Don't judge me. Let me explain.
Hank desperately needs to be groomed. He sheds year round enough to drive any pet owner completely out of their mind. And twice a year he "blows coat" which isn't what you think... gross... he basically molts. HUGE handfuls of hair just fall off of his body. It's disgusting. I however, love him so much I barely notice until someone else says something or I'm wearing something nice, and black.
I'm talking pay a large ransom love.
Who wouldn't love that sweet face??
Hank has been through a lot with me. He was a gift from my ex, and one of the only good things that came from that relationship. He was with me when I was embarassed because everyone was talking, before and after the break up. He was with me at my parents house between houses, when I cried myself to sleep, because I wasted so much time. He sat with me in the bathroom all the nights Haley lived with me, when I was too drunk to make it to my bedroom. He met and vetted lots of guys before Zack. He has been there through all the big moments of my life the last 5 years, the most important of which was meeting and falling in love with my sweet Zackery. He was my first clue Zack was the one for us.
Hank was at the bottom of the pile during the chapstick story.
Zack loves Hank.
He picked up Hank poop in the front yard, he loved Hank and played with him, and most of all he rarely- if ever- complained about the ridiculous amounts of Hank hair. But also, it turned out, Zack and Hank were already related.
When I got Hank, he was a sweet little 10 pound ball of white fur. The cutest little puppy I've ever seen. I am struggling to find a puppy picture, but I'll put one up eventually. He was silent and slept for the first 48 hours after we brought him home from the pound. I named him Hank because I love country music and I like people names for dogs. So we named him Hank after Hank Williams.
Zackery's last name is also Williams.
Hero: Zackery Williams-- See?
Which makes it fun to call and make appointments for Hank Williams. People always laugh and think I'm one of those people who names their dog a name like that since Williams is my last name. I'm not. He had my last name for 4 years, first. But it's still pretty funny.
Hank is my favorite. I love him so much. I would never ever put him in a situation we were not both 100% confident about. He loves Barb's Best Friends doggy daycare, and he's very social. He hates the vet, but it's a necessity, and I would never ever leave him there without me. I want him to feel confident that I will keep him safe, because he has helped me get through some pretty terrible parts of my life, and I owe that to him. Hank is more than my dog, he is my friend, and he is my baby. I am that girl.
Hank loves the water, so in the past when he has just been bathed at the groomer I am confident that he isn't scared, and I feel like I can leave him there. He loves people, and anytime people are paying attention to him he's happy as could be.
Here's Hank loving Haley after a dip in Manawa
This time was different, because our house is in the flood zone, and we are more than likely going to have to move in with my parents for at least a little while. Since my parents think that sheddy dogs live outside, and Hank and I have a very different opinion on the subject, I decided that I would get him shaved into the lion cut this year so that he can habitate the indoors right by my side where he belongs. Plus he has terrible allergies and someone suggested that the cut might help him to attract less allergens... I'm not sure about that but I'm willing to give it a try. Also, It's hot as the sun where we live in the summer, and he gets miserable unless he is in the lake. So even though he has a beautiful, double coat, I decided it was our only option. Even though I was feeling a lot of guilt about it.
Look how cute that baby is?!
So here we are today. I made an appointment a couple of days ago at the one place that wasn't going to charge us $80.00 or more. Today at 11 was his appointment, and we got there about 10:55. As we drove up I was immediately concerned. The building was a house. In a completely residential area, and it was not a very nice house, I could tell from the outside. There were kennels outside because the place is a doggy daycare also, which is concerning since to be groomed there they do not require the Kennel Cough Vaccine. There was a sign outside that said "Puppies For Sale In July" and nothing makes me angrier than people breeding puppies for cash when the shelters are FULL.
Don't get me started.
Hank and I parked and walked towards the house. He was stoked. He loves to visit people, he's always excited. As soon as I opened the door to their screened in porch, the stench of cigarette smoke hit me. Super professional. What did I expect?
Despite my better judgement we kept walking in and as soon as Hank smelled the entry rug (which probably smelled like nervous animals) he immediately got nervous and his ears went down and he hunched as close to the ground as possible. He trusts me though, and he kept walking in with me. Hank and I have went to parties at much grosser places.
The receptionist greeted us and made a Hank Williams joke, as she would. I gave her Hanks shot records and out of nowhere, this LOUD and seemingly vicious dog bark came out of the back of the house. Hank bolted for the door. He is a lover not a fighter. He was scared, and all I could think of was he really needs his haircut... he really needs it, and I'll wait outside in my car the 3 hours it takes, I'll pick him up as soon as he's done. This will be fine. He's ok.
He was not ok.
After a minute we walked to the back of the house to put him in a pin to wait for his turn to be groomed. There were several dogs pinned in the back for "day care" (Barbs Best Friends is doggy daycare, not pins) and the receptionist slid a plastic tray under a big pin RIGHT NEXT to the dog who was WIGGING OUT. Hank was not having it. He kept looking at me like "Are you on drugs? You must be on drugs." He was so scared. I have terrible guilt for not leaving right then. The other dog was banging against the side of her pin trying to get to Hank. I forgot to mention, I also had a very rough, scream at the top of your lungs "I WANT MY HUSBAND BACK", type of night, and I was exhausted and as such very emotional. So, I started to cry. Not sobbing, but like sad movie crying. Silent crying, but there were definitely tears.
Yep. Get the visual. I'm not even embarassed. I was having a moment. Don't judge me.
The receptionist sort of paniced at this point. She could tell we were both pretty distressed (haha). What she did next though, made me go put Hank back in the car.
Hank is a German Shepherd mix. Anyone who works with dogs knows that particular breed frequently have hip joint issues, and Hank definitely does. This bitch got on her knees, leaned forward and grabbed my BABY by his front legs and tried to pull him into the pin. I, terrets style, loudly blurted out "STOP!" and yanked the leash away from her and started walking towards the door. No one manhandles my baby.
I was trying to continue to be nice, because I knew if I lost my temper the police were likely to attend our consultation. My rage, however, was boiling to that point and I felt like it was probably time to rush out of there. She said she would reschedule me an appointment when there would be less dogs in there, and I smiled politely and walked to my car. Where I sat and hugged my Hank and apologized over and over. Poor dude.
I drove him to another groomer, where my mom takes her dog, that was more expensive (still not terrible) but someone I trust and took Hank in to make an appointment. Like I should have done the first time. I'm a loser.
He's going next week, and I will let all of you know how that goes. In the mean time if you live in this area, and need a fun and safe place to take your dog for daycare or boarding stick with Barb's Best friends.
I told the other groomer how horrified I was by the whole experience and they promised me they would be good to him and I could stay the whole time if I wanted. Hank even liked being in the building and was excited to see all of the other dogs casually walking around in there.
So, I am feeling like the worlds worst dog mom. I took Hank to McDonalds to get him chicken nuggets and an ice cream cone. He was still nervous and his usually perky adorable ears were still glued to the side of his head, but I feel like he is going to forgive me.
It was quite the experience. Already both of my parents have given me a hard time about being too protective, even though my Mom never would have left her dog there. The thing is, I'm certain Hank would have had a heart attack if I had left him at that place, and I just couldn't do it. Zack got it. The animal lovers who read this will get it. Anyone who has ever seen me with Hank will at least not be surprised.
Sigh. I did the right thing.
Anyway, on today's agenda we have brush Hank until he wont allow me to anymore, and pack more of our stuff.
I know that was long folks, I was venting. Thanks for reading =]