Yesterday I finally unpacked. I’m not sure if this was a way for me to emotionally stay connected to the beach or if I was just procrastinating. My vacation this year was an important catalyst for change. I saw my 40th birthday come and go as I sat in the sun and buried my face in a good book! I’m not upset about turning 40, I’m upset that I am not living an authentic life. I thought that a break away from the kennel would see me home with more dedicated focus to deal fluidly with extremely long hours and unrealistic demands. The funny thing about unrealistic is that reality is just clearly unattainable. Who’da thought!
A few things have taken place since my return to snow that have solidified my resolve to make changes to live a better life. An owner arrived who was used to the stereotypical “Your dog is happy here!” kennel response and walked away very angry at my honesty that their pup was miserable without them. After feeling completely helpless and frustrated with my failure to make them happy I started to understand why “doggie storage unit” type kennels lie to owners. Some people do not want to know how their dog is. Some people actually want me to lock their dog up and ignore them for weeks on end providing only the basic necessities of life so that the dog is happy to see them when they return. I’m learning to not take it personally.
This has me thinking about what makes me different as a kennel. Am I just a “doggie storage unit”? Do I want to cater to people who want this for their dog? I am different because I bond with these animals. I love them truly. I integrate these scared pups into my family as much as I can so they can enjoy their “vacation”. I can only do this if the owners are open minded and love their dogs without selfish motives.
I had a sweet gentleman sit with me while I was grooming his pup. I love his honesty and candor when he point blank asks “If your advertising says ‘3 groomers working 7 days a week’, why did I have to wait 2 weeks for this appointment?”. He said it so sweetly that I still giggle at his well meaning question. I quickly explained the situation to the best of my ability and I hope gave him a satisfactory answer.
I started thinking about what I could do to change the grooming situation as I saw it. We’ve had 2 groomers in town move on to other things leaving me and Amanda a nice busy business. I like being busy. I don’t like upsetting people by making them wait despite the fact that my question to owners is “Is there really such a thing as an emergency groom?”
Jason starts his day 3:45am. I feel like a slug when he wakes me up as he leaves for his hour commute to Houston. I try to start my day quietly with a tea break for me:) I usually end up starting my work day about 5:30am. I get no coffee breaks or lunch breaks and if I’m lucky I’m done my day about 8pm allowing me to say goodnight to the boys. On busy days when I have training or a chatty client I may not finish my chores until 9 or 10pm. I focus on trying to get all the chores done so I have enough time to make dinner for Jason(admittedly a rare occasion), and he can come home and relax for a few minuets before bed.
My goals seem simple but life is not simple. Half way through a grueling day and I get served with court papers. Yep! 7 years into my separation/divorce and I’m still going to supreme court to defend my life. The good news is that I clearly have a public image of being highly successful at this business. I’m not good with numbers, don’t want to be educated to a point where I understand them! My accountant gives a cute little snort when I ask a silly question or she has to explain a concept to me starting from the basics. I’m hell bent to teach my children that it’s the small things that add up and allow you to enjoy those things in life that are important to you. I don’t need to understand numbers for these teachings.
All of these musing has me dedicated to change!
-Making everyone happy is unrealistic. Making myself happy is achievable.
-Long hours will not stop until I stop them.
-Having an honest business and an honest outlook will make me different and people who love their dogs unselfishly will appreciate my candor.
-I will be a better role model to my children when they see me make changes for them and for me.
Tuesday starts a new year! Again…he he. I’m allowed as many “new years” as it takes me to get it right!