When I first went mobile I had to make some adjustments. The first was relax and stop carrying every piece of grooming equipment that I have accumulated over the last 9 years. When I worked in a salon I had everything I needed and more at my disposal. In Proud Mary(formerly known as the truck) I have limited space, so I had to plan my equipment needs out ahead of time to make sure I was prepared. That was a BIG adjustment!
I never anticipated how much fun mobile grooming would be! Coming out of the confines of 4 walls has been like a breath of fresh air! I felt as though I had been released from captivity. I have had some challenges since I have started, but that comes with the territory. Hoses freezing to the truck, getting stuck in the driveway, mis-judging the clearance on a snow bank, scaring a few trash cans and mailboxes half to death with a near miss, and having people bang impatiently on the door because they want your attention. Those are few of the drawbacks, but the benefits out weighs it all.
The relationships that have developed over this short period of time have been priceless. There have been so many, but one sticks to me in particular. She is an elderly woman, probably in her late 70's early 80's. I never asked her aged I felt that would be impolite. I have a soft spot for seniors, and she is a pistol! She is a sassy senior with a mind that's quick as a whip unfortunately her body has begun to betray her. She has a little Shih Tzu that sticks to her like glue. The two of them are just too cute.
I met them for the first time in February just before the big snow hit. As I greeted the pair at the door she insisted on coming out to see the inside of Proud Mary. She moves about with a walker, and I was worried about her falling on the stairs. I walked her over to the open doors and she peeked in and shook her head with approval. What I didn't notice was how much information she took in with that glance. I am a Pepsi drinker, and have been since I was in the womb. I had a can sitting on the ledge in my cubby, and I never gave it much thought. After helping her back in the house, I finished her dog and returned her to the house. As we wrapped up her paperwork, she offered me a cup of tea. We talked and sipped and she began fussing at me for not eating. She had heard my stomach protesting when I first arrived. She pulled out a brown paper bag from the frig that contained a sandwich and few of her favorite pecan sandies cookies. All I could do was blush from my surprise. I was so touched by her kindness, and humbled that she extend her concern for me.
I would continue to check in on her at first every week, using the excuse of getting the dog's nails and ears back in shape. As I said before she is a sharp senior, after the 3rd week I met her daughter. She tickled me once more as she introduced me to her daughter " this is Michelle, she checks up on me every week saying that she is working on the dog's nails." Her daughter and I exchanged phone numbers just in case of an emergency. The next week I arrived for her regular scheduled appointment, she had a photo album sitting on the counter. When I finished her pet we sat down and went through the photos of days gone by. She had a new surprise for me that day, a glass filled with ice and a can of pepsi on the table!
Just 10-15minutes every week doing a well being check on a senior citizen,and looking forward to sharing photos of the pets groomed during the week is an unexpected perk. A bonus that can not be mapped out in a business plan or figures on a spreadsheet. To share a few minutes with my new friend has had such a profound impact on both of us. She laughs and shares fond memories of her life and I get a first hand history lesson. Those few moments are priceless! It is a constant reminder that we as people need to kind to each other. One day, I will be in her position, and I would hope that there to be kind and concern to me.
Until next time, have a great summer!