Most afternoons were spent at the grooming shop. It’s summertime and with the mercury rising into the nineties, we are very busy. Customers - dogs, cats, and humans alike, are desperate for relief. I took my perch from above and observed as the reception area filled with nervous noses, worried tails wagging, and carriers filled with menacing meows or pitiful cries. Barking echoes from the holding area in the back echoed with cries of”Mommy come back!” or “Hey, let’s play.”
I focused on Judy as she talked to a customer holding a small dog.
“Meagan is miserable in this heat.” Meagan gazed up at me and smiled, but I wasn’t fooled. I knew Judy wasn’t either.
“Meagan has to be shaved. She's very matted.” Judy explained, her pen poised over the new customer form.
“Oh she hates to be brushed. She’s afraid of it and runs under the bed. You know she’s a rescue. I am sure she was abused.” Meagan looked up again grinning wider. I could see her tail whipping high, back and forth behind the woman’s arm. It's not a good sign when the dog carries its tail so high. I knew it, Judy did too, but couldn’t see its movement. I held my breath, my own tail twitched as Judy’s hand reached out to touch the small ball of cotton.
In an instant, Meagan’s smile contorted into the face of hundred pound Rottweiler ready to attack. She lurched for Judy’s hand but years of experience had honed mom’s reflexes and she jerked back.
“Oh she won’t bite. She just doesn’t like to be touched. Here, let me put her down” Meagan was laughing out loud now, as she bounced around the reception area, sniffing butts and noses. She squatted by the potted plant. I hate when they do that. Don’t they know what a litter box is?
I have met only one dog in my life who not only knows how to use one, but uses it on command. My mom’s good friend has a Shitzu named Coral, who is half my size. We played hide and seek in their big motor home. I hid, Coral did the seeking. She was fun.
I turned my attention back to Judy and the woman.
“What do you mean, you can’t do her? Look at her. She has to be done.” I looked up to the ceiling. I've heard this so many times before.
“I can’t do her if I can’t touch her. She tried to bite me.” Judy replaced the new customer form back on the stack.
“I told you she doesn’t bite. She’s just scared.” I jumped down from my position as the woman was scooping up her little mean Meagan. I walked up to the little dog with my tail straight up and looked her in her black eyes.
Meagan backed away. I could smell her fear. “Don’t come back.” I warned, then turned my back and dared her to chase me. She leaped into her mom’s arms and began shivering.
The woman coddled the trembling Maltese."Oh dear, she's never seen a cat before."
Another exciting day at the grooming shop. My work done, I found my drawer, curled up inside and slept until five.