I have accepted the fact that I am now pivoting through life with a senior pup. My plan is to –
- adapt when necessary
- swivel when required
- and share what’s proven beneficial while living in Harley’s aging world #hisminiseries …
Our latest adjustment has been grooming.
When your dog is a puppy, everything “puppy” consumes you –
The obsession is real and it’s OMDog fun.
If you are blessed to have that same puppy go through all the various stages of life and become a senior dog, that obsession returns but it can be – let’s say “not so fun.”
Since the beginning of 2022, my life has started pivoting with a senior pup, because Harley’s now displaying signs that he is in fact a senior dog…
NEVER SAY NEVER –
about anything – was something my Nana always told me. And once again my Nana is on point.
Mid Spring, I received a call from the Boys groomer – telling me the Boys were ready for pick-up and Harley has become too difficult to deal with anymore.
I beg your pardon?
was about all I could muster out of my mouth.
Harley has been groomed – regularly – his entire life…
This is a dog who doesn’t know what it’s like to be dirty!
We talked on the phone as I rushed to the car, and drove like a maniac listening to him tell me –
He had a dryer seizure and started freaking out
He is too old to be bathed every other week
I will continue to do Jaxson and perhaps once a month or so I can cut Harley’s hair
The hell you say!
When I arrived, we talked a little more. Nothing made sense, so I paid and left. Confused, and concerned about what REALLY happened, I needed a plan that didn’t include going back there ever again.
GROOMERS ARE HARD TO FIND –
at least in these neck of the woods!
Sitting at my desk, I pushed my brain into reverse and started reliving why I left the groomer before this one and the one before that one.
This was the first horror story I’d ever heard in more than a decade of regular grooming salons. As I sipped my wine – which I poured before 6pm to truly calm my nerves – I realized where I needed to go…
..back to Andi –
Andi is that groomer you fall for on the very first appointment. For the Boys it was wonderful, but the fur-fest was short lived because she reduced her hours shortly after we met, and with my “then” new job, we just couldn’t make salon spa days happen with her. I remained at the same salon until the 2nd groomer moved away and after four years it was time to change locations.
We were sad to leave…
IT IS WHAT IT IS –
was my attitude about Andi’s schedule once I called her a week after I vowed never to go back from where we just left.
When I called Andi – I told her what happened and pretty much said –
Whatever openings you have I will take and my job will have to work with me. It is what it is!
Andi and I talked about the ordeal at the other facility, she shared her thoughts, and we agreed on a bi-weekly cadence for the Boys.
Unfortunately, she would not be able to see them for another 4 weeks. Harley could barely see with so much hair in his eyes…
She recommended I bring him in, and she would –
- trim his face so he wouldn’t walk into walls #justkidding
- cut the hair from between his paw pads so he would stop sliding all over the place like a swiff-it broom #notkidding
- take sometime getting reacquainted with him before a full bath and cut.
As much as he loved her before, as she examined his coat and skin, he was a little stand-offish…
AND A SNIP SNIP HERE –
song from the “Wizard of Oz” played over and over in my head when groom day finally came.
It has been weeks since Harley was blown dry and all the hairs combed. I bathed and dried the best I could, but to be truthful – he had mats.
Temperatures were still hovering in the upper 90’s here, so we decided not to stress him out, and shave vs. comb…
Trust me – he appreciated it.
I took the afternoon off to be there for him (and her!). If he was going to have another “episode” as the guy said he did before, I wanted to be there.
As Andi worked on Harley, she talked to him and was in tune with his body language. She also talked to me about how senior dogs can change towards bathing and grooming. She validated that “dryer seizures” are real, but there are techniques some groomers are familiar with to help dogs calm down and regroup.
As Andi snipped, I noticed something about Harley. He had started to smile, and so had Andi…
They were reconnecting, and I felt so privileged to watch all of it as it happened. #blessed
As she moved around to the rear, Harley turned towards her, and she leaned in for the most adorable display of affection…
GROOMING A SENIOR DOG –
does require an experienced groomer with patience and instinct when working with a senior dog. Andi shared valuable information as our podcast guest on Girls with Dogs..
As we pivot with our senior dogs – much of what we’ve taken for granted will change. I’ve learned this first hand with something that has occurred all of Harley’s life… grooming.
While this nightmare had a very happy ending, it also taught me that being an advocate for my Boys is, and must always be the priority…
If I trust you with my dog, I’d trust you with my life. ❤️