Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Stuff On the Way

I've decided that I want to have some more fun with writing entries. After a few months of professional grooming, I feel like I've got my foot far enough in the door to include some neat articles. Behavior stuff will be coming in the future, once I take some ABA courses as well as go through the training program at the shelter. In the meantime, I'll be posting reviews about products, humorous stories about how wacky my doggy clients can be, and--of course--highlights from trade shows and events. Posts will now carry tags for ease of navigation - you can get right to the silliness if you want to, or skip right to the trade shows.

Expect these new things--and maybe even an overhaul--coming soon!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Looking Back...

I've never really been one to be overly critical on the past. I'm more about pushing forward in order to improve myself for tomorrow. However, there will always be the occasional glance back - not to dwell on what could've been, but to see in better perspective how far I've come.

One of my classmates started an Internet group for Nash students and grads. Reading all of the posts about the good times and the bad brought several truths about. Not everything we learned was modern or even practical, but it was for the purpose of getting our feet wet. The "right stuff" came in the form of the foundations of a good groom: prepping, coat care, (some) tool usage, and bathing. The rest was all style, a lot of which has fallen by the wayside with me in favor of more contemporary and efficient techniques and patterns... and snap-on combs. What really made school worth it was the people I met along the way, plus the (mis)adventures we shared. I met some amazing people in school, and wouldn't trade the time we spent together, good and bad, for anything in the world. Guys, I better see you at Groom Expo this year!

A few nights ago, Xavier and I were in his kennel, among the melting snow. As I was beginning to dread what his paws are going to look like in a few months, I looked into the sky and saw it was clear. Only a few constellations were visible--curse you city living!--yet it was enough to remind me of that night I went horseback riding at Michelle's and stared into a seemingly infinite blackness speckled with hundreds of stars. I realized just how much I've grown, not only as a groomer, but as a person.

In regards to grooming, I was just learning how to work with those darn tight curly coats. They still give me some grief, even though I love working with them, but Nancy is helping me along the way. Now, when it comes to personal growth... as I gazed into the sky, I remembered fragments of an old poem I wrote in 2007, the worst year that has come to pass. I wish I could find it in its entirety, but I remember looking into the sky, unhappy, and wondering if anyone was looking back. At the same time, it was humbling that the stars in the sky would still be there, years from then, largely unchanged. These days, I look into that same sky, only feeling the happiest I've ever been, wondering where I'll be when I look up years down the road. It's amazing how much we change and how far we go in the course of a few short years, isn't it?

But that's enough looking back for a while. I'm fueled with a familiar confidence and awe, ready to groom what dogs may hop up on my table. And just in time, I'm registered and ready to go for INTERGROOM, baby! One week and one month on the countdown, to be exact.

Yes, I'm very excited! Stay tuned!