RESPECT YOUR GROOMER
Vickie Haywood, Pet Care and Professional Groomer,
dog groomer deserves your appreciation, respect and generosity for all they do
for your pet that you may not even realize, especially during COVID 19.
Due to circumstances beyond my
control, I had to move my grooming business to my home when COVID hit! Since I live 14 miles out in
the country, I already had some dog pick-ups in place for my advanced
seniors. (yes, more advanced than me!) Many of my friends had to shut down.
Originally, my thoughts were 6 weeks to get a handle on the virus and I will be
safe accepting grooming customers. Then I thought surely by 8 weeks it will be
OK. Now is this indefinite??? My health issues and those of most of my clients
are precarious. Many of them have been with me for many years, some through 3 or
more dog lives, so they are precious to me. Because of COVID, I have had to
place most of my clients in the hands of a very capable friend of mine.
This has been a rough year for
many businesses across the land including groomers. Many have had to re-organize
and come up with ways to stay alive, safe, and OPEN. Now, the holidays are coming and I ask that you please remember the sacrifices
dog groomers across the land make to ensure your pets are clean and beautiful
for the holidays. It often takes overtime that take groomers away from being
with their own families.
There were times in my own grooming business that my family time started
Thanksgiving morning or Christmas eve without me. But my customer's dogs looked
(and smelled) great for their holiday company.
So, ask yourself, “What does my groomer do for me?” Many pet owners may think
they are being over-charged, I assure you, you get what you pay for and more
than likely, you get way more than you pay for. This is especially true if your
groomer has 10 or more years in the industry and is the business owner. She or
he is very likely not even paying themselves a living wage. But what about
the commissioned groomer? Even at 50%, a commission groomer
gets half of what you pay less taxes, equipment expense, rental space, etc.
There are groomers who have put in the time and the travel to earn a Master
groomer title from one of the organizations. They have spent a considerable
amount for travel and entry fees just to test in the
sections needed to become a Master groomer. There were precious few grooming
shows where you could test to start with and now THIS year, because of the
COVID 19 pandemic, it has been an effort in futility.
The vast majority of groomers are in the industry for the love of animals. But
having monitored many grooming social media sites, I have found there is A LOT
OF MISINFORMATION, including ignorance on both the part of the pet owner and the
person doing the work.
Grooming is a risky business, as seen again on social media sites, the groomers
who have sustained injuries from unpredictable animals or from owners who do not
inform a groomer of issues a pet may have. One dog bite can end a career! A cat bite can put a groomer in the
A fall or other injury while trying to handle an untrained dog can cause a groomer an
extended amount of time closed down. Many owners never think their
precious pet may over-react to the atmosphere, smells, sounds, or any number of
given situations that could cause injury to the groomer and to the pet itself.
Here’s an example. In 2008 I had a freak injury at home that nearly ended my
grooming days forever, I was letting out a litter of 12 week old pups when one
of them decided he needed to retrieve a toy left behind. As I twisted around to
grab him my RIGHT (scissor wielding) hand had an encounter with the edge of a
cabinet! I stood in utter SHOCK looking at my hand, I could clearly see the bone
and tendons (or lack of tendon in this case).
Because of the blunt force trauma,
my hand no longer worked at all! I had a 3-inch gash across the knuckles,
and KNEW I was in big trouble. I
wrapped my hand, got the pups back in their crates, but now my dilemma was
getting dressed and getting myself to urgent care.
It was a comedy of errors
driving a stick-shift 14 miles to the hospital and then the next nightmare
began. I was misdiagnosed, received poor care, then an orthopedist did $35,000
surgery to repair the tendons in that hand followed by a cast, a splint, 8 weeks
of rehab. The end result 12 years later, I have 85% use of that hand but it
could have ended very differently so I guess I was lucky.
Over my 55 years as a groomer and 8 as an ACO, my injuries have been numerous.
There's beem 2 hospital visits for IV antibiotics from cat bites and $$$ thousands
for chiropractor, massage therapist and acupuncturist just to keep my body
upright and moving.
Your groomer is likely making less money than your hairdresser but faces a much
more dangerous job every day. Your hairdresser doesn’t to clean your bottom,
your ears, fight with you over a pedicure, pluck ticks out, give you the
haircut/clip (Hoo -Ha!) then blow-dry volumes of dead undercoat out. Groomers
DESERVE your respect and your generosity!
Adapting to current COVID business practices, safety protocols and restrictions,
the limit of how many pets can be groomed per day and the increased expense of
new disinfection protocol and various state’s limited hours has ended many
So cherish your groomer, let them KNOW IT😊
and remember to tip them LAVISHLY
whether they own the business or not!
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