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Huge Compliment!

Dear Diary,
Sometimes, I feel like I have a split personality. No, Diary, I’m not crazy, but I do have a pessimistic and often irrational voice that pops into my head from time to time, although my more logical side is always there to intervene and set things straight again. I mention this because it seems that voice likes to make its presence known whenever I’m grooming, and I’m learning to keep it quiet.
You see, not long after I groomed Ruby from the vet’s office, I received a phone call. It seemed Dr. B was so pleased with Ruby’s groom that she wanted to make an appointment for one of her personal cats.
This was a huge compliment. She strives to ensure that all animals in her care are treated as well as possible, but she is especially peculiar about her own animals. To be trusted with one of her cats means a great deal to me and is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
My usual nervousness kicked in the morning of his appointment. That voice was trying to run through all the things that could go horribly wrong and destroy any positive business relationship that could be established from it. If left to its own devices, it abandons reason in favor of paranoia. I realize that it’s not likely that Harley is going to due during his groom and that it’s a little irrational for me to fear that, but that’s where my thoughts travel if not focused elsewhere. Years ago, trial and error taught me that cleaning is the perfect ‘elsewhere’ for my mind, so I cleaned the shop.
Of course, once Harley was in the shop, I was able to focus on him and not anything negative. It’s difficult to be worrisome when such a handsome fellow curiously pops his head out of his crate. He didn’t seem to have a worry or care in the world as he glanced around the room and lovingly rubbed against me.
Well, that is, until I tried to clip his nails. At that point, he decided he might not enjoy this after all. He was thick and tall and strong, so I grabbed my Air Muzzle to be on the safe side. That only made him more upset.
In a split second, that voice had me thinking the worst was going to happen. I wasn’t sure what ‘the worst’ was, but I assumed it was pretty bad and that I was about to find out. Then, half a second and one deep breath later, I thought, “Don’t be ridiculous. I know what to do. The first step is to stop wasting time, so I’ve got to get moving.”
Now that I was back on track, his sanitary trim went quickly and easily.
Things continued to move smoothly until I began his bath. He was a ‘jumper,’ trying desperately to get out of the tub. My more logical side had anticipated the exact negative thoughts that were trying to surface, and I immediately thought, “Hunca Munca was older, frailer, and way more dramatic, and I managed him just fine, so as long as I don’t waste time worrying, I can manage Harley as well.”
He was difficult to bath but never showed signs of stress, although I did give us both a short break while he crate-dried for a moment. As I began drying him with the HV dryer, he returned to his unhappy state. My scruff hand had taken a beating and was starting to ache something awful, but before I had a chance to think anything negative, I said to Harley, “I hate to break it to you, but you’re no Claire, and if my hands could survive her, they can certainly survive you.”
Survive him I did. Much like Hunca Munca (and many of the other cats I’ve groomed), Harley was purring affectionately by the time his groom was finished.
Upon his return to the clinic, I heard that voice again. You see, I knew I needed to charge Dr. B for Harley’s groom, but I am a wuss when it comes to dealing with people. I know what I need to do; it’s actually doing it that gives me trouble. Anyway, that voice was franticly trying to talk me into not charging her at all. “My family has a tab running at the clinic. How can I charge her when we owe them money? That just doesn’t seem right.”
I knew that I should simply ask Linda to take the total off our bill. I provided a service and should be compensated accordingly for it. But like I said, I’m a wuss. I got lucky though, because Linda had remembered the prices I’d given her previously and immediately walked in with the checkbook, ready to pay me the full price. I told her not to worry with a check and that I’d rather her remove the amount from our bill.

“Shew, that was easy enough.”

For the record, I said I could squander that negative voice in my head when I’m grooming. That doesn’t necessarily mean I can do it when dealing with clients. Not yet, at least. Practice makes perfect, right?

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