A Final Sunday in the Salon


You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.
Robert Louis Stevenson

I have an incredible love of all kinds of animals. My favorite however, is the dog. Doesn’t matter what kind, I become a complete fool when one or fifteen of them cross my path. I think the best kind of therapy is laying down in a pile of puppies and having them kiss my cheeks, hair, nose, etc. I sing to them, coo, pet, and hold them too.

A few years ago, I decided it was time for me to get a second job. I work full-time as an office manager at a major university, but the kids were grown and we were in debt. I came home one night and told Roger that was it, I was going to get a job at a pet store. I applied at Petco in Ann Arbor. Derry, a terrific assistant manager hired me almost immediately after my initial interview. I worked  for almost a year as a cashier and customer service.

I was able to move to the grooming salon almost a year after my initial hire date. There, I bathed and brushed dogs. Did nail trims, cleaned ears, brushed teeth, and received so many kisses, I’d lost count. I was also bitten, pooped and peed on. It didn’t matter though, I was so damn happy. Blissful even. I got to sing to doggies. Give baths to, brush them and love on them too.

It came to a point that working two jobs was too much. I quit Petco in mid August of 2012. I not only left behind my bliss, but I left my friends. Really, they were my other family and my children. I missed them every damn day. We would chat and plan on getting together, but it didn’t happen, much. Our lives were busy, and I was writing all the time.

I spoke with Brittany in December and told her I was thinking about coming back on Sundays. I did just that in January. Maddie, Matt, and Gabe welcomed me back with open arms. Maddie made the comment that our team was finally complete again. I also got the chance to work with Cavan. Talk about another one of my peeps that was a damn hoot. I was so damn happy. Tired, but happy.

A couple of Sundays ago, I had a severe allergic reaction to a Golden Retriever. My bronchi became inflamed, my throat began to close, I lost my breath and couldn’t speak. I turned a lovely shade of blue. If I hadn’t been smart and stayed calm, I might have suffocated myself. I ran outside while Cavan saved me by getting me some Benadryl. I’m sure I needed an epi-pen too.

The medicine started to work and I could finally take in air into my lungs, and my voice came back a tad. Maddie, Matt, Gabe and Cavan made sure that I was okay to drive and I headed home. Once there, Roger gave me another Benadryl and we sat and chatted. After a few minutes, I was stoned on antihistamines. I crawled into bed and slept till 6:00 the next morning.

Suffice to say, I had to quit. Brittany, who is now our grooming salon manager, was crushed. So was my Sunday crew. I can’t chance losing my breath, consciousness, or life. I do believe it was a blessing in disguise. God was trying to tell me to close a chapter and start another.

To get that damn book written. The stories are here. Time to find the best ones, revise, edit, compile and send to my editor. My darling t.

I love you Maddie, Matt, Gabe and Cavan. You’ve no idea how you’ve enriched my lives. You’ve made me laugh and cry. My life is better because all of you are in it. I will never forget any of you. And I know you’ll never forget me. EAT THE KITTY!