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something that happened today got my thinking...

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  • something that happened today got my thinking...

    how far do we go for the safety of a dog vs. our own safety? I had about a 80 lb dog on the table today, and old sweet girl! Anyway, she just decided to take a leap off the table as I was moving her, and I caught her mid-air and helped her to the ground. Thing is, I'm the one that got hurt by catching her! Now I sit here feeling all the strained/pulled muscles I now have in my arms, shoulders and back and grateful it wasn't worse. I would NEVER want to chose to let a dog get hurt over myself, BUT what happens if it puts me out of work? Of course accidents happen, no matter how safe you are, but where do you draw the line on your safely vs. the dogs? I just want to hear opinion, perhaps from other experiences.

  • #2
    I posted about this last week.

    My groomer friend had a borzoi go nuts on her, and my friend got her hand caught in the grooming loop trying to catch the dog. It broke two of her knuckles and dislocated a third. She was in a cast and out of work for 4 weeks.


    • #3
      good or bad my instinct is always to protect the dog, i have done the same thing as you, leap to catch a dog where i got hurt..done silly things when a dog that was trying to eat me got out of it's leash and went to do a leap of faith off the table i went to grab it and it bit me, but hey it was not hurt!!!
      I wish i could not act on instinct!


      • #4
        I may not be the most 'popular' answer here but I will reply with how I have always been and most likely always will be so long as I am grooming.
        People entrust 'me' with their beloved pet, it is similar to trusting a day care for your kids. I will always do what ever it takes to protect a pet. I have a nursing background so body mechanics is important to me (been in this business for over 30 yrs now). I have been bit, scraped/scratched etc... I have always come in to work the next day. I take my responsibility with the safety of peoples pets very, very seriously. I try to think ahead to avoid what 'could' happen and I use the best choices I can to protect myself too

        The best example/ worst thing that ever happened to me... I was using a piece of equipment I was lead to believe would calm really bad pets down. It did not, this one dog completely freaked out within seconds and was so close to seizure I grabbed it and tried to get it free to get it down to calm down. I had my lip bit off. Completely bit off. I had to go to the emergency room, over 100+ stitches later, I came back to finish cleaning up the salon and the dog came back the next day to finish the groom...
        Not everyone is like me in this choice but as a salon owner I have to be there. I have been criticized and told it must have been my fault and I am sure I will hear it again & again... I am not concerned about that, it was an accident, the pet was finally freed & safe but I have a lovely scar to remind me.


        • #5
          It's a good question. But I think I am probably like most groomers. I would act instantly to protect the dog. It wouldn't even be a choice to make. I have hurt my back, gotten scratched and bruised. But I doubt I would be ABLE to make a different choice.

          Today I was helping the other groomer get a bigger dog from the tub. The dog was a little too eager and leap before we were ready. I will probably have a bruise on my upper arm and the other groomer hurt her back. But HOW do you not catch a dog that is falling!
          "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


          • #6
            while I think groomers are responsible for the pets safety, if you receive an injury that puts you out of work permanently you may come to regret that decision to catch a dog. I think groomers need to be responsible for their safety and the dogs. But there is no answer for what to do! If you are insured it would at least help cover the cost of the veterinary care on a dog that jumped the table, and to be honest no one would hold you 100% responsible, this is an animal you are working with and it has a mind and will weight of its own!

            I work alone so I had a special table made for me to do my big dogs. It sits about I believe 20" give or take a few inches, so I can easily get dogs up and down. I have a foot stool and a stool that I sit on so I can groom the dog and the dog is somewhat on my level. Its not the best set up scissoring wise but I feel it is the safest for me and the dog. And I have not yet had a dog hesitate getting on or off it and so I don't have to worry about lifting them, and if they jump down I let em. They only have a little over foot to fall! Better yet if their leg slips off the table they don't panic or try to jump off, the foot hits the floor and the dog steps back on the table. I don't have to try to hold it up or lift it.


            • #7
              I'm a shop owner and have been grooming for many years and I will always put my client's pets safety first. I treat them like they were my own pet. I've put myself in harms way to protect a pet many times. Like other have said I do my best to stay alert and try to think about ways to avoid these kinds of situations. When I worked at a kennel they didn't have the best grooming tables and had a large dog who decided that she could fly out of no where she jumped so hard that she pushed the table out from under her I managed to get between her and the floor fell down with her on top of me and the grooming arm was driven into my chest. I had a perfect square shaped cut/ bruise in the middle of my chest and slight concussion but the dog was just fine. I guess it's just second nature to protect the dogs first.
              "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


              • #8
                My first instinct is to help the dog. I decided as I got older to just groom small dogs as I couldn't safely handle bigger ones. I know it doesn't make me immune from problems, but I feel phsically better equipped to react because I know I am going to instinctively.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by flemishr2cool View Post
                  If you are insured it would at least help cover the cost of the veterinary care on a dog that jumped the table, and to be honest no one would hold you 100% responsible, this is an animal you are working with and it has a mind and will weight of its own!
                  I work alone so I had a special table made for me to do my big dogs.... have a foot stool and a stool that I sit on so I can groom the dog and the dog is somewhat on my level. ...
                  I don't have to try to hold it up or lift it.
                  I agree that insurance is a good thing, but it is for "accidents" (in my mind at least). As to what 'can' happen if an accident occurs with a pet... it is the pet and my reputation. I have known to many groomers who have had a pet hurt in their shop and claimed it was the pets fault only to loose clients via word of mouth. As the old saying goes... Good news travels fast... Bad news travels faster.

                  I too worked alone for many years (off and on with my own business' in the past). I have a very old table top... (several bottoms have died and been replaced) it is a 48" and can handle any breed. BUT I get Vets sending me lots of pets with 'issues'. Elderly, back/spine issues, hip issues, heart conditions.. you name it dogs that cannot even go up simple stairs let alone stand for any length of time so I help them all.
                  Ive always been curious.. I dont know how to groom sitting down. I guess for me having a nursing background I prefer to work with the pets rather than refuse the ones who 'act up'. SO many groomers refuse dogs and I accept them. In 30+ years I have only refused (I think) about 5-6 pets, choosing instead to get special training to groom them 'at the Vets' while completely sedated.. but I still groom them. I just love hearing owners say "It is so amazing, he/she always had to be dragged into the other place, here... we just mention your name and they run to the car"

                  ** Keyray.. if you have a BIG dog who wants to jump out of a tub...stand next to them with their noose in one hand and your other arm around/over their back... let them start but as they "GO' slide them down your body/leg instead of trying to dead-lift them.. like a slide, you don't have to 'lift'.. work with gravity instead of against it... it works! I learned something similar in nursing, if a patient is going to fall, instead of trying to 'catch' them, grab something and let them slide down your body to the floor.. simple body mechanics so you don't get pulled over.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by keyray View Post
                    But HOW do you not catch a dog that is falling!
                    I know, right? It's pure instinct to grab it.

                    I used to just sit on the floor and do big dogs. I would just hook them up to an eye-bolt I had in the wall. Where I'm at now, I have a hydraulic table but even at it lowest level(about 2 1/2 feet off ground), she would have hurt herself jumping off because she is so old and overweight and has arthritis to begin with. Since I'm not in my own shop anymore, I'm limited to what table, etc. I can use, but I might be able to let them put a bolt in the wall like I used to have. However, when all is said and done, I have a responsibility to my kids to provide an income for them, and if I get hurt badly enough, I can't do that. It is scary to think about.


                    • #11
                      I think when something like that happens we just react. I don't think the thought goes through our mind "what can I do to help the dog but keep myself from getting hurt?" It's just an automatic reaction. If we get hurt than we get's just part of the job. That's the way I see it. My back hurts for a few days if I have a day of mostly big dogs...but I still work through it. I think as dog groomers we understand that sometimes we have to sacrifice our bodies to get the job done, and make sure the pets are safe.


                      • #12
                        I think Windfall is right. We don't think about it, we just react. if we thought about it, we might make a different decision.

                        I know most people are not going to like this, but if I had time, and actually thought about it, I would not put myself in harms way to catch a dog. It's a dog. I am a human. I have to support myself, and if I get hurt, the dog isn't going to support me. Neither will his owner. I don't want to see any animal get hurt, but I really dont' want to get hurt myself.

                        This was doubly true when my kids were still living at home. When youy have a family to support, and you have to make a choice like that, you really have to put yourself first. Unfortunately most of us are not in the habit of putting ourselves first.


                        • #13
                          I just react instantly. I had a situation like the OPs of a HUGE Saint Bernard (even huge for that breed) He was wild, his parents did nothing to train him. Even with 2 of us trying to hold him on the table he got out of the loop and jumped OVER both our heads. We caught him before he landed and I was in pain for a couple weeks.

                          I do think of myself also though as I told the owner after that that I would never do him again. Hehe.

                          I have also learned when it comes to cats LET GO and get out of the way


                          • #14
                            I had an instance last week where a very nice pit freaked out over being dried. So here we have a very muscular dog bouncing around. I muzzled him just as a precaution and continued to try to dry him on the floor, with an assistants help. I told the assistant "do not wrap that leash around your hand or fingers, if he freaks and it's wrapped you could get your fingers broke." "Do not put your head/face above his, if he bounces up you could bite your tongue off." After a minute I decided it wasn't worth the risk to us or the dog and put him in a cage with a fan. At least he had short hair! I explained to the owner that we'd simply have to fan dry him because of safety issues for all involved.

                            I think the key here is to try to "read" your dogs. Prevent an issue if you can. For example, there are loops out there that are GREAT for using in the bathtub, where they can't slip out. But those are to be used short enough to where the dog can't jump out of the tub and hang itself and not really for use on a table where if a dog jumps it's a problem. That's why loops are made where if a dog goes off a table they will slip the loop. If you don't know a dog start off with one of the hoodie things for drying until you know it handles it ok.

                            As for catching dogs one of my biggest fears is to naturally go to catch one with scissors in my hand. God forbid I stab one while acting on instinct to grab it. We all must just think ahead a bit.


                            • #15
                              I would and have injured myself to save a dog. This is not grooming related, but I have learned from an incident that at 2am, going 60 miles an hour, that if a dog is in the middle of the street and close enough to recognize its breed and coloring, I should not take excessive evasive action. I avoided a schnauzer like this, did not hurt the dog, but ended up doing a 360 in the ditch, shooting across to the other side of the two lane highway and then doing a 160 on that side of the ditch. I vowed never again-sorry-though I have not had a repeat of that situation.