So I wanted to give our senior citizens a shout out in this article. I want to discuss with a subject very dear to me. Our senior kids need more attention, medical care, and accommodations. They may grow more gray and begin to walk alittle slower but we still see our young playful puppy! They can't tell us that their hip hurts or that they are particularly stiff in the back this morning. We have to notice these changes and address them as needed. Particularly in the grooming profession, many owners don't know how difficult a grooming session may be on their pup so it is up to the groomer to be very open and voice your dogs new changes. For example Max may have been fantastic for grooming his entire life, always sporting a beautiful hand scissored trim! Well now Max is 12 and he doesn't like to stand much anymore. His eyes bother him abit as he adjusts to having cataracts. He knows I'm there and what I'm doing but he can't really hear my reassurances that he is such a good boy! Oh ouch! That foot hurts today! So he snaps and yelps to communicate that to me. I don't blame him, he was just telling me what I didn't know. So now it's time to have that talk. Max and I have a chat with mom and dad, "Max has decided he is ready for a "comfort groom" well what is that? A comfort groom is a haircut that may or may not meet your expectations but it does for Max. It's no longer in Max's best interest to stand for an hour on the grooming table (can your 80 year old grandmother stand for an hour in a checkout line? Maybe. But not without discomfort), he is becoming arthritic and he can't balance on three legs while I scissor those cute teddy bear feet you love. (Could your 80 year old grandmother stand on one leg for any period of time? Probably not.) I know we love his long beautiful hair but brushing out tangles is becoming hard on him and his skin. (You know where I'm going with this. Do I need to talk about that paper thin skin we will all have one day?) So what does this all mean for Max? Well, let's go for a simple trim that is the same length all over, maybe shorter than his old style to minimize brushing and risk of tangles. I'm going to do my very best to allow him to be in whatever position is most comfortable for him while we work together. For my big dogs that may mean they lay on the floor with their head in my lap! For my little guys maybe I hold them while cutting their nails so they don't have to balance. Comfort grooms come one day for everyone. Having incontinence issues? Let's trim them like puppy's with large potty patches to help avoid urine scalding or dingle berries off the rear end. Max may be alittle uneven and not look as spiffy as he use too. We may not even be able to fluff dry him anymore if the dryer causes seizures. BUT this is what I do guranatee with his comfort groom. Max will trust me more because he will know I will stop and alter whatever I can to make him more comfortable and if something is obviously painful or wrong we stop. He will go home much happier and with less soreness or stiffness because I didn't force him to stand the whole time. My old man Gilbert and I had this very discussion this week. He told me it was time. He wanted a comfort groom, he can no longer stand or even sit upright while I clipper his front legs and feet. I can only use scissors and even then he becomes extremely stressed and bites (yes I his mother, his groomer, his snuggle buddy!). So he got an extreme comfort groom. His legs are choppy, his nails and paw pads done but nothing pretty to look at. Some may even say it was a chop job. But you know what? My dogs needs come before my wants. He NEEDS a 30 minute groom. Does he trot around my backyard still and wiggle his nub? YES! He loves to put a little giddy up in his step! But when it comes to grooming it is becoming harder for him. He does sit like a perfect angel for his face. So he gets a cute little scissored face with choppy legs. Humanity before vanity. Always. So when your groomer wants to have a talk about a comfort groom for your dog we come from a place of love not laziness. We may have been with your dog from 12 weeks, so now at 12 years we feel like they are apart of our family too. We only have your pet's health and happiness in our hearts. Thank you for reading.
Your Furry-Godmother & Gilbert (photographed above)
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