Breeds most at risk of heatstroke 

July 19th, 2016 by Rachel



July 19th, 2016 by Rachel


Benji’s Story

June 26th, 2016 by Rachel

This is Benji:


Benji first visited Paws of Par when he was a tiny puppy. He was a happy, very lively little boy, who feared nothing, loved lots of attention and did everything at 100 miles an hour. So what changed?

Well at Paws of Par it’s always super busy and when it came to Benji needing his next groom, unfortunately, because he hadn’t  been booked in in advance, there wasn’t a space. So, his mum decided to use another groomer, his coat was getting long and knotty and he was desperate for a trim. He was groomed by a mobile groomer and his mum felt happy that he was close by. However, after his groom, where he was clipped very closely to remove his tangles, Benji became withdrawn and sad.

A few months later his mum contacted me and rebooked him in for a groom. She didn’t feel comfortable using the previous groomer and wanted to come back to Paws of Par.

She dropped him off as she had done last time and left him with me for his groom. However, after 20 minutes I had to telephone her to return. Benji was terrified. He was climbing all over me, trying to catapult himself off the grooming table, squealing if he was brushed, he was terrified of the clippers and I couldn’t get near him with the scissors. I could feel his little heart racing and it really wasn’t safe to continue trying to groom him. He was also matted, so he was in desperate need of a groom. His mum returned and offered to stay to help hold him. She was shocked at the fear he showed and the behaviour she witnessed. He had never behaved like this previously a and it was obvious from his reaction that he had suffered a negative experience of somekind whilst being groomed by the previous groomer. His mum agreed that it wouldn’t be safe to continue the groom and decided to take my advice and visit the vets with him.

The vets prescribed a herbal sedative which, rather than knock him out completely, was designed to calm him down enough to get him through a groom safely. Later that day he returned to the salon. He was slightly calmer after the sedative and his mum cuddled him whilst I clipped and trimmed him as best I could. However, his fear was so great that he tried desperately to fight the sedative and get away and it was heartbreaking to witness.

A plan of action was then put into place. Benji was booked in every six weeks for the rest of last year and into this year! His mum would stay with him during the groom and before each groom he would take a herbal sedative. As time passed we planned to get him used to regular grooming, keep him knot free and gradually reduce his sedative. The hope was that we could rebuild his trust and enjoyment of grooming enough to stop the sedative being needed!


Benji and his mum before his groom

We have followed the plan since last September. Benji’s sedation has been gradually reduced before each visit and this week we went for it…NO sedation!!! It was amazing. Benji enjoyed a brush, hydro bath and blow dry and allowed me to clip his body without any protest. In fact he seemed relaxed and his face showed definite enjoyment. He looked for constant verbal reassurance and wanted lots of cuddles as you can see… 


It was such an amazing achievement for Benji to trust me enough to allow me to groom him. To see him relaxed and calm without any sedation was utterly fantastic. It shows that calm and gentle, restraint free handling, really does work. It’s taken 9 months of regular 6 weekly visits to get to this point but we made it!!!

So, now we are working on two elements. The first, using clippers on his legs (he’s still afraid of this). The second, his mum gradually leaving the salon, building up the time until she can drop him off and leave him for his full appointment. I know with continued time and patience we can most certainly achieve this.

Well done Benji ??? 

Benji before and after