We’ve got kittens!! Three of the cutest sweetest little white fur balls you’ve ever seen. But I’ll save all the details for a separate post. Today’s post is about a day in the life of a salon owner. Let me tell you, I took a giant leap of faith, and a major career change in order to pursue a life with animals and hopefully developing Posh Pets. Taking over Crystal Pet Parlor for a week was a great way to see the potential for my business, and what my life would be like if I were to open a salon that boards and grooms dogs. I will now proceed to eliminate any glamour or “Poshness” of this business.
I walk in the door of Crystal Parlor, and the dogs immediately start barking. They know its breakfast time! I usher everybody outside to go potty. Then I survey the area for any accidents and pee spots. Most of the dogs that come to a boarding facility are potty trained, but going from 5 pm to 8 am in a run free environment is a lot for even the most well behaved dog. Crystal Parlor does have kennels, and corrals, but these are mainly used to separate during feeding, and if an owner specifically asks for their dog to be corralled. Lots of dogs don’t get along with others, or are very fragile and owners do not want them running free with larger or more exuberant dogs. So I pick up any blankets or beds that have pee on them, and scoop any “other” accidents. Throw them in the laundry pile, and mop up anything on the floor. Then I prepare the dog bowls. The four dogs currently living at the facility eat various amounts of dry food, but Dolly eats a special dry food with some wet food on top for her sensitive stomach. Shana is a pig and will try to eat everyone’s food. So after I get all the food bowls ready I close the pantry door and let everyone back in. Dolly goes in a corral to eat her special food, and looks at me like I am abusing her for locking her up. Layla eats in the pantry, and the others get their food in various corners of the room. But Shana gets hers first, because until she’s busy she will try and eat everyone else’s food. Now is probably a good time to mention that when Julie adopted Shana, she was extremely overweight- I think she’s still resentful about her diet. I watch closely while everyone eats. Because today we only have the one visitor everyone is pretty good, but I still watch to make sure no arguments break out. After everyone is finished I usher them outside for “number 2’s”. While everyone is outside, I pick up all beds and toys and mop the entire floor. This helps keep things neat and clean and smelling fresh. Not only do you have dogs marking and accidents at a salon, but muddy footprints, hair, leaves, dog puke… ect. I normally start my first of several loads of laundry now too. After the floor dries, I let everyone back in and they settle down and go lay on their various beds and blankets. Refill water bowls.
Today Dolly is going home at 10:30 and her owners want a bath before she goes, so it’s time to start that. I spent about 15 minutes de-shedding her, and then time to jump in the tub. Dolly is about 30 lbs and easy to bathe. When someone is paying you to bathe a dog, it’s a little more in depth than your average at home bath. Scrub in between every toe; make sure you get the ears, face, and hiney. And DON’T scrimp on the shampoo and conditioner. The most important part of a groom is the bath. Then we blow dry, its cold outside and you’ll catch cold going out with wet hair! During the blow dry you make sure to get out any knots, cut any matting, and clip around the eyes or potty area if needed. Once she’s all beautiful, I start gathering her blankets, toys, and food bowls for when her parents come. Dolly goes home, and Jenni and Chewbacca come to stay for a few days! Introduce them to the group, and let everyone out one last time to go potty before I go home for lunch.
11:00-12:30ish – lunch, errands, bank.
1:00-2:00 – Let everyone out for potty/play time! Start another load of laundry, fold what’s in the dryer. I normally sit down for a bit now and brush someone, or play ball. All of the dogs are lovers and will all try to sit with me at the same time. Shana is a lab and sheds quite a bit so I try to de-shed her every couple of days. Shadow is so playful (and could stand to lose a few lbs) so I try to exercise him some every day. Refill water bowls.
2:00-3:00 – its wintertime and gets cold and dark early, so I go out to the play yard to scoop poop. The play yard is on the west side of the building, so its shaded in the afternoon and I don’t like to freeze to death, scooping poop is bad enough without being cold. Remind myself to bring the leaf blower with me tomorrow so I can blow leaves into the woods.
3:00-5:00 – I vacuum in the afternoons. At a pet salon, it doesn’t matter if you mop or sweep first; there are always muddy footprints, and always hair and leaves to be vacuumed. So I mop in the mornings, vacuum in the afternoons. Sometimes I mop in the afternoons too if it needs it. Then I spend the afternoon doing some general cleaning. Clean the tub from Dolly’s bath, scrub food bowls, finish the laundry, wipe off doors with footprints on them, ect..
The pups know I am getting ready to leave, so they watch me warily… trying to make me feel bad. I normally spend some time loving on them and apologizing before I leave. I let everyone back out again for potty time before I leave. Refill the water bowls, and put anyone in a corral who likes to sleep alone. Turn out the lights, and say good night ya’ll!
All in all, it’s a huge job, and I stay busy All.Day.Long. I don’t know how Julie does it; in addition she grooms dogs too! I hope to continue to learn from her, and gain valuable knowledge so that I may open my own salon one day!