Teddy is an old pro when it comes to going to the groomer’s . . . after all, he was raised by one for the first six months of his life. Zoey, on the other hand, and Zoey’s Mom, are not, but they will get there. I have faith in them.
I offered to take Zoey with Ted for her first haircut, but my friend, A., was not having it.
“I don’t mind taking her,” I insisted.
“I’m her mom and she’s my baby! I can’t just leave her for an hour with a stranger! I need to see who’s going to be grooming her!”
I chuckled to myself as I remembered those days when I was a rookie dog mom. I told her she could even make the appointment and speak to the groomer herself. She did. Today was THE DAY! Zoey was going to get her first ever haircut. How exciting! A. told me that she had been brushing Zoey to get her used to being groomed.
A. called me this morning to tell me she was on the way.
“Okay,” I said. “Teddy and I are ready!”
Phone rings again.
“Do you have an extra harness? I forgot Zoey’s!”
“Well, yeah, I have an extra harness, but it’s not going to fit your 4-pound dog!”
“Okay, I gotta turn around,” A. replied as I could sense her anxiety building. That’s why she forgot the harness. That’s why she forgot Zoey’s rabies certificate. That’s why she was nearly hyperventilating. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating here for effect, but she was extremely worried about leaving her precious dog-child at the groomer’s for an extended period of time. I get it. I used to have that anxiety until I realized how competent Fabulous Fur Grooming is — Lynne has been in the business for 35 years!!!
By the time A. and Zoey arrived, A. was already out of breath, frazzled, and discombobulated. Did I mention that she brought a FOLDER with her? Yes, a folder of who-knows-what — all of Zoey’s medical records, most likely.
My inner monologue went like this, “Oh, she’s a newbie. She’ll get used to it . . . I hope.”
When we pulled out of the driveway, I immediately knew to distract A. with something fun — like getting a cake. It was her birthday recently and so we had a celebration a few days late, with some delicious Oreo cake. Did I mention that I also got a slice of Salted Caramel Apple Cake just to try? (So delicious, plus there’s apple in it so it’s healthy, right?)
“It’s weird to come back to the house without the dogs, isn’t it?” she asked.
“That’s why we have cake,” I thought to myself. Out loud I said, “You get used to it,” as I pulled out her birthday gift.
Am I judging her too harshly? Nope. I’m not judging her at all. I am merely recognizing the anxiety that I had myself when I was looking for a new groomer for Teddy. I actually pulled him out of the first one we went to because I didn’t like their assembly-line-style of having four people manhandle my baby. I’m actually proud of A. for being such a good and conscientious dog-mom.
My friend, D., was the same way when her dog, Maddie, went to the groomer with Ted. She asked me literally every ten to fifteen minutes to check to see if the groomer had called yet to say the dogs were ready. The separation anxiety that people get when they are not in their pet’s presence is like no other I have witnessed.
Whenever I travel for my job, if I can’t sleep because I don’t have Ted at the foot of my bed, I roll up a white hotel towel into the shape of a curled-up pooch and place it near my feet. Now, that’s crazy. But don’t judge us — we just LOVE our pups with a love that exceeds the physical plane. They become part of us, extensions of our souls, extensions of our very essence, and when they are gone from us, we are somewhat lost, forlorn, and at times downright anxious and depressed.
But look at these beautiful faces! Who can blame us? We have the best dogs in the universe!
I now have seven more weeks to think of another distraction for my friend as she will again entrust her precious cargo to Fabulous Fur Grooming for a few hours . . . something that involves fewer calories perhaps . . .