Mindfulness on the Mountain magazine, Vet Tech Groomer Girl
I shall Gather up All the lost souls That wander this earth All the ones that are alone All the ones that are broken All the ones that never really fitted in I shall gather them all up And together we shall find our home
Poem written by Athey Thompson Taken from A Little Book Of Poetry By Athey Thompson Tales of the old forest faeries
Charlie Chaplin. Age 26. He wrote the poem below at age 70.
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is Authenticity.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call this Respect.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call this Maturity.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call this Self-Confidence.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call this Simplicity.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is Love of Oneself.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is Modesty. As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it Fulfillment.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart. We no longer need to fear arguments,confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide, and out of their crashing, new worlds are born.
Declawing cats is not a matter of just removing the nail. Instead, the last joint on each toe is surgically removed, preventing the claw from growing back. It is cruel and causes pain, lifetime suffering, and behavioral issues.
People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless “quick fix” for unwanted scratching. They don’t realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite. Declawing also can cause lasting physical problems for your cat.
In comparison, on a human being, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle. Now…gimme your 🐾 paw! 😡😤
Declawing is amputation: What most people do not realize is that declawing the cat requires amputation of the last digit. In a human, this would be the same as cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.
Regarding complications with the declawing procedure: Complications occur in over one half of patients and include pain, bleeding, damage to the foot pads, lameness, swelling, infection, and regrowth of the claw.
Declawing can cause litter box issues: For several days after surgery, shredded newspaper is typically used in the litter box to prevent litter from irritating declawed feet. This unfamiliar litter substitute, accompanied by pain when scratching in the box, may lead cats to stop using the litter box.
Declawed cats may have painful, physical problems: Once their claws have been removed, they can no longer perform their natural stretching, scratching, and kneading rituals. It is important to understand that scratching is normal behavior for cats, which has an inherent function. The primary reason cats scratch is to maintain the necessary claw motion used in hunting and climbing, as well as a means to stretch their body. Scratching serves to groom the front claws and leave markers of the cat’s presence. A cat’s claws grow in layers and scratching removes the worn outer layer to expose the new growth inside. Cat owners must therefore provide alternatives for cats such as suitable scratchers. If this ritual is prevented, they may become weaker and those scratching muscles will atrophy as they age and may experience debilitating arthritis in their backs and shoulders.
Walking becomes unnatural for a declawed cat: Cats walk on their toes, and declawing leads to changes in gait due to weight now being placed on the second phalanx. Furthermore, over time, the severed tendons may shrink, resulting in the bone curling down, giving a clawed appearance to the foot. Immediately after declawing, more weight is shifted to the back feet, altering the cat’s gait. Over time, the weight is re-distributed between the four feet, however the second phalanx was not designed to be a weight bearing bone, resulting in an altered gait and the possible development of arthritis in later years.
If you are concerned about your cat damaging your home, or want to avoid unwanted scratching, try these tips:
Keep their claws trimmed to minimize damage to household items.
Ask your veterinarian or groomer about soft plastic caps (like Soft Paws®) that are glued onto the cat’s nails. They need to be replaced about every six weeks and they grow out naturally with the nail. They are easy to apply and come in fun colors!
Provide scratching posts and boards around your home. Offer different materials like carpet, sisal, wood, and cardboard, as well as different styles (vertical and horizontal). Use toys and catnip to entice your cat to use the posts and boards.
Attach a special tape (like Sticky Paws®) to furniture to deter your cat from unwanted scratching.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home. Wilderness is a necessity.
We busy humans, spend most of our time at home or at the office, in our cars commuting, or sitting inside a cement office building all day. We rarely spend time outdoors, and as we become more disconnected as a species from the natural world, the incidence and likelihood of modern “DIS-eases”and illness continues to rise.
The prescription? Re-Wild yourself to the sacred bond with NATURE!
There are so many benefits to spending time in nature that the term ‘forest bathing’ has been coined and in some places is actually a doctor-prescribed treatment. Eco therapy, Earthing, and nature therapy retreats are also popping up around the world as people actually can not only feel the difference, but now scientifically document the benefits that our connection to Nature and The Earth have on our body, mind, and spirit.
Forest-bathing is a concept that has recently gained popularity in the western world, though the practice was originally developed in Japan in the 1980s, known as “Shinrin-yoku”-(“taking in the forest atmosphere or forest-bathing”). The sounds of the forest, the smell of the trees, the songs of the birds, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air — these things give us a sense of comfort. They ease our stress and anxiety and help us to relax and to focus. Communing in nature can restore our mood, give us back our Mojo, revive our energy, refresh and rejuvenate us.
Forest-bathing is the simple art of spending time in nature, and has several powerful health benefits for our holistic self- body, mind, and spirit.
🕉Benefits of forest-bathing include:
🙏Serotonin(the happy hormone) boost: After breathing in the negative ions rich in nature they produce biochemical reactions, such as increasing serotonin. Low serotonin levels are associated with negative mental health including depression and anxiety, while high serotonin levels are associated with positive mental health and happiness. Hence, participating in activities in nature and forest-bathing improves mental health.
🙏Boosted immune system function: A natural oil called “phytoncide”, which trees and plants emit to ward off germs and insects, is attributed to the immune-boosting power of forest-bathing. There are more than 5,000 substances that defend plants and protect them from bacteria, fungi, and insects. Phytoncides work by inhibiting or preventing the growth of the attacking organism. When we breathe in the clean fresh air, we also breathe in the phytoncides, these same airborne chemicals produced by plants. In a study, after only three days of forest-bathing, participants in a scientific study had a 50% increase in natural killer NKcells ( a type of white blood cells). Since Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal properties, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of these cells to protect and defend our bodies.
🙏Improved cortisol (stress) response and improves mood: A study conducted in Taiwan concluded participants’ scores of “‘tension-anxiety’, ‘anger-hostility’, ‘fatigue-inertia’, ‘depression-dejection’, and ‘confusion-bewilderment’” were significantly lower, whereas the positive mood sub-scale score of “vigor-activity” was higher. Participants in similar studies were tested for blood pressure and cardiovascular function, both of which showed impressive improvements. The immune system boost and lowered stress levels means less illnesses and “DIS-ease”. Forest bathing/Earthing also reduces risk of heart disease, improves heart rate variability, and reduces blood viscosity.
🙏Circadian rhythm regulation:
The natural light from the outdoors and Earthing help to normalize your circadian biology and reset your body’s internal clock- resulting in better quality sleep. Forest-bathing’s effects on your circadian rhythm and cortisol levels means deeper REM cycles and sounder sleep.
Inoculate your biome with healthy bacteria diversity. When we go into nature, we interact with the dirt and the air, which contain the natural biome of the forest. Soil and the human gut contain approximately the same number of active microorganisms, while human gut microbiome diversity is only 10% that of soil biodiversity and has decreased dramatically with the modern urban lifestyle. There is a direct relationship between the soil microbiome and the human intestinal microbiome. A novel environmental microbiome hypothesis, which implies that a close linkage between the soil microbiome and the human intestinal microbiome has evolved during evolution and is still developing. From hunter-gatherers to an urbanized society, the human gut has lost alpha diversity. Interestingly, beta diversity has increased, meaning that people in urban areas have more differentiated individual microbiomes. Since early childhood, we grew up with soil; we played in it, we taste it, we inhale it, and we drank water which had passed through soil. Moreover, we ingested plants grown on soils together with soil microbiota. Since pre-history, humans have willingly consumed soils as a supplement to their otherwise nutrient-poor local diet, a habitude called “geophagy”. Certain soils have detoxifying agents necessary for making certain food products edible, and for medicinal purposes, usually as treatments for gastrointestinal ailments.
The living environment of urban dwellers shows a lower natural biodiversity and exposure to environmental microbes. With our fast-paced, fast-food urban lifestyle we have lost contact with outdoor-associated natural beneficial microbiota which indirectly yet vitally affects the human gut microbiome and has negative consequences on our human health. Think about it! Our ancestors were in close contact with soil, due to their lifestyle, practicing agriculture and animal husbandry. Research documents that children encountering early contact with environments that are less hygienic such as natural outdoor settings, gardens, animals, and farms are less susceptible to developing autoimmune diseases.
Urban re-wildering to improve the urban biodiversity of our living environments can be protective against immune disease by greater contact with a diverse set of environmental microbiota and consequently can improve human health.
Our urban concrete lifestyle and the loss of direct contact with the soil causes interruptions in the microbiological cycle in urban environments in contrast to pre-industrial rural environments. Soil is therefore a key primary source of not only a healthy intestinal microbiome, but of overall wellness of humans.
Incorporating forest bathing into your life is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Practicing nature-based activities into your life offers many benefits to your longevity and overall well being such as: immune boosting,stress reduction and better sleep.
Forest-Bathing for Newbies:
The most straightforward way to forestbathe is to simply go outside into nature. However, a more holistic philosophy often accompanies forest bathing and Shinrin-yoku. This philosophy encourages mindfully holding the intention to connect with nature, to heal, and to make your time spent outdoors meaningful.
Forest bathing can be done by anyone and it is not a hike or a strenuous physical activity, rather simply just BE-ing with Nature, being open to receiving the gifts from Mother Earth, and allowing the healing properties into your life. The magic to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses. Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet. Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling through the leaves of the trees. Look at the different shades of green of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches. Experiencing nature’s patterns helps to stop the spinning thoughts of the Monkey Mind. Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in nature’s aromatherapy. Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths. Place your hands on the trunk of a tree. Dip your fingers and toes in a stream. Lie on your back, on the ground and bask in nature’s symmetry. Drink in the flavors of the forest and release your sense of joy and calm.
This is your sixth sense, a state of mind. Now you have connected with nature.
TECHNICAL TIPS TO HELP MY NEW ROCKSTAR GROOMERS THRIVE!
Pre-clipping/Bath If you have multiple dogs coming in at the same time, which eventually you will, wash them all first. The only time I do a pre-bath shave is if its a matter dog and I’m using a #7 or #10 blade. I wash cocker spaniels first now that I’m speedy, but I would suggest you shave it first until you really get into the groove of drying. Clean hair always cuts better. If you have a cocker or any other dog that can dry in the kennel, wash it first, dry it like 50%, then put it in the kennel dryer and wash and dry your other dog and groom him while the dog is still in the dryer.
Drying Run the dryer over the whole dog really quickly to open up the hair. Airflow is your best friend, the better the air can get into the coat the faster it will dry. Water flows downward (duh lol) so dry the line down the back to get it off there then dry from the bottom and butt up. I usually start with the belly and chest, butt, then feet and by that time the coat should open up and you can feel where you need to dry more.
Groom Have a routine that you do in order every time. For me its sanitary trim (#10 blade), scoop the corners of the eyes gently #10 blade if needed, paw pads (#10 blade in between pads), then I shave the body down. Once I’ve shaved the body down, I’ll trim nails then trim the body and feet. I wait to trim the nails out of preference because there is less hair to deal with if I have to grind. Then I will start on the head and face last. Find what works for you and stick with it. I shave the inside of the legs with a blade shorter to leave less hair for me to trim after a shave. And I think it looks nicer (PPs won’t notice).
Head/Face Teddy Bear Face. Use a 1/2” GC for shorter heads and 3/4” for regular. Shave backwards and towards the forehead. Lift the ears and shave gently from the inside of the ears with the grain of the hair to get those weird wild hairs. Shave the chin with the longer guard comb (I like shorter chins). This will set your length. Then you can use your thinners to trim with the chin length in a curve up to the back of the ear. If the dog is short faced, shave down the nose. If they are longer nosed, shave a triangle with the corners of the eyes, make sure to blend. Keep in mind no matter what breed, lines and transitions should look natural and blended well. Yorkie/Westie face: Try not to trim the hairs on the side of the head, you want a blocky (squared off) looking head so the longer hairs on the side help. I’m not really sure how to describe this. I’ll show you. 🐾😀✂️
It is important to remember that though it is true that “time is money,” trying to rush through grooming a pet can be a recipe for disaster and accidents. The pets safety and comfort comes FIRST. Because dogs are so sensitive to our moods, energy, and actions, a rushed groomer can cause the animal she is working on to stress out and behave in ways that actually slow the process down OR make it impossible to groom.
Another consideration is that when we rush, we may be more prone to accidents, and no one wants to risk injuring a pet (or ourselves) as we rush recklessly through our work. Then, too, we don’t want to lower the quality of our work by working too fast.
TIME TIP: If you have a pet that is having a bad day and extra wriggly. Give them a “rest” and work on your next groom. CALL the PP and inform them it will be taking a little bit longer today (and you will call when the grooming is done), because Fido is a little anxious today. Always use positive terminology and never refer to them or their behavior as being “bad”.
HERE ARE SOME PERSONAL TIPS I’M SHARING WITH YOU TO HELP YOU SUCCEED :
1. Develop your routine:
For example, when I put a freshly bathed and prepped dog on my table to groom it, I approach the task the same way every time. First I get out my trimmers and tidy up eye corners (where applicable), trim paw pads and sanitary area. Next I get out my clipper and do whatever clipper work needs to be done. After that I comb/brush through the pet and get my scissors out to do the scissor work. By following a set routine I am more efficient.
2. Keep good client notes
If the pet parent checks in his Bichon and says, “He looked great last time, but let’s go a little shorter today.” You will save time trying to figure out just how to groom that dog if you noted just how you groomed it last time. A glance at your notes from your last groom in iPass might say, “0 comb all over body.” Now you know to grab your “1 comb”.
3. Challenge yourself:
Take a look at the clock when you begin working on a pet. Here is an example: when I was a newer groomer, it took me ages to clip Poodle feet. I began to make a game out of it, timing myself, and trying new approaches to get the task done faster. By making a game of it, and watching the clock, I was able to train myself to get this job done very quickly.
4. Keep your tools in good shape:
Always have your station prepped and the tools you need ready. Sharp, clean, well maintained tools are a must if you want to get the job done well and quickly. Keep an eye on organization. Having your essential tools ready and where they belong saves time. Every second you spend rummaging for a nail trimmer or your favorite scissors is time you lose and eyes off the pet on the table. NOTE: Sheer Delight comes monthly (usually on a Thursday) to sharpen our sheers and blades and I’ll post the dates on the whiteboard when they are coming . WE ARE ONLY ALLOWED 4-5 PIECES PER GROOMER, DUE TO LIMITED BUDGET, SO CHOSE WISELY.
RESEARCH AND CE TO MAKE YOU A BETTER GROOMER AND FIND YOUR INDIVIDUAL STYLE AND MOJO!
Read trade magazines, online articles, PETCO training videos and MLC, watch YouTube videos, Groomer TV, and join some groomers groups and communities on facebook and Instagram. You can get advice from groomer forums from all over the world and see other ways to do things instead of just your Way. Keep in mind that just because someone has been grooming for 10+ years doesn’t mean they are any good. Maybe They may have been doing it wrong for the 10+ years, so take everything with a grain of salt, be open to learning new techniques, LISTEN and ask style questions from PP’s, find what works best for you, AND HAVE FUN! Your personal style, pet care, and professionalism will get you those repeat requests, great reviews, and lots of kisses from your furry clients.
We all learn new things everyday, so ask questions…this is your time to shine in a new career you love!