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When you have to deliver the facts.....

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  • When you have to deliver the facts.....

    This is a sorta vent. I don't usually vent about clients, but sometimes their ignorance gets under my skin.... like today. Had a shavedown on a corgi mix that I did last year about this time. I don't think his nails had been clipped since I was there last year. A sweet gentlemanly old fella of a dog, except when I got to his feet.... some of his nails were almost 2 inches long and splaying out sideways twisting his toes into a very painful position, I am sure, along with matting on the bottom of his feet. Naturally when I touched his feet he'd howl and growl. I think they were in pain. I had to basket muzzle him and use GH to ensure my safety. So while I'm doing my best to tend to his feet, I'm thinking.... how do I explain to the owner the awful pain, the crippling condition this poor fella was in and what it was doing to his feet, legs, hips, and spine without venting? How do I get the message across without humiliating them too much. So, I chose to try and inform them of just the facts, how nails that long can cause permanent painful damage (already occurring), crippling the dog for good. I showed them my basket muzzle and explained the vicious cycle they'd gotten into....long nails.....foot pain....growling.....biting.....nail aversion....long nails....ect.... and how they need to address his nails regularly. All the while biting my tongue and trying to keep my tone upbeat but informative. Even with that I could tell the owner felt humiliated a bit. It's hard to be the messenger........
    A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

  • #2
    You did and said what you had to on that poor dog's behalf! If the owner is that dense who really cares if they feel embarassed about it because they should!! I'd rather them be embarrassed and take it to heart than come up with dumb excuses as to why their dog ended up having talons!!

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    • #3
      YEAHHHH! Why do they make us be the bad guys, huh?

      I did (undid) some nails like that last week...the kind you have to wear safety goggles for cuz if they hit you in the eye when you clip it off...it'll put your eye out for good.
      When the owner walked in...I wordlessly held up the longest one in my fingers (Big, dear, old, dog...BIG nails).

      What does the owner say???....."OOOOOH MY GAWD,............. which tooth was it"?

      Seriously...how can you get upset with someone like that? I just put my head down in my arms on the table and sobbed. Well, ok, I didn't sob, but I did put my head down.

      I told her I need her here every 12 weeks for a gratis nail trim. I know that's tougher for you mobilers,...but my bet is this gal won't even take me up on my free offer.
      Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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      • #4
        some people honestly just dont know. I'd also mention that they can just get a nail trim between grooms, and tell them how much that is, some people think they can only get the nails done if they are getting the whole package done and just can't afford to have it done that often. Just try to be as straight forward about it, from a medical type stand point, and not an emotional one.

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        • #5
          Meh....I don't sugar coat. I would have said....."allowing your dogs nails to go that lond between trimming is causing your dog tremendous pain daily." Go buy a nail clipper

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          • #6
            I know that dilemma too, ppl get embarrassed when they realize the neglect.. but I think lots of ppl think dogs are same as animals in the wild and can be fine w/o any intervention. Of course wild animals wear down their nails w all the miles or digging & stuff..

            Anyway I try to brush that off and say "well now you know" bc they usually feel bad enough. It is amazing how wooly they can get before intervention tho, omg!

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            • #7
              You could also try to talk with them as though you understand how things are difficult in 'these times'.... comiserate with them and let them you know you are on their side. I have told owners that I will be happy to consider a dollar off a nail trim if they will get them done once a month fo rthe next six months... until we get the dog back on track.

              I have also many times told an owner with a matted dog..."Ill bet the pet store smiled, took your check and said have a nice life!" ..."they never told you anything about regular maintenance on this little (bichon, poodle..what ever the breed is supposed to be) SO, we shall start from scratch now OK ! we will get things on track, set up regular appt and you will find everything will work out just great. Im happy to be of help and together we can keep (fluffy/socks/ whatever the name is) looking great, feeling great and you will hopefully not have to have them shaved again.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by baddog View Post
                Meh....I don't sugar coat. I would have said....."allowing your dogs nails to go that lond between trimming is causing your dog tremendous pain daily." Go buy a nail clipper
                Yes, but your name is BADDOG.... lol.

                Seriously though, I didn't sugar coat.... I even put my hand on Fido's foot to show his growling and objection....I said "he does that because he's in pain, he's limping because he's in pain, he's already showing signs of becoming crippled" yada yada...

                The issue is more problematic than giving them the plain facts. I'm trying to elicit their cooperation in helping their dog. If I offend and humiliate them too much, I may never see them again and likely the dog will go on as before.

                Being mobile is tougher, but since I go by there regularly I offered to stop in for a few $$ to take care of the dogs feet. They love the dog, he is otherwise well cared for, it's a problem of overcoming ignorance and their fear of doing the dogs nails themselves. Believe me, he gets the most insane mad dog look on his face. A muzzle is absolutely necessary. I'm just hoping they will follow through with my advice.
                A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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                • #9
                  And then you have the good people. Earlier this week we had a woman bring in a chihuahua she was sitting for a friend with crazy nails. We trimmed them and she said she was "going to have a word" with her friend!

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