It’s proven that dogs can feel human energy. If we are happy our dogs feel the positive energy. If we are sad, they can feel our anxiousness. Like many dog-lovers I too feel if my dog accepts someone with a wagging tail, it’s a positive sign. And today we bring to you a dog groomer’s tale who feels “accepted” by dogs.
Claude Azih the head groomer at Romi’s Home Pet Nursery who has grown up with dogs around says, “I feel as if dogs accept me.” Having seen him groom dogs for the past few years, including Mr. Popo I can vouch that Claude genuinely cares for dogs. For instance, once he called to ask, “have you changed Popo’s food by any chance?” Because noticing Popo’s slight skin irritation Claude was concerned. On another occasion he asked us to get Popo’s teeth checked. And sure enough Popo needed teeth scaling.
Even though Claude is excellent at his job, he is a groomer by chance. Here’s his story: a dog groomer’s tale.
Did you always want to become a groomer?
Claude: Not really, I wanted to become a football player. In fact, for three-four years I trained at a football institute in my home country Cameroon. But I had to give it up due to lack of financial support. I have a degree in marketing too, and five years ago I came to Dubai to look for job. A regular 9-5 job! But other plans were in store, I guess.
Why did you change course?
Claude: Soon after arriving in Dubai I got a part-time job at a petting zoo cum stray rescue shelter. There were dogs, rabbits, goats, horses. I started working there for two-three days in a week, spending rest of the time looking for a mainstream job. But soon enough noticing my attachment and ability to handle animals the owner offered me a full-time job. I took it up but at that time I didn’t realise I was changing course. Although I handled the animals at the petting zoo, I soon started spending time at the kennel. There I looked after dogs and groomed them too.
But how did you learn to groom?
Claude: The owner of the rescue shelter was an expert groomer and she taught me everything I know about grooming. She literally changed my perception of grooming. While grooming is about making the dog look good, its more about ensuring they are in best of health. From teeth to coat to paws everything must be taken care of. And everything is related to a dog’s overall health. Often people think I may have a degree or something in grooming, but I don’t. I’ve learnt everything by doing.
Do you like being a groomer?
Claude: When I look back, I can say that I landed in that petting zoo cum kennel by chance, but I stayed by choice. Yes, I enjoy being a groomer. At Romi’s Home Pet Nursery when a dog walks into my grooming station s/he becomes mine. Their humans trust me to take best care of them and that’s a huge responsibility, which I like delivering on. However, one day when I gain more experience, I aspire to set up my own grooming business. I want to do grooming differently that’s not only seen as a service but as a means to develop a strong bond between the human [in this case a groomer] and the dog.
Did you grow up with dogs?
Claude: The place where I live in Cameroon most people have dogs. They are very well integrated in our society and accepted culturally. So, in my home country dogs roam about freely and go everywhere but they are fed by their humans. We too had a mixed breed dog called Whiskey. However, a tragic incident took him away from us when he was only 4 years old, and I was 13. That shook us so much that till date we have not had a dog at home anymore.
What would you do for the love of dogs?
Claude: If I’m a groomer today it’s because of my love for dogs. And I try to do everything to ensure that dogs under our care at Romi’s Home Pet Nursery are really at another home away from their homes.