Thursday, 8 September 2011

A Special Skill.

 Im sure that each and every one of us has a skill , some of us have more than one . Some little thing you are able to do that others may find difficult . Maybe you can touch your nose with your tongue , recite the alphabet backwards or know every joke from every episode of " Frasier ".  My special skill is being able to deal with my clients while keeping a straight face !  Anyone who comes into contact with members of the public on a regular basis will know that many of them have certain foibles and eccentricities that make them unique and many of the people I deal with in the  "Dog Grooming " business are no exception .

 We have a lovely lady with a Poodle , who has been coming to us for years and each time she says the same thing , " You  wont do him too short, will you ? I dont want him to be bald ". Every time we trim him exactly the same as the time before and she is always pleased . But on the next visit we get  , " You wont take too much off will you ?....................."   

 But at least she likes her Poodle to look like a  Poodle  !  It would seem that many people wish their dogs were another breed entirely . We have a lady who doesnt like her Poodle done too  " poodley " ! Now I can hear many of you saying   " Oh, I dont blame her , I hate all those bobbles and pom-poms and shaved bits and puffy bits on their bums !" ,  but NO , I am not talking about  " Show cuts " and anyway show people trim their own dogs . No , she just doesnt want it to look like a  Poodle ! So , we do a poodle  " puppy trim "  and each time she is delighted . Although I do wonder why she didnt just get some other breed of dog in  the first place !!

 One chap likes his West Highland White Terrier to be done like a Jack Russell !  Apparently he wanted a JR but his wife and daughter wanted a Westie , so they compromise . I have no idea what he imagined I could do to make the Westie look more like a PJR but he is always happy with my interpretation ..........I just clipper it rather than hand-strip it and make the hair on the head shorter .  It is a rather uneasy compromise though , as when either the wife or daughter bring the dog in , they ask for a Westie cut !!

Some requests border on the  " very weird " as one gentleman brings us his un-docked Yorkie and asks for it to be shaved  short everywhere except for its tail . The hair there has to be left long and silky as he likes to cuddle the dog in the evening and stroke its tail  !  Hmmmm , maybe we should move swiftly on .....................

 I  find that some dogs can change their persona to suit their owners . One particular Yorkie is a bundle of nerves and insecurities and clings to its owner whenever its brought into the shop . This chap is convinced that his dog depends entirely on him and hates to be parted from him  for a second . He places the dog in my arms and after much petting and kissing ..........of the dog , readers , of THE DOG !!!......   he says , " Now dont worry Joey , Daddy wont be long "  Then he goes to the door , turns , gives a wistful sigh and comes back to Joey and says , " Really, its OK , I wont leave you for long . I know how much you miss me !" . This performance usually lasts about 10mins , with Joey milking it for all hes worth . Then, when the owner leaves little Joey gives a sigh as though to say  , " Thank goodness that idiot has gone " and he becomes a happy , confident little dog , racing round the shop and enjoying a  " rough and tumble ". When Daddy returns , Joey immediately becomes a shy , dependant little dog again  and the owner is convinced that  " darling doggy " has hated every minute they have been apart !

 You must be getting the idea that all my clients and their dogs are nutcases , but really  , I love them all and they never cease to brighten what is often a very long day . Sometimes they brighten the day in more ways than one . Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know about our wonderful , Pomeranian owning " fashion icon ".  This chap is such fun but his dress sense does leave a lot to be desired . He is a fan of tight T shirts and lycra cycling shorts..... but I doubt he ever cycles ! He wears XS on a clearly XXXL figure......bless him ! And I wouldnt be surprised if his colour combinations can be seen from space . He particularly favours magenta and fucshia..............sometimes together , and his footwear of choice is usually lime green socks and bright orange Crocs . But a nicer bloke I have yet to meet .

 These stories could go on endlessly  but I will just tell you one more for the time being . A while ago I had a new client who I only knew from her initial phone call to book the appointment . Well , I always groom the dogs of new clients so there I was waiting  for someone to arrive with a Jack Russell   . Well , arrive she did  and it was , indeed, a lovely friendly JR called Pete ............... and the owner was a lovely , friendly lady who I can only describe as ......... a  " hooker " ! Not even faintly disguised or trying to hide the fact .  With a straight face I listened as she explained that Pete needed  to be tidied up as her  " clients " were getting dog hairs on their suits . I said he probably needed stripping and that I would do it by hand  and she nodded in agreement . Strangely it all sounded like something she would do in her  " job " and I hoped she didnt think I was trying to be funny ! She chatted to me like we were old  pals , all cosy and friendly . She really was very nice even though  her boobs were almost falling out of her blouse and I was trying to avert my gaze . Well Pete was a delight and very well behaved and when she picked him up she gave me a very generous tip and booked lots of future visits . She tottered to the doorway in her tight leather skirt and gravity defying heels and then turned , winked and said ,
" Ya know , sweets, we're both providing a good , useful service for the community ! "

And I still managed to keep a straight face !      

          

4 comments:

  1. Right you, all joking aside, a book - you must write a book about your shop. I know you have written in your blog about other times of your life and there are obviously lots of stories there too, but I can so see a book like this blog, witty and charming and funny, pretty please......... Grooming book, cooking for aristocracy book, adventures up North book, adventures on the dog show circuit book........

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  2. Ohh yes i'd love a book as well!! I could read your blog forever, absolutely fantastic reading, specially love the dog ones of course ;) Paula xx

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  3. Totally agree with feline9 and Paulagriff, Rosalie. You must write books, books and more books! Seriously. Remember my offer of copyediting/proofreading.

    Incidentally, dogs are a totally different world to me, and not being all that familiar with the various breeds, I had to search Google Images to get the full hilarity of your West Highland White Terrier vs Jack Russell mash-up. Might you fancy learning how to insert images into your article? I'll teach.

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  4. Yes a book of your experiences would be wonderful. In fact just writing a BOOK would be good, you have such a fantastic way with words. I know I would love to read a book on your "adventures in dog grooming"!!!!

    yet another fantastic post!

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