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Teaching disabled teens to brush and comb pets

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  • laurendoodler
    replied
    We've got a couple girls at my salon with minor mental disabilities that are very high functioning. They bathe our dogs and do a good job now that they've been properly taught. They also do great with cleaning and help in the dog daycare.

    They're part of a rehab program through the state.

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  • coldnose
    replied
    I do to Lucha. Let us know how it goes.

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  • Lucha
    replied
    I have a feeling it will be a rewarding experience for everyone. Good luck!

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  • 4them
    replied
    Oh my thanks for sharing. Their disabilities were reviewed for their abilities own pets with parental supervision. But I am listening to your suggestions. I think it will be fine. I do know they are near able to take care of themselves so I think it will be fine. I will let you know.

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  • pugnacious
    replied
    If you are helping them learn to brush their own dogs, I would think this would be a fabulous contribution. What are their disabilities & what kinds of dogs are they working with would be my first question. I groomed a maltese that belonged to a 3 year old girl & she was able to keep her dog totally brushed out a whole lot better than many adults I know. We have all seen drop coat dogs that belong to educated, intelligent owners who simply cannot see the layer of mats under the surface! It goes both ways. Sometimes the disabled astonish us!

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  • Lucha
    replied
    So would it be a one time session or a regular thing? And you say they would only be handling their own dogs?
    I think the severity of their handicaps is really crucial to know before deciding but I think it could be a nice thing.
    We have teens in the special education class at the high school that are brought in to my work by a school para several days a week for an hour. They do mostly cleaning while being overseen by the para. I do not let them do anything with my dogs but my coworker occasionally has a few of them bathe or blow dry her dogs. I DO NOT agree with that for several reasons, but I do believe that some of the kids are high functioning enough to be capable of those tasks with proper training and supervision. It's a valuable skill to these kids to learn to care for another living creature. In my experience, the kids enjoy being around the animals and are really eager to please. Some follow directions better than others. I think it all depends on how comfortable YOU are with it.

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  • Nitewalk
    replied
    It's a headache. At a shop I worked at the boss tried this twice. The first time the handicapped person's "helper" was constantly in the way, thought we were cruel for muzzling, routine restraining, etc. The handicapped person was useless for cleaning. Sprayed disinfectant into crates with animals STILL IN THEM. The second time we were paired with a "high functioning" disabled person. We tried to let her work with dogs, but she got nipped several times. From dogs I would normally trust and never second guess. We gave her a bombproof, sweet, Maltese to work on. She made hamburger out of the dog's skin with brush irritation. Hefty vet bill and the shop lost a good client. Couldn't be trusted to bathe, she was scared of getting water in ears/soap in eyes. So she just washed the bodies. And if it was a large dog she wouldn't turn it around. One side was clean, one wouldn't be.

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  • BeeJL
    replied
    I hired a mentally retarded girl to do the cleaning for me. Her supervisor wanted her to move up to bathing dogs. But the gal was lacking in judgment and there was no way I could teach her about everything each dog may do or not do. That combined with poor work ethic (attached to her cell phone) made her a poor match for cleaning as well. Her mom took it personally when I let the gal go. Mark that experience down to done once, never again.

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  • SetterGirl
    replied
    Do you have a local 4-H dog club that you could refer out to? I'm a 4-H leader and my kids do this sort of thing all the time. We have quite a few certified therapy dogs in the group and our insurance covers community service projects. It might be a good project for them. My group is required to do 2 projects like this a year in order to participate in fair.

    If you're going to do this yourself, I would just do a demo seminar and ask if the organization can provide aids to be matched with each teen. I know Kohls Cares often will send volunteers for things like this and donate money. We use the Kohls program to do a lot of things for 4-H. You could also ask the 4-H club to be the volunteers.

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  • 4them
    replied
    I hear ya. These are teens that have been matched with dogs adopted, and so they will only be taking care of their dogs.

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  • Dolly
    replied
    Something tells me that this is NOT a good match.....you are talking about living creatures who can be injured by someone not conscious of causing pain if it is a mental disability. If it is a physical disability, I know I need a full range of my arms and legs to do proper brushing. People need to be educated that grooming is more than just playing around with a brush.

    Happy re-educating this person

    Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

    www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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  • Cyn
    replied
    Better check with your insurance to make sure these kids would be covered just in case something happens.

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  • 4them
    started a topic Teaching disabled teens to brush and comb pets

    Teaching disabled teens to brush and comb pets

    I got a call asking if I would be willing to do this and what do I think. Is it possible etc etc etc. Well I said yes I will consider but give me some tiime to think about this and have someone call me with their disabilities. Any suggestions? I would love to do this.
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