The Phoenix monsoon season has definitely shown it’s ugly face this year. Last time I experienced the wicked capabilities of a monsoon storm was about twenty years ago on the west side of Phoenix. That storm kept me stranded at work until midnight. The streets turned into raging rivers, sweeping cars off the road with people inside. Muddy flood water seeped into homes and neighboring businesses causing panic and chaos.
The rain was coming down in sheets. I stood in horror watching the storm from my workplace storefront window. I remember seeing bicycles and city trash cans floating down the streets in a parade-like fashion. Police cars were packed with children, and it was disturbing to think about why. I just froze, with a creepy helpless feeling… until seeing a little dog standing on top of a street light control box on the street corner. We still had power, and only mild flooding. But the little dog wasn’t as lucky, so I rolled up my pants, grabbed a few towels and ventured across the parking lot in knee deep water on a K-9 rescue mission.
The straggly terrier mix was soaking wet and shaking uncontrollably. I threw caution to the wind and snatched him to safety. Wrapping the pooch in a towel, I wondered if he’d still be grateful once I took him back to my pet salon workplace. There’s probably nothing more scary to a dog than a near drowning experience, but the grooming shop usually ranks pretty darn high on list of doggy dislikes.
Now we were both soaking wet, scared, and hadn’t a clue when or how we’d get back home to our families. In situations like this, comfort is first priority. We already had shelter, but there was a serious lack of cookies and junk food for our forced upon us slumber party.
Deciding my new friend needed a name, Lucky seemed fitting. The pet salon was located at the base of a mountain in an elevated strip mall. lt was probably the worst job I ever had, the only good thing worth remembering is it saved me and Lucky safe from a monsoon nightmare.
Pizza, coffee, dog food, cookies, and soda. That’s what I was able to find in the strip mall, all bought barefoot and in soaking wet clothes. Lucky was drying in a kennel on a fluffy pink towel, looking far more comfortable than me. He had a nice dinner, curled into a little ball, and maybe for the first time… happy to be in a groom shop.
Hours went by, no phone service and no way to get home. I pushed two grooming tables together making a bed for the night. A bed I’m happy to say I never had to use. The flood waters went down by about 11:30 pm, the street barricades were lifted, and that meant I could finally go home. But not Lucky, he spent the night in a clean dry bed, without a check-out date.
The next morning Lucky greeted me, which was a pleasant change for me. I was used to working alone in a no frills gloomy grooming shop six days a week. The first appointment for the day I gave to Lucky. Taking into consideration the fact Lucky may never be reunited with his family, I decided to created a position for him. If he was going to be the shop’s model dog, a serious makeover was a necessity.
Lucky spent eight days at the dog grooming salon. His owner located him by leaving a picture and phone number at the pizza place I visited on that stormy night. “Henry” was immediately reunited with his family, but I still saw him on a regular basis. Lucky Henry became a regular six week client for years, right up until the day when I’d never see him again. Here’s why…
Economy Dog Grooming after years of working 50+ hours a week for a flaky absent owner, I was let go. No notice, no explanation, just a last paycheck and a note stating the store was closing forever, effective immediately. Thanks a lot Economy Dog Grooming for taking the client files, ruining my Christmas, and putting my family in such a tough spot.
It may be twenty years ago, but I never forget a jerk.