COVID-19

4 January 2021

LOCKDOWN NO 3
I have been holding off making any kind of announcement because, quite frankly, I have really struggled with making a decision. This announcement confirms that I will continue to offer a limited service, prioritising the welfare of your pooches, and sets out my commitment to support all customers where we may need to re-schedule over the next few weeks ahead.
As with the Lockdown in March, there is so much contradictory guidance being given from a variety of sources, including Trading Standards, Environmental Health and MSPs about what we can and cannot do. And then there’s the “what we can and what we should do” dilemma ……. there’s also the added complication of me ensuring that I am insured to groom ……. which relies on me following government guidance. So when everyone is singing from different song sheets, it’s not just the bath water that gets muddy!!
At the moment, I intend to offer a reduced service, but that is obviously subject to change according to the situation. Finding a balance between ensuring a duty of care to the furry favourites I am entrusted to look after, while also taking account of the public health emergency, the safety of you and yours and me and mine, remains paramount. The guidance is clear….. if I can, I should work from home, but if I can’t, then going to work is a reason to leave home …… and dog grooming remains on the list of businesses which can stay open to ensure the welfare of our 4 legged friends (updated 8 January 2021).
Now, I could, of course, work from home, but then my clients would need to travel to me. Travelling to the Groomie is regarded as non-essential travel, unless for essential welfare purposes. The definition of this is subjective and ambiguous, which presents the potential for putting my insurance in jeopardy. So for me, working from home, in the main, is not an option.
I don’t use public transport to get to work. I work alone. I don’t come into physical contact with hoomans when carrying out my work. I wear gloves at the petrol station. And my COVID protocol fully complies with Government guidance.
My understanding of the guidance as it currently stands is that I can continue to offer service to those most in need of it, as a preventative endeavour. I have several woolly/heavy coated breeds, and dogs with medical conditions who are due their groom, without which, I believe, would compromise their welfare going forward. Some I know would quickly become matted from this point on and suffer in the cold weather as their coats get wet and heavy, with matts (and snowballs….. ) which just don’t dry, leading to skin issues and general discomfort, and who will have hard matts forming between paw pads with the potential for extreme irritation/infection when compounded by rock salt and grit. All this, despite the best efforts of their lovely hoomans. The SSPCA have educated the Scottish Government on the importance of regular grooming being paramount to the welfare of specific breeds of dog and they have recognised this by allowing us Groomies to continue to do what we do best.
After much soul searching, I have therefore concluded that I will continue to offer a limited service for those furries who need me most during this latest Lockdown (for as long as the conditions allow). Every single one of my doggy clients is important. That’s a given. But some need me more than others right now. I therefore need to temporarily withdraw service from dogs with matt-free hair in need of a trim, and for those big and not so big bubbas in need of a bath and brush only. Hopefully, at worst, it will only be a matter of rolling forward appointments to their next due date. Some other pooches who can wait a couple of weeks longer than normal will be asked to do so. This will enable me to provide a required service, whilst respecting the spirit of the rules of Lockdown. And you are assured that as soon as is possible, normal service will resume.
I’ll be in touch with each of you individually as your appointment comes onto the radar when we will assess your dog’s condition together. I’m sure you can appreciate how difficult it is for me to plan ahead just now, when we don’t know how long this situation will last, and I thank you all for your continued support of Wagg-On and your co-operation during these very difficult times.
And of course, if anyone who is offered service wishes to postpone for any reason whatsoever, I completely understand.
EDIT: If snow arrives, please note that I will not risk the Wagg-On or risk adding to the already stretched NHS by driving in it.
Please note that I continue to be unable to offer appointments to new clients at this time.
Stay safe everyone.
With warmest wishes and woofs
Christine

20 November 2020

And so, the clock has chimed 6pm and many of us now find ourselves in a second Lockdown.

I’m feeling very thankful, as we enter Tier 4, that the Scottish Government have recognised the importance of professional dog grooming for the wellbeing of our furry friends and I am therefore delighted to be able to continue to provide the Wagg-On Dog Grooming service during this latest Lockdown.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-businesses-and-workplaces-that-must-close-and-can-open-at-each-protection-level/?fbclid=IwAR3xuzFxPpAEhtohdLWTVIBIpDJBEzrnUWiGL9P3CY3t53Im6BWEXJVf2eI

All COVID secure protocols which have been in place since March, and which were reviewed and adapted in May will, of course, continue. The only addition, given the higher level of infections in our area, is a request to all my lovely dog pawrents to now wear a mask for handover. Yes, it’s Belt ‘n’ Braces …….. and Masks! While I’m sure that the 3m distance lead I use to collect my furry favourites from their secure location, together with my mask, is sufficient, I believe this additional safety precaution can only enhance our mutual protection.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and co-operation throughout what is such a strange and difficult time for everyone …… and of course, if anyone would prefer to postpone an appointment until this latest period of Lockdown is eased, just let me know and we can reschedule.

I would reiterate that I am unable to offer appointments to new clients at this time.

Stay safe and well everyone.

With warmest wishes and woofs,

Christine

 

28 MAY

Dog Buns…..Be Gone!

Wooooo(f)Hooooooo!!

Today’s announcement has given me the green light I’ve been waiting for and I’m delighted to say that the Wagg-On will be back on the road from tomorrow. It’s by no means “business as usual” but everyone who had an appointment cancelled due to the current crisis will shortly receive an email from me with the offer of a new appointment, together with a DOGUMENT, which details my new working practice and the precautions I will be taking to help to mitigate the risk of contracting/transmitting the virus whilst providing a grooming service. Your appointment offer will stand for 24 hours and I just need to hear back from you, via email (MUST be email please as this will be added to your records as an acceptance of my new Terms and Conditions of Service), to confirm your booking. So ….. please look out for your email over the next couple of days…..

All Wagg-On dogs are VIPs (Very Important Pooches). Every. Single. One. But … some need me more quickly than others because of their coat type, length of time since their last groom and/or health conditions. I have 150 dogs to attend to. It’s only Me, Myself and I running Wagg-On. I will be working longer hours and extra days to take care of all the loyal Wagg-On pooches as quickly as is possible …. and as well as grooming them, I also have additional cleaning and disinfection procedures to carry out during and between dogs (so the old adage “why don’t you just stick a brush ……” really does apply!!!). I thank you for trusting me to prioritise your dog according to need …. and I thank you too for not asking to skip the queue .

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience,
your support and for your loyalty throughout this very difficult time for all of us.

Look forward to seeing all my Wee Woolly Mammoths and Big Giant Yetis….. and their lovely hoomans ….. soon! ❤️

‼️ PLEASE NOTE I AM UNABLE TO OFFER APPOINTMENTS TO NEW CUSTOMERS AT THIS TIME ‼️

7 MAY

 

Hello everyone

Just checking in……

I’ve had a really wobbly few days recently. I miss my furries very much was hoping that today’s announcement would signal that it was considered safe to return to work but it seems that the opposite is the case. To quote wee Nic, we are at a critical stage in the pandemic, with Scotland’s rate of infection increasing more quickly than anywhere else in the UK…… and so, as you all now know, my stance hasn’t changed and I will continue to stay off the road until it’s deemed safe by the experts to ease the restrictions. From what was said, it would seem that the measures could be eased before 28 May if the figures are right. We will just need to have patience for a little bit longer.

I have my Procedures sorted out, my PPE in place and I’m ready to go….. when the time is right. I’m desperate to get back to work and to restore my furries to their former glory….. when the time is right. I won’t say a thing about what other businesses have chosen to do ….. it is nothing to do with me, but my business IS my business and I will continue to do what I consider to be the responsible thing during this time.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your patience, for your understanding, for your consideration and for your support. I put my heart and soul into Wagg-On and love your furries like my own. My business is my passion. It is my livelihood. It is my only source of income. And I want to do the right thing by every single one of you. I believe that by remaining closed just now, that’s just what I’m doing.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any concerns about your pupster’s wellbeing ……. Wagg-On is still open in the ‘virtual’ sense. But from the checking in I have done with you all again today, I am happy that you are “on it” and doing a fab job.

Hold tight everyone and I hope to see you all again soon ❤️

21 APRIL

Just…. brush, brush, brush…… and remember, I’m at the end of the phone anytime if you need further advice on maintaining your pupster’s comfort …….. long hair is no biggie, matted is….so here’s a quick reminder……

Wipe eye and bum boogies daily
Check ears regularly – any redness or odour should be checked out by Vet
Brush and comb to the skin…. no tugging mind, and always support your furbaby’s skin
Reward and praise their co-operation
Walk on concrete as much as possible to help keep nails down
Check regularly for ticks
Check paw pads regularly and make sure they are clear of debris
If fur is flopping into your dog’s eyes, try tying it up with a bobble
….. And leave the scissors and the clippers alone…..

https://www.vets-now.com/2020/04/dog-grooming-injury/…

16 APRIL

Hello everyone. I just wanted to check in with you all. Firstly, I hope that you are staying safe and well. I hope too that none of you or your family have been affected by COVID-19. This nasty virus really has changed life for us all, hasn’t it? The impact is staggering.

Following the Government’s announcement today, I just wanted to confirm that, for the safety of you and yours and me and mine, I will continue to comply with their instructions and remain closed for what will be at least a further 3 weeks.

I personally cannot wait for Lockdown to be lifted, and I am sure you all feel the same way. I just want to get back to work and take care of all my furry friends again. But we must all be patient and do so only when it is deemed safe by the experts and by all accounts, that is most definitely not yet.

In the meantime, I have been working hard to develop new protocols to ensure that Wagg-On can continue to minimise the risk of spreading and/or contracting the virus once the restrictions are lifted, as the threat of the virus will obviously still exist. I will share these protocols with you when the time is right. Let’s just say I hope the dogs recognise me when they next see me!

I have also been looking ahead to my diary for when I’m back on the road – I know that there are lots of furries who will need my attention. Every single one of my canine clients are VIPs (Very Important Pooches) and their welfare is, of course, paramount. They are all a priority. Each and every one. However, Wagg-On staff is limited to me, myself and I and so I would ask for your continued patience and understanding when I am finally allowed to open my doors again. I have tentative plans in place, but since we do not yet have an end date in sight, these plans are very much provisional. You can rest assured that the safety, comfort and wellbeing of my Wagg-On family will continue to be my main concern and overdue appointments will be prioritised on the basis of need. I will be working longer hours and extra days, doing whatever it takes, to ensure that my furbabies are restored to their former glory as soon as is practically possible, so please bear with me.

In the meantime, please remember that there are lots of resources available on this page and on my website to help you maintain your pupster’s coat. Please also remember that I am only a phone call away if you need any further advice on coat care and keeping your VIP comfortable …… and keep on brushing to ensure they are matt free and to prevent shave-offs when I see you again.

Wagg-On wouldn’t be here without you, and I never forget that. I look forward to seeing you all on the other side when we can all return to the ‘new’ normal …… and hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.

Keep safe everyone.

Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

With warmest wishes and woofs,

Christine

6 APRIL

I’m sure all the Wagg-On furbabies are loving having their hoomans around all day….. and you will be loving spending more time with them too…. but when we’re through this and returning to some new sort of normal, we don’t want our furry friends to suffer/develop separation anxiety. Maybe time to consider this is now and develop a routine where they have alone time? Worth a thought.

https://www.dogstrust.ie/…/covid-19-lockdown-advice-for-dog…

6 APRIL

 

You still brushing???? Hope so. Just a wee reminder that there is lots of really useful stuff on this page to help you keep your furry comfortable while we are in Lockdown. Ah, ah, ah….. please put the scissors down…….. remember, wipe daily eye boogies, wipe daily bottom boogies, brush and comb to the skin, while supporting skin, to prevent matts….. matt free is key to your pooch being comfy….. and if fur is in their eyes, try tying it up/back with a bobble or clip. If you need any further advice, please get in touch…. I’m only a phone call/text away ❤️

2 APRIL

Just keep on brushing….. matt free = comfortable….. even if fur is long…..lots of resources on this page to help you keep your furbaby comfy til I see you again.

27 MARCH

I am concerned about the number of adverts I am seeing for “pet home grooming kits” right now. Many of these kits contain clippers and since the Government has enforced the closure of grooming services across the land, the temptation may be to purchase these and have a go at home. Please, DON’T. It takes weeks of training and practise to develop the skill required for clipping a dog’s coat and if not done correctly, it could, at best, ruin the coat, or at worse, cause significant injury. The safest way to ensure your dog’s comfort and safety is to maintain a matt free coat. Even if his/her coat is long and heavy, as long as it’s matt free, your dog will not be in discomfort.

Below are some photographs of when it all goes wrong…..grateful thanks to PetSmart, U.S.A. for providing and to Elle Wilson for sharing.

Keep safe everyone. Elbow dunts and ear scratches for my favourites.

Christine ❤️

25 MARCH

During these difficult and unprecedented times, when we are all focused on the health and wellbeing of ourselves, our family and of all those around us, when we are each doing our bit in a bid to stop the spread of this virus and to support the NHS, we must also do all that we can to continue to maintain the welfare of our canine community. Groomers across the land are closed, so for the foreseeable future, the hoomans are on it! You will find several resources on this page to help you maintain your dog’s coat and reduce the need for shave down when normal life resumes.

Your furbabies may pick up from you that something’s different……you’re around all day, you may be feeling anxious, their walks are curtailed, their social lives, like ours, have stalled……remember, they need extra hugs too!

Keep safe and well everyone ❤️

24 MARCH

Since all of you, my lovely, loyal customers, are on regular grooming schedules, you are (mostly!) very good at keeping your furbabies’ coats well groomed and maintained. However, since none of us know how long this unprecedented situation is going to go on for, I thought it would be useful to offer some hints and tips to help you keep on top of developing Yetis and Wee Woolly Mammoths! I have borrowed from some sources as I don’t have a furbaby of my own to demonstrate on. Credit is given where due. At this moment, it seems Amazon is still taking orders and making deliveries, so it looks like anything I have mentioned below can be obtained from them…. at least at the moment.

For our longhaired furries, and especially if s/he has a wool/curly coat, daily brushing and combing is a MUST to prevent knots and tangles. But then you already know that, right? Matts are the result of friction and poor grooming. Matts are very uncomfortable to dogs as they pull at the skin and restrict normal blood circulation. The only option with a matted dog is a shave down – trust me, it’s not a good look! None of us, neither you, me nor your furbaby, wants that, so, please brush and comb your dog’s fur once a day – after all, we’ve all got plenty of time on our paws now!

See Picture 1 below for the most important areas (with credit and thanks to Joanne Rumming)

Don’t tug and pull when you are brushing as you will sensitise your pet to this process and it will become very difficult to get co-operation thereafter. Regular and often, nice and gentle, always rewarding good behaviour is the way to go. “Checking” with a comb just means after you have brushed, you can check there are no matts by running your comb through.

I’ll post a link to a video demonstrating the correct brushing process on a wool coat on a separate post.

The friction caused by collars, coats and harnesses will cause matting, so after a walk, make sure the areas which have been in contact with these items are brushed immediately.

If matts build up, washing your dog or allowing swimming, will only make the matting worse (think woolly jumper in a tumble dryer! The fur, like fibres, will become tighter and tighter, making it very uncomfortable for your pooch as the matts will pull on his/her skin), so maybe consider curtailing aqua adventures for the time being.

What to do if I find a matt?
If you find a matt, don’t pull and tug. You can buy some detangling spray and work by brushing gently at the matt for short bursts of time to break it.. Always support your pet’s skin as you brush to ensure s/he is comfortable at all times.

If you have a short haired dog, s/he still needs groomed to maintain health and hygiene. A Zoom Groom is a fabulous piece of kit for helping to remove dead hair, dead skin build up and also stimulate healthy oil production. Picture 2 below shows what you are looking for.

Tick Tock…..these horrible little bugs don’t know we’re on lockdown……remember to check your pet on return from walks as it’s getting to that time of year. If you find a tick, remove it immediately to protect your pet. Tick Remover Tools, such as these, make this easy to do….just make sure you twist as you pull to ensure all the ‘mouth parts’ are removed too to prevent any infection. Picture 3 below shows what tool you are looking for. And don’t forget usual regular flea/worm treatment.

Eye boogies……you all know the importance of not allowing these to build up because I’m always on the case! Gentle wiping with boiled, tepid water on a cotton pad will moisten and allow you to wipe them away.

Bottom boogies ……now, more than ever, please pay attention to poopy bums! We don’t know how long til next Wagg-On bath, so please check this area regularly and help your furry keep clean.

Nails….there are loads of video clips on how to cut nails online but any accidents and your furbaby will remember it forever……so, for now, walking on concrete will act like an emery board and keep them in check.

Ears……keep an eye on them! If they are red or smell different, then see your Vet as it could be an infection.

I hope these hints, tips and resources will be of some help until we’re back to normal again. There may have to be some post-Corona cuts and shorter than desired furbabies at the end of all of this, but it’s fur…..and it will grow again. The comfort and welfare of our furry friends is the most important thing.

Keep safe everyone. Hope to see you all again soon.

With warmest wishes and woofs
Christine

22 MARCH

I was hoping that I would not need to write a Post such as this, but I’m afraid the time has come.

It is with a very heavy heart that I announce my decision to temporarily suspend the service provided by Wagg-On Dog Grooming due to the current outbreak of COVID-19. This situation will be under continuous review and my service will resume as soon as it is deemed ‘safe’ to do so by the experts. I plan on rolling appointments forward but since we are dealing with an unknown quantity, it’s difficult to plan ahead at the moment.

Since this virus started, I have been firefighting, putting in place every precautionary measure possible in an attempt to ensure the safety of you, my lovely Wagg-On Family, and of myself and my own family. However, it seems now that the risk to us all is just too great and so I have made the heartbreaking decision to stop for now until the peak of the virus is reached.

This decision will immediately wipe out my livelihood, and for who knows how long. It will also completely wipe out my ‘lovelihood’, because as you all know, I just love what I do. However, for the sake of the health and well-being of all of us and our families, I believe that this is the right thing to do. I do hope you understand.

I will be in touch with each of you individually as your appointments come onto the radar, and will, of course, post updates here. You can rest assured that Wagg-On will be back on the road when we get through this and are all safely through the other side.

Please look after each other and my furbabies til I see you all again……..in what will be my brand new, shiny Wagg-On! Timing, eh?

Keep safe everyone. I hope to see you all again soon.