I have been happily grooming dogs and cats for 30 years now. It is a vocation I cherish, but I have to admit, sometimes I wonder. I wonder why it is this job I was clearly put on earth to do. I look around me, at people I admire. My sister the librarian who has fired a love of reading in the minds of thousands of children. My other sister, a teacher, who gives the gift of loving to learn to small children. I think of doctors who cure the sick and scientists who discover things to improve the lives of humans everywhere. Lawyers who find justice. Farmers who feed the world. I admire veterinarians more than words can say. So why, why, was I given the drive and desire to groom dogs? In the greater scheme of things, my work does not seem very important. I joke that God gives everyone certain gifts. Some are brilliant at business, some are skilled artists... but me, he gave me the ability to scrub dog and cat butts.
I will probably never know just why I am programmed to do the work I do, but I know two things. I know I am glad of it. And I know that I have been blessed more than I can ever say by the relationships I have developed with the owners of the pets I groom. This was brought home to me today with great clarity when I received a phone call from a dear lady I met around 11 years ago when I first moved to Maine. I liked her instantly and as I got to know her over the years I liked her more and more. I pet sat her sweet little dog many times while she traveled. A friendship that I treasure developed. Her dog recently went to the rainbow bridge, and I miss her. I also miss my friend. It was a joy to me that she called today, and we had a happy chat.
And this got me to remembering all the wonderful souls I have met because I groomed their dog or cat. People who still send me cards and emails and gifts 12 or more years since I have seen them last. People who populate my memories with colorful, joyous thoughts. All because I was given the gift of loving to groom pets.
Sometimes I remember just how blessed I really am.