Here are The Dog Snobs, very little gets us laughing as much or as rage filled as discussing bad customer stories, and very few animal businesses have as many neuroses or insane requests as grooming. Potnoodle, our resident groomer, and Fang, an apprentice groomer, have both experienced and witnessed a fair number of customer meltdowns and general patterns which we broke down for our own (and now your) amusement. BusyBee is more of a ‘wash and go’ type dog owner and has never actually stepped foot into a grooming salon and not-so-secretly hopes she never has to.
If a suitable in-home groomer can not be located, you will find these people first in for appointments and sitting by the phone or in the grooming lobby until their poofykins can be retrieved post-haste. From entry to exit, this person is a bundle of nerves and projects their nerves to their dog in a high-pitched attempt at comforting (i.e. “It’s okay baby! It’ll be fine!”) that sounds more like a fire alarm. Most dogs remain unaffected by this aural hostage-taking, but those who are promptly turn to mush. These people will film their dogs’ first appointments with groomers, lightly brushing away their hysterical tears insisting that their dog is sensitive.
The Last Minute Squeeze
In an appointment-based grooming shop, this person is enough to send the whole schedule reeling. The Last Minute Squeeze *always* needs to get in right away. Family pictures, friends visiting, a major holiday perhaps? This person needs an appointment RIGHT NOW and “Could you please, please, pretty please, groom Snickers two hours ago so he’ll be pretty for my mother-in-law?” While less self-important than the Indignant Procrastinator, the constant begging soon becomes irritating. It also seems to set in their mind a precedent for rewarding poor-planning. Conversely, these are also the people you can charge out the nose for the privilege of being annoying.
The Indignant Procrastinator
The bossy older brother of the ‘Last Minute Squeeze’, this client will never ever book an appointment in the recommended time frame. Ever. When they finally call two days before their desired appointment time, how dare there not be a spot for them reserved, ready and waiting. There are angry recriminations and passive-aggressive commentary on how maybe they’ll just need to find someone else to groom their dog. They will usually however settle for an appointment with the promise (*snort*) of calling them with any cancellations. Pro Tip: You’ll never actually be called.
The Late Bloomer
This is among the most frustrating of clients. This person is the ideal client when they’re leaving with their dog. Everything is “perfect” and exactly how they requested until six to eight weeks later, where the list of what was done wrong has gone from zero to ten thousand. Their litany of complaints range outside of the plausible and jump right to the bizarre: ‘You took away his character’ or ‘His left ear was 2/13ths of a millimeter shorter’. In some extreme cases they’ll return months later demanding refunds for their grooms. No matter what means are taken to appease these complaints, they will keep coming back with even more vague complaints from out of the blue. This is a battle that cannot be won.
As implied by the name…everything must be perfect. From bow placement to the precise circumference of an ass-ball (Which Potnoodle says are called rosettes. but I like our version better) the perfectionist has an opinion on everything and what exactly can be done to “fix it” and how, despite never having groomed a dog in their life. The Perfectionist is also occasionally ready with the scissors to “correct” what they find in error which can earn them the secondary title of ‘The Butcher’.
The unfortunate love-child between ‘The Perfectionist’ and “The Late Bloomer”, the Telepath expects you to know what they want and to execute it without real instruction. Not to be confused with ‘The Clueless Spouse’, the Telepath has very precise ideas on how their dog should look, and you should be able to decipher it with only the vaguest of clues. Simple questions on length or style are met with blank stares, shrugs, or detailed surrealist visions of melting clocks and “feeling like the ocean”. Inevitably, when the groomer fails (And they will fail), they will move along to another groomer, incensed at the lack of psychic ability.
The Forrest Gump
Perhaps the most reviled of the types, The Forrest Gump client has the bolded and underlined quality of never knowing which sensory horror you’re going to get. Their dog will always retain an odor or a stain that is rarely explained, yet repeatedly resurfaces with the problem. This type of owner is usually divided into two subcategories; ‘The Owner with Children’ or ‘The College Student’. Not unlike an untended fridge, this dog should be handled in a hazmat suit, because there is no way of knowing the precise origin of the problem and the owner never seems to be aware of the issue.
The Owner in Denial
It starts off easily enough, the owner drops the dog off and asks you to “do the same as always”. The dog appears to be unmatted, if perhaps a little frizzy. Upon digging in to the coat, an armor of matts is discovered. When the owner returns to find a shaved dog, they are furious. “I brush him every day!” they exclaim, full of righteous fury. Upon further investigation, it is discovered that the owner runs a slicker brush over the dog once or twice a year and gives up. This type of owner never seems to learn and the dog will come back in the same shape next time to repeat the process until a price increase for stupidity drives them out.
The Google Image Search
This owner has never actually seen an adult representative of their own breed. They do, however, have basic internet access and a rough ability to spell the breed. They bring in photos of a show groomed breed profile that their own dog could not fill even if it was liquified and poured into a mold. Sometimes, the dog is not even of the breed represented in the photo. Potnoodle was once asked to turn a maltese into a bichon. When she explained the hair texture difference, they said (and I quote) “Well, can’t you just tease it?” Sorry Owners, no amount of aquanet is going to turn your shitty maltese into JR.