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Monday, May 2, 2011

Swaddle me baby!

My groomer wants me to give my dog a sedative before grooming because he hates having his nails cut, can you help?

This is something that often crosses my desk and this particular little doggie was a Cocker Spaniel.   I have to say, I gave the normal training answer of touching the dog’s feet and nails while the dog was at rest to get him used to having the feet touched and trimming only one nail at a time so it is not a big fuss. Most dogs do not like their feet touched and it can become a struggle to cut the nails. Many owners find themselves to be too nervous about hitting the quick of the nail that they make the process much worse.  Sweat pouring off their brow, the strain in their voice, the hardness of their touch. Not an easy task to say the least!
Trimming the hair between the pads is no walk in the park either!

There are some dogs that you can keep occupied by giving a Nylabone bone or filled Kong to play with so that nail clipping goes a little smoother, but this does not work for all dogs.

As soon as I gave the customer the usual suggestions, he replied, “I have tried most of what you suggested, with no progress, do you have any other ideas?”

Oy, more suggestions? How ‘bout I come there and hit the dog over the head with a rubber mallet! Sorry, sick humor I know.

That is when my mind shot back to the days of Cody, my cocker spaniel, the little black and tan Imp that only one groomer in my area would take on as a client.

One sultry day when I walked into the shop to pick Cody up from grooming, the groomer walked to the half door which separated the grooming room from the store and said, “I just have to do his feet, then he’ll be ready.”

“Okay.”  I said, and I meandered around the store portion of the room looking for goodies to buy for a black and tan, one eyed, mean spirited, Cocker Spaniel that only I could love!

That’s when I saw it! My little devil dog was hanging from the ceiling! Well, my mind’s eye was struggling  to grasp the concept of what was going on so quickly that I may have thought is was from the ceiling, when in reality it could have been a groomer’s table, but he did look like he was very high up toward the ceiling!  I likened this whole picture to a child in a Johnny Jumper! His body was encased safely in a sling like contraption with only his head and four legs coming through the material. He seemed to be resting comfortably, not squirming, not barking or crying, and I just had to ask.

“Kathy, what is that?”

Kathy smiled at me. “Isn’t it great? It’s a grooming sling!”

That was that, I was sold on the idea of such a protective item being between myself and Cody’s teeth making it easier to trim nails, trim the fur between the pads, and trim the face all while he was confined in this contraption. I looked at this idea the same as one would swaddling a baby, it made it seem more humane that way! So my eyes looked closely at how it was made as my brain took notes and I thought, I can make that!
The next day when I went to work right there on the employee free table laid a Johnny Jumper! Two holes down and two to go!

Once the second Johnny Jumper was found all that was left to do was to sew them together and put a handle on it! voi·là one grooming sling!  Well, maybe ‘sew’ is too strong of a word; duct tape is more like it! I could hang it from the rafters in the basement ceiling! Simple!  

Sadly (and only to me), my little Cody passed on before I was able to put this idea to use, but I was lucky enough to find a site that sells these slings for a variety of dog sizes, the configuration on how and where to hang it, I will leave up to you! But if your small to medium size dog get’s too restless during the nail trimming process, this product may be just what the doctor ordered! For larger dogs you’ll want your contractor to rig up a pulley system!

Grooming slings click here

P.S. I have edited this blog 3 times already, I think google and Face Book have brain freeze today!

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