be a relaxing and theraputic thing, and the way she sees it is if I have to muzzle them, then they aren't happy. Plus, they are a risk. So they get sent home. I haven't had to do it yet though since I've only had a few half hearted biters for nails or something. No one truly aggressive. Its not that she won't make me groom a biter without the proper equipment, it's that she doesn't want me grooming biters period. It also helps that we don't do big dogs.

                            Even with the muzzle (a basket one, so it covered his whole mouth) and the Groomer's Helper, he came close a couple of times. (I can't stress how psychotic this poor guy is) I don't have help at home if I need it and if he injures me I don't have worker's comp or whatever to fall back on. That is my pause. It doesn't feel safe for me or for him. Plus (this is a small aside) I have neighbors who know I groom and holy hell does he make a racket. I don't want the word getting out that I'm abusing dogs!

                            I am thinking about asking her for a GH. Still deciding. Again, thank you all for your kind words and sage advice.
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by OntheBRINKofDisaster View Post
                              It doesn't feel safe for me or for him.
                              I think you answered your own question with that statement. Try to find someone else to do him.
                              My Blog: <a href="http://groomwise.typepad.com/in_the_dogs_house/">In the Dogs' House Groomwise Blog</a>

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