December 22, 2008 Counting your blessings

Counting your blessings

If you watch the news it’s just so depressing to see the economy and the problems of the world and I know so many of us that have our own issues with our own personal economy and job loss or lay offs, but I want to give you a little reminder and an assignment to help keep the blues away. My mom gave me an idea to make a blessing jar. Throughout the year, whenever something nice happens, no matter how slight, write it down on a piece of paper and fold it up and stick it in the jar. We can all think of a few blessings right now. Whenever life is getting you down, open up your blessing jar and read your blessings. You’ll be surprised to see how many blessings you have at the end of next year.
You can put things as simple as a letter from a friend, something cute a child said, a friendly clerk at the store, someone who was polite and let your go in ahead of them in line, someone who held a door for you, maybe a starry night or a beautiful sunrise or sunset could be in your blessings.
Make a daily habit of writing down your blessings. Focus on the positive things in life, even when life isn’t so positive. I know how hard this is to do sometimes, but we really must. Everyone is entitled to feel sorry for themselves for a little while, but that really doesn’t get you anywhere does it? The economy is like the weather, there isn’t anything we can do about it but weather the storm.
It’s so easy to become a Grinch this time of year. We need to focus on what we have instead of what we want or can’t afford to get, or can’t afford to give. Of course, one member of your family who is always happy to see you and doesn’t worry about the lack of Christmas cheer is your dog, or pets. There is no better psychiatry in the world than a puppy licking your face. Dogs won’t let you feel bad for long. They will sit by your feet, look at you with worried eyes, lick your hand, nudge you as if to say, “it’s okay, I’m here for you.”
You can always go to your dog and complain about the world; right the wrongs of politics and your dog will always agree with you and support you no matter what. No wonder dog is man’s best friend! My human friends don’t do that!
If you have a pet, give them a hug and tell them how special they are! If you don’t have a pet, consider one! Visit a humane society or rescue near you, or check out to find some pets that are looking for a forever home. The best way to feel better about your own situation is to do something nice for someone else.
If you can’t adopt a pet, volunteer to help at an animal shelter. They are always looking for cleaning supplies, towels and food if nothing else.
If you have a well-behaved dog who likes people, take it to a nursing home so the residents can get a little 4-legged loving. Animals put smiles on faces, no matter what age. You may be surprised to learn how much that visit will mean to someone.
Christmas is a time for giving, but nobody said it had to be something monetary. Time costs nothing and is the right size for everyone! Giving your time is the best gift. Give your time to a neighbor, friend or even a complete stranger. Who knows, your name may wind up in their blessing jar!
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy new year! May your blessing jar overflow!

December 8, 2008 Bathing Beauty

Bathing Beauty

As a groomer, I use professional equipment to make my job easier. One of them is called a “bathing beauty” which is essentially a sump pump that recirculates the water and shampoo to get the dogs squeaky clean without hand scrubbing them. It also massages the dogs and they all really like it, even if they don’t particularly like to have a bath. This handy machine saves water, shampoo, time, and most of all my hands and body. I’ve had it for about 5 years and frankly, I’m spoiled.
Trying to bathe dogs without it after all these years is like heating up stuff without a microwave, how do you do that again? I feel completely inept at grooming without it. You know that feeling, you don’t know what you have ‘til it’s gone, well I’m in serious mourning over losing my friend the bathing beauty. I called the company that makes them and they offered to perform an autopsy on it to see if they could resurrect it with some new parts, but I need it NOW! I ordered a new one and it should be here any time, but I can assure you that isn’t fast enough!

We gather today to say goodbye to a dear friend, the bathing beauty. She was a workhorse, tirelessly spraying the gunk, hair, and debris from hundreds of dogs and saving her owner’s hands and body.
She never complained, or whined about her job. She withstood the rigors of daily shampoos and conditioners, bodifiers and yes, even dyes. She comforted the old, stressed and ill and made them feel loved and massaged.
She made every dog feel like a million bucks and go out of the salon looking and feeling wonderful.
She faithfully murdered flea vermin and protected the doggies from their bites. She was a faithful companion.
She showed her users a better way to bathe pets and did it with grace and style. She was easy to operate; even a child could do it. She made time fly as she worked happily beside us day after day. She never complained when you stepped on her bubble, and she happily emptied the tub with speed.
She made The Groom Room Pet Spa a better place and she will be dearly missed.
She was a giver, and she has even sacrificed herself and become an organ donor, selflessly donating her parts so that other bathing beauties in the future may have needed parts when the time comes.
She leaves behind her owner Sandy and her sons Drew and Lane in tears over her sudden and unexpected demise.
Let us all bow our heads and pray....
Dear Lord, thank you for the bathing beauty and all she has done for us. We pray you will keep her spirit in your loving arms, and we pray the UPS man comes quickly and safely with her replacement. Though no other bathing beauty could possibly take her place, we know You realize how inept we are at bathing dogs without her and don't want to ruin our reputation, not to mention our hands, arms and bodies. Please get that UPS man here quickly! Amen.

Well, I think after talking to other groomers online, that I killed it. I didn’t know you could take it apart and clean out the insides of it. After all, it has a very fine screen on the bottom and ran fine until the other day when it refused to turn on. I’ve never removed the screen and cleaned out the insides or back flushed it, but I run disinfectant through it regularly. Therefore, I’m going to put on my Dr. Frankenstein hat today and see if I can resurrect her myself. I’m sure I can’t do any more damage to it than what’s already been done.
The lesson I’ve learned is to do regular maintenance on all my equipment so that these things won’t happen in the future. I’m planning to have a weekly maintenance day to take apart and clean out all the essential equipment in my salon. Maybe that will prevent future funerals.