It’s winter and I really have a problem getting out of bed…………….

It’s 7 am and I mumble an apology to the two cats and three dogs cuddled up next to me who are not impressed when I surface from under a pile of blankets and doona to silence the alarm. It’s not as bad as summer when my work day alarm goes off at 6 am except for the fact that 7am in winter is far colder than 6 am in summer.  Opening one eye I look out the window to see if it is raining or fine. I really can’t help myself from wishing it was bucketing down. You see I am a dog groomer and winter is not my favorite time of year. Spending your day in a mobile van dealing with very wet dogs shaking and drenching you is fine in summer but gets a bit hard to take in winter. Then there is the added hour or so you need before you go out on the road, as this is the time it takes to get the water into the holding tank and to a temperature that is acceptable for your four legged clients and your hands.  I have never worked out how to clip or wash a dog in anything other than short sleeves so the jumper has no option but to come off at the first call. You know when it is winter as my jumper goes back on between clients and the car heater never goes off warm.

Then there are the aches and pains that an over 50 year old body that has been professionally grooming now for 13 years feels. Make  no mistake dog grooming is better than any trip to the gym. Having to fight dogs that won’t let you clip them or stripping the dead coat out of a border collie that has not seen a good brush in the last three years (or it’s entire life) is physically very hard work. These aches and pains are much more evident when the weather is cold. The day starts off cold, warms up for only a few hours and then rapidly gets cold again around about 3 pm. I am lucky as I live and work on the Mid North Coast of NSW but mobile dog groomers live and work all around Australia.

I use the internet to chat regularly with other dog groomers all around the world. At this time of the year the American groomers are lamenting their inability to stop fleas and how hot it is, while Australian groomers in colder parts are posting photos of ice and snow on the ground outside to our special Facebook site. They also have the added fun of scraping ice off the windscreen before starting off for the first appointment as well as dealing with water hose lines that are frozen. That would be enough for me to pull the covers back up over my head, reach for the telephone and my diary and ring all the day’s appointments telling them that I had closed the business down until the temperature was back over 20C at 6 am each day.

Sadly however I have yet to convince the landlord, electricity supplier and my bank that they have no right to keep charging me when the weather is cold. They seem not to understand that I am very poorly motivated to get out of a warm bed where I am snuggled with the two cats and three dogs to go out and get wet and dirty cleaning up other people’s dirty dogs. But I do have to pay those bills and once I get up and going it really is not so bad. The dogs are glad to see me, the owners are very appreciated of the way their dogs go from matted mucky mutts to pretty pampered pooches and there are even wonderful clients out there that insist on hot cups of fresh brewed coffee and warm soup before I go onto the next job.

Then of course it is much more interesting than going to a gym each day.

If there ever was a time to “kiss the dog, hug the cat and tell your goldfish you love them” then winter has to be it.

Tell me your stories about how you motivate yourself to get out of that warm bed each day and go out and groom client’s dogs.


Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) is the owner of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia. She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues including feeding, training and grooming dogs and cats. Her online pet care magic subscription program deals with common pet behaviour, training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas. Pet care professionals are trained to handle customer issues by the provision of up to date programs to differentiate their pet care business from other competitors.


Posted on July 9, 2012, in Grooming, Mobile & Salon Groomers, Pet Guardians and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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