This week I had a very anxious, very matted little grooming client.
I want to be extra slow with the anxious ones and do extra counterconditioning, but at the same time I want to minimize their time spent on the table, which is stressful in itself. But when the fur is that matted, I have to spend so much time getting through it that the pup gets that much more stressed out.
I managed to shave the matted entirety of the dog, but clipping the nails just wasn't going to happen. The human came back and we tried to make progress together, but when the dog needs so badly to be groomed, and the person doesn't want to come back every day for the next few days at least working on counterconditioning, I think you are best off having the vet sedate the pup then do the nails.
Fortunately, that same afternoon I had the pleasure of grooming Mars and Zoey, two sweet-tempered Golden doodles.
Zoey has the most endearing habit. When she doesn't like something you're doing--like lifting a back paw and shaving the fur on it--she looks back at it and wags. What a gentle creature!
The best part? When Fozzie met the doodles, he just wagged and sniffed! Not a hyper wag and sniff either--just a very gentle exploration.
Maybe the doodles just bring out the best in everyone...but even more, I think Fozzie is just a good creature who likes other creatures and will interact with them calmly if set up for calm interactions.