In the more than 20 years I’ve had dogs, I’ve never been to a professional groomer. As I noted yesterday, I’ve always had low-maintenance dogs–an occasional bath, a brush and a nail trim was all I ever had to do.
I’ve been ambivalent about going to a groomer. And reading about the recent death of a dog at the grooming component of a national retailer fed my reluctance. But for years, I’ve heard local dog friends raving about Nancy at the Grooming Room. And I feel very fortunate that despite my procrastination, Nancy was able to fit Honey in for a much-needed grooming.
Socialization – You Can’t Cover Everything
Long term readers know that we’ve worked very hard to socialize Honey from puppyhood to a wide variety of experiences. And Honey is comfortable with being brushed or bathed and doesn’t put up a fuss for a nail trim.
But a professional grooming includes some experiences we’ve missed exposing Honey to: noisy dryers and a wiggly grooming table among them. Luckily, Nancy made Honey’s comfort her highest priority.
A Groom With a View (to what’s important)
Nancy spent time at the beginning playing with Honey and making friends. She explained every thing she was doing to Honey (whether Honey understood is up for debate but I think intention counts for something).
Yes, it was nice that Nancy knew what a Golden Retriever’s jodhpurs and paws were supposed to look like. And that she went looking for all the vulnerable spots where mats form in the fur. And I appreciate how much hair got sucked up in the vacuum around the grooming table instead of going home with Honey and me.
But the best part of the experience was that Nancy cared more about making Honey comfortable with her first total grooming than in making her look like a show dog. And that’s a sign of someone who really “gets” dogs.
I think Honey agrees. Especially since it meant she didn’t have to get her ears blown dry.
When you need someone to provide a service for your dog (petsitting, walking, grooming, vet care), what do you look for? How do you know the person is doing a good job?
FTC Stuff – Although I didn’t set out to write a service review, this post sounds like one because I was so happy with my experience at the Grooming Room. But I did not receive any compensation for writing a positive review; I simply wanted to share my experience.