It was well over a year ago that I had met Lulu, a beautiful 4 year old Lab-mix. When her owner Natalie had called Pampered Pets to make a grooming appointment for her , she had told me that Lulu had become very fearful of groomers and the last place she went for grooming Lulu wouldn’t even go down the street where it was!
I found this a bit alarming! How can a Lab-mix with short hair that requires no clipping only basic grooming be so afraid? I assured Natalie that I will do everything possible to care for Lulu and help her over come her fears of grooming.
When Natalie’s son Josh first came to drop off Lulu he was outside my shop for at least 20 minutes until he called me to come outside to get her. It broke my heart to see a dog so afraid, again I kept saying to myself what is this poor creature afraid of? Is it water? Can’t be she’s half Lab they love water? Is it nail clipping? Sound of the dryers maybe? Or was someone so cruel in handling this animal that it caused her to shut down completely??? It took a bit of coaxing but I finally got her up our stairs and into the shop.
First thing I did with Lulu was to get her acquainted with my dogs, I figured if she sees that these dogs love being here maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Lulu is great with other dogs, once she was more relaxed I got her up on my grooming table and started to get to work on her…….slowly. I wanted to re-introduce everything to her on a positive note.
I would slowly clean her ears which she seems to like and I slowly passed the brush over her then the comb. I saved the worst for last, some dogs hate having their nails done maybe Lulu would react negatively to my clipping her nails. When I reached for her paw she allowed my to clip her nails without any protest. So far so good. Now we have to wash her – will she freak out in the tub? Or when we have to hand-blowdry her? In the end Lulu was a terrific dog to work on! After her grooming she received tons of praise by the staff and myself and a cookie or two always helps with the encouragement.
It took a few grooming sessions for Lulu to completely trust myself and my wonderful staff. We are so proud of her especially when she comes in now on her own with her head held high.
No one can say for sure what may have happened to her in her past grooming experience. What we can say for Lulu now is that this timid girl is the most terrific Lab-mix I have had the pleasure of working with and proof that fears can be overcome.
Grooming is not just about turning out a beautiful clip or getting the dog clean so the owner is satisfied. its about creating a relationship with the dog and letting the dog know their in good hands and have nothing to fear.
A big thank you to Lulu’s family for entrusting her to us. We are so glad you did.
Your Friendly Groomer,
Pampered Pets of Westmount
324 A Victoria ave.