Covid Lesson – Less is more

Today is August 16, 2021. I started working from home part-time dog grooming around this time last year. It was after Leandra closed her shop, Maddie’s Dog Grooming and Boutique, in Stouffville. I was sad that she was closing and I felt hesitant about working from home. There were some pros and cons I worked out with my Husby. Leandra graciously referred some of her best clients to me. I reached out to see what my options were in town with PetValu, Muttz with Manners and ended up working part-time at Golden Tails on Ringwood with Reza. However, for several reasons, it didn’t work out and by December 2020 I was working from home and took on more word of mouth referrals.

I went from grooming about 4 dogs a week pre-covid to 8-12 dogs a week easily.

In January 2021, groomers were not allowed to work due to the province wide lockdown. I used a lot of my energy writing letters to the government (municipal and provincial) and advocating for dogs who I believe should and could be groomed safely. I had the whole month of January booked with dog grooms that I put on hold and I was stressed about their condition by the time I groom them, especially their nails.

When groomers were finally able to work again my schedule was packed and I was doing 12-16 dogs a week to catch up.

By May 2021, I could feel my arms and hands started to hurt from overuse. One of my dreaded fears is that my carpul tunnel would flare up and I would have to take a 3-6 month break like I did back in 2015-ish. By the end of May 2021, I discovered I couldn’t accommodate new clients. I marked dates and times I was willing to book in grooms and I encouraged my regular clients to book ahead as far into Christmas 2021. By mid-June my calendar was full with little to no “me time” other than Sundays I try to book off.

From being moderately busy, to bored out of my mind during the lockdowns, to being pretty consistently busy now…

I’ve learned

a) I love dog grooming, this is my dream job I truly love to do and want to do as long as possible

b) I need to remember to schedule in my “me time”

c) I must take care of myself and I can’t overwork my body or I won’t be good for anyone (me or my doggy clients)

d) I have boundaries and not everyone is going to like me (I kind of knew this from before lol but I’m more ok with it now than ever)

e) life is short, I do what I love and I love what I do

f) I’m more and more like a dog, I like to live in the present and be balanced

So, less is more to me these days. It means quality clients over quantity. It means, I love dog grooming and it’s really enough for me. I feel fulfilled and happy, even joyous, just doing what I love and loving what I do.

Thank you to all those who allow me the privilege to pretty up and pamper their dogs.