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Just plain scary: A warning & reminder for mobile groomers

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  • Just plain scary: A warning & reminder for mobile groomers

    I had a homeless man try to climb in my van today. I was parked at WalMart doing an Aussie mix like I have been every month for the last 2 years. Halfway through the groom, a rickety old-looking guy (coulda been 70, or maybe 40 with a bad drinking problem) pushing a shopping cart walks past the van. He gets even with the window, glances to his right, and sees the dog on the table.

    "HEY! THAT'S MY DOG!!!", he shrieks, then begins beating on the side of my van, yelling for me to give him back "his" dog. "You stole my dog! Gimme back my dog!". By now, I was getting a little worried, and Lady, a tremendous bundle of nerves on her best days, was beside herself. Just as I thought, Hmm, perhaps time to make a call to 911? Oops, left the damn phone in the cab, - this guy reaches up, slides my window open, and starts to climb inside, shouting the entire time. He actually managed to get about halfway in, propping his upper body on the window sill.

    I went from worried to freaked, grabbed my bear spray (foaming mace, don't leave home without it), pointed it at his face and screamed, "STOP NOW, SIR!" When he paused for breath (presumably to continue with his own screaming), I told him, "Sir, if you don't get the hell out of my van I'm gonna mace you right in the eyes!" (polite under pressure, thats me). The whole time my heart is goin 100 mph and Im just about ready to pee my pants, Lady is shrieking at the top of her lungs, and Im damning myself six ways from Sunday for leaving the phone in the cab, which I almost never do.

    He called me many, many foul names (a few of which I had never heard before, and I thought I'd heard em all) and declaring that he was going to "call the cops", he backed out the window. I informed him that the mace had a range of about 20 feet, just to encourage him to move along. Shouting dire threats in my general direction, he grabbed his cart and scurried off down the street. I took Lady off the table, put her on the floor of the van, slipped out the door, and grabbed my cell. I dialed 911, told them what happened, then had to wait 1/2 an hour until the cops showed up to "take my statement". The weird part (yeah, weirder than that imho) was that there was NOBODY on that end of the Wal Mart parking lot. By the time the cops got there the guy was long gone.

    I wanted to share this to illustrate how very very important it is for us to not only be hyper-aware of our surroundings, but also to be prepared and have an appropriate means of self-defense (and your cell phone) within arms reach at all times. Although I have a concealed weapons permit, I dont carry my pistol when I work (although I may rethink that position after today). But Im damn glad that DH insisted on the bear spray. Bear spray is an excellent choice, but if it is prohibited in your area, then start looking at your shears with a new (and aggressive) eye. Always remember that blade coolant and a bic lighter make an excellent flame thrower. A metal comb across the bridge of the nose is painful and effective. Hell, screaming like a banshee while brandishing your buzzing clippers with a skip tooth blade on em would probably do the trick. Whatever your choice, make sure you choose SOMETHING. Take stock of your cab AND your salon - you need to be ready for anything in both areas - and take a few moments out to insure that should the need arise, you are prepared to go down fighting. After a discussion with DH & da bossman, I'll be carrying my pistol from here on out - but that's just me.
    Last edited by PuppyFluffer; 12-29-09, 09:10 PM. Reason: Cuz I can
    Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
    George Sand (1804 - 1876)

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing

    Man that sounds horrible. Your spray came in handy. I've been meaning to go and buy some. My neigbors said they sell it at the gun shop. THey called it pepper spray, which i guess is the same. THat story is a good wake up call to all mobilers! Thanks.

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    • #3
      I have a can of pepper spray so old

      I don't know if I still have it in the cabinett. I must keep that phone closer. I think blade coolant would work. I have some I never use. Even colognes. But they are pump bottles. I have scissors handy but I don't know if I could really stap someone. Sunday I saw a scarey movie with Kim Bassinger in a mall parking lot with 4 men. A security guard got shot in the head and died. They chased her into the woods and nearly got her several times BUT....she is Kim Bassinger and she killed off 3 if them when my phone rang and I missed the end. She used a tire arm up one guys nose, one on his throat....blood and spit coming out at her. The last head guy probably died too, as Kim had to have won out. She didn't have mace but 4 against one it would not have helped enough. Only in the movies could that end well. But PF? Might just have won out with 4 also. Encore movie called "While She Was Out". A real nail biter.

      Why was the dog being groomed at Wal Mart? Where was the owner? What breed is Lady?

      I always have my doors locked and windows up. My side windows are too high and small to reach or climb into.

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      • #4
        Glad you're ok, PF. And good reminder to take stock of potential weapons. Pepper spray of one concentrate or another is usually legal in most areas, but check. But if you can't buy it, you can make it. Do an internet search for recipes, but I do believe that some good ol' Red Hot sauce mixed with water in a small spray bottle would do the trick.
        The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jenneversage64 View Post
          Why was the dog being groomed at Wal Mart? Where was the owner? What breed is Lady?
          Lady's mom meets with her Red Hat Society friends once a month for lunch nearby. She lives waaay out in the sticks, outside even my service area! Lady is an aussie.
          Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
          George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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          • #6
            Frightening stuff and something that we all have to be aware of at all times. I keep mace on my key chain and always have it hanging from my jeans...yeah...I look like a trucker. A great alternative to bear mace..or any mace..is wasp spray. It will blind the SOB and shoots from quite a bit of distance so you don't have to be in arms length of the freak..and it's legal in all states...just remember to leave the cap off so you aren't wrestling with that when the time comes...
            Glad to hear you're ok...

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            • #7
              Holy ****--that is scary.
              I am glad you are alright,,,very good words of advice for all to heed, something like this could even happen in a retail space...watch where you leave out your tips jars in plain view, when walking out alone for the trash, etc., lock your cars whenever you leave them, lock the doors before and after hours, and be sure to always keep a phone on you, and some type of "tool" to defend yourself.
              Again, I am glad you are alright.
              Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
              www.ChrisSertzel.com

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              • #8
                WOW...What a nightmare. I know I don't take proper precations and after your story will definately change things. I use to carry mace in my purse but had to take it out when I went on the plane. Forgot where I placed it. I also leave my phone in the cab too almost all the time. That is changing from here on out. I'm going to look for my mace tomorrow and put it in an easy to grab spot in the cab. Thank you for sharing that story.

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                • #9
                  Dag on, PF, that WAS scary! Good thing you had your bear spray and kept your wits about you to threaten him with it and back him off.

                  That is exactly why I always lock my doors & windows when I am grooming. I have a fear of having my earplugs in, drying a dog, back turned and someone sneaking in my van. I too carry pepperspray & a tazer in my grooming smock on a keychain and keep my cell phone in my grooming smock pocket (although I do have keep taking it in to have the hair cleaned out of it..) I have carried my pistol in my van with me from day 1 and Yes, I do have a concealed carry permit. We women moblers could be perceived as easy targets for creepy people with bad intentions. We are out there alone & carrying money with us....I will not be anyones easy target....

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                  • #10
                    Wasp spray

                    I recieved an e-mail last week re: using wasp spray for protection. I shoots 20 feet in a straight stream.. makes sense to me.. I have a can in the van and by my bed..I thought it was a great idea, hope I never have to find out...
                    Glad you are ok. what a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!
                    I also try to remember to lock all the doors when driving too. My big fear is that someone will jump in the back when stopping for a light. and I would not even know it.

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                    • #11
                      Glad you are okay....

                      You know people might think it is unprofessional to bring their dogs with them, However I beg to differ, I bring my freshly groomed Standard poodles with me all the time, if someone tried to come through my cab Well.... let's just say, I know I would not need pepper spray. I am at times out after dark, with this time change. I feel better having my babies with me. They are there to protect and serve... protect me and serve the public( my client's that is they love my clients and my clients love them, Layla even recieves gifts from them.

                      PS: If and when the poodles are on vacation, I might have to get some wasp spray!
                      ***Darlynn***
                      ***DON"T HATE ME BECAUSE IM POODLEFUL!!***

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                      • #12
                        Wow PF, what a scary thing to have happened! I am so glad that you can think on your feet, plus keep your polite lady-of-the-manner cloak around you while you are yelling threats at an intruder....lol...that part kinda cracked me up.

                        What did Lady's owner have to say about all of this?
                        SheilaB from SC

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                        • #13
                          wow

                          scary crazy .... but I like the wasp spray idea; I learn stuff on this board every time I come and read it!! BUt how on earth do ya fit two standard poodles in a groom van plus your equip and client? LOL

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                          • #14
                            He's lucky it was you

                            If it were me he would've been rollin around the parking lot screaming in pain from the spray in his eyes cause I wouldn't have taken the time to warn him once he trespassed onto my property.

                            Kind of sad at the same time maybe he really had a dog that looked like the one you were grooming at one time and was having flashbacks. Don't want to take any chances as a lot of those homeless people also have untreated psychiatrict issues that may keep them not so in touch with reality.

                            I am glad nobody was harmed.

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                            • #15
                              That was a scarey story Puppy, glad your ok,,, and glad yur meaner than an old drunk man,,,lol

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