Gone to the dogs

I mentioned the other day that I got bitten at work. Holly then asked in the comments what kind of work I do that I can get bit. I’m a pet groomer.

I work primarily with dogs, but I do see the occasional cat. I also trim bird wings and will nip the nails on a rabbit, ferret or sugar glider if needed. I also once bathed a 13′ albino burmese python for mites.

In fact, I think the most memorable bite I ever got working with animals was when I was working in a small pet store and one of the large snakes got loose. I was the only one in the place at the time who wasn’t scared of snakes, so I got snake finding and catching duty. The finding part wasn’t so hard, as it had wrapped it’s 10′ long body around a dog food display. The catching part was a bitch though.

It wasn’t a poisonous snake, but bites from a large constrictor still hurt and it struck me on each hand at least three times.

(Do I count that in the list of times I stupidly hurt myself or was this an episode of When Previously Tame Animals Attack? You be the judge.)

I would estimate that I have been bitten with intent to cause boo-boos by any nymber of species at least 500 times in my life. Obviously, the vast majority of these bites weren’t worth writing home about, but there have been a few doozies. One that springs immediately to mind is the time a cat bit the heel of my left hand and 10 minutes later, I had a lovely red streak halfway up my arm.

Speaking of cats, people often express shock at how expensive it is to get a cat groomed. Let me explain. If a cat bites you, chances are, you’re going to a doctor. The doctor will then prescribe you some super-antibiotics, for which there is no generic equivalent, and those pills will cost you 120.00 (last time I needed ’em, anyway). Most grooming places do not provide health insurance or workers’ comp, and the groomer eats the expense of the medicine and any lost work time.

Anyway, despite the inherent risks, I love what I do. Like any self respecting lazy mo-fo, I would prefer not to work at all, but as long as I continue to lose the lottery and have to work, I choose to do this.

Oh and give me a nice pit bull anyday, over a bad tempered little dachsund or chihuahua.

By the way, I had an odd dog in today, as a matter of fact. A pitbull/poodle mix. Apparently he’s not much of a watchdog, but he is a vicious gossip. (I know. That was awful, but I could not resist)


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