This groomer knew that the emergency grooming session was so necessary.
When dog groomer and shop owner Kari Falla was browsing through Facebook earlier this month, she had no idea that what she saw would compel her to leave her house and open her business in the middle of the night. At the time of her browsing, she came across a post from a couple that had just rescued a dog from the side of the road but weren’t able to keep the poor pup overnight. The pair had been able to save the dog from being hit by a car and posted on Facebook that they needed someone to take him in, and Falla knew what she had to do.
She messaged the person who posted on Facebook and told them to meet her at the business she owns: BGE Grooming in Florida. Though it may seem trivial or excessive to groom a dog who has been living this way for what Falla suspected was several years, the groomer knew better than to downplay the pain this dog must have been in. As soon as he arrived at her shop, she got to work.
“They arrived at my shop at midnight and it took three hours to groom him. A normal groom only takes an hour-and-a-half,” Falla said. “When a dog is matted that badly, it can cause its blood flow to stop as well as bruising to the dog.”
In addition to the bruises on the dog, Falla found that the dog was unable to even walk because of the state of his fur, that his butt was sewed shut from matting so he wasn’t able to poop, and that the mats had formed into a cast over his body. In those three long hours, he acted like a perfectly trained pup and was still for Falla, as though he knew that she was trying to help.
It took two hours for Falla to shave the fur off of the dog, now named Lucky, followed by two flea baths and two hypoallergenic baths to soothe his skin. He was severely infested with fleas and had likely never had a bath or a grooming session despite being 4 years old already, but Falla helped change all of that.
“I could tell he’d been that way for a few years from the pictures. You could tell it was extreme neglect,” Falla said. “I knew it was bad, but nothing prepared me for what I saw. It smelled like death and the dog could not walk. They had to carry it.”
Afterwards, he was taken to the vet to stay overnight for observation and then get neutered, and that’s when the vet learned the sad truth about Lucky: he was also deaf and blind. When his procedure was over, he was then taken in by a foster family as the groomers and fosters dutifully looked for his previous owners. According to state law, an animal’s owner must be notified, if possible, if their animal has been found and that the animal undergo a quarantine/holding period before being rehomed. That’s why the foster and groomer (reluctantly) made an effort before declaring Lucky adoptable.
He is doing great in his current home and was even wagging his tail while still at BGE Grooming, something he wasn’t able to do before.
“Once we shaved him, he was wagging his tail and was so happy. I knew I did the right thing,” Falla said. She added that despite grooming many rescue dogs in the past for free, Lucky’s case was the worst she’d ever seen: “It made me cry.”
You can find out more about Lucky’s rescue/emergency grooming session on BGE Grooming’s Facebook page.