Pet groomer – bringing me one step closer to my dream
Last week I talked about how I finally made it from Mexico to the United States after a lot of hard work and found a job in a pet store in San Diego to make ends meet. I was 21 years old at the time and spoke little to no English.
If my grandfather knew I was working in pet grooming, he would have laughed his ass off – the dogs on the family farm, licking and cleaning each other on a regular basis.Only when it’s hot do they go swimming in the creek. For them, bathing means rolling in the mud!
▲Summer dogs go swimming in the river to cool down
My grandfather would only bathe them if they had lice, fleas or other parasites, or if their fur was too tangled.
Believe it or not, for pet owners in Mexico, if their dog has ticks, it may be more cost effective to get a new dog than to treat them. They don’t show the slightest bit of mercy – it seems logical to abandon a sick dog and find another one without “defects”.
The grooming I did on my dog at the veterinary clinic in Mazatlan was also treated as part of the medical treatment.The fact is, the American pet population does spend a lot of money on their beloved pets, and in my opinion, that’s a lot of money!
For people in small Mexican towns, regularly bathing, trimming and grooming the family dog is a mind-boggling task.
When I was in Mexico, I heard thatAmericans treat their pets like human friendsBut now I really see, at first, I was really shocked at their attitude towards pet ownership.
Clearly, for American dogs, there is only better, not better.
▲Regular customers come to Cesar to groom their dogs
When I started working at the pet store in San Diego, the concept of “groomer” was new to me, but I liked it.
The hostesses were very kind to me, and I soon became a well-known beautician in the neighborhood.Because I’m the only one who can calm dogs that are hard to get along with – dogs that are strong and rambunctious, or dogs that are “problem” dogs that people avoid。
Regular customers started finding me when they saw me interacting positively with their pets. Although I don’t know why their dogs behave so much better with me than they do with other groomers or even with their owners, I can feel the unspeakable difference.
▲A variety of shaving tools
In San Diego pet stores, groomers are much better equipped than back home – there are different sizes of grooming shears, bath shampoos, and a special gentle hair dryer designed for dogs.
It’s all fantastic and I trained at a veterinary clinic in Mazatlan, so I’m very skilled with scissors.
The owners were thrilled to see me trim the shapes with scissors with speed and precision, and asked me to specialize in Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and all terriers. Those were the dogs they thought were the most difficult to care for, which happened to be the dogs the owners loved to spend the most money styling.
It costs $120 to get a medium-sized poodle trimmed at this store, and I get $60!For me, a small-town boy, this was a pie-in-the-sky job.
I spent only a few dollars a day, ate only 99-cent hot dogs from the convenience store for breakfast and dinner, and saved the rest of my paycheck.Until the end of the year, I saved enough money to move to Hollywood – one step closer to my dream.