Manon’s story reminds us of the importance of grooming for maintaining a dog’s health

From Michelle Ewens (Yes You Chein), one of Les Amis’ trusted sympathetic groomers

Manon, before and after grooming, July 2023

Stories from a Groomers perspective:

This is a story about Manon, a wonderful Airedale Terrier who I first met last year when I was asked by Lynn Hull of Les Amis des Animaux to groom her. Manon had become a big scruffy teddy bear who had lived most of her life with her breeders who had unfortunately fallen ill, leaving her in need of a new home. She was then with new owners, who it seems may have continued to breed from her.

Luckily, she eventually found her way into the caring hands of Les Amis des Animaux, wonderful fosterers, and into mine for grooming in order to restore her to a beautiful Airedale – all in order to help with rehoming efforts. Manon is the most wonderfully natured dog, so excellently well behaved on the grooming table, calm and relaxed.

She was collected by her fosterers and I thought that was the last time I would see her.

Soon after she found a lovely new owner, this lady was unfortunately diagnosed with a debilitating disease which meant that sadly Manon had to be rehomed again. I was delighted to hear that her previous fosterers Marie-Michelle and Martin were taking her back, now as owners, and this time she wasn’t going anywhere else.

Manon came back to me 6 months after her first groom and during this second grooming session, I discovered a concerning swelling around one of her teats. Even though her new diligent owners brushed Manon daily, they wouldn’t of course have brushed her Mammary area. This region especially for bitches who have been repeatedly bred, is very tender and dogs won’t take kindly to being touched here.

After advising Marie-Michelle and Martin on my concern, they took her to the vets on the way home from me where the vet decided she needed to have a preemptive intervention to remove mammary glands on both sides of her body. This was because these swellings often pose a risk of developing into cancer.

Manons journey highlights the incredible nature of dogs like her, who, despite their hardships, and the changes she endured with several different homes in short succession, possess boundless love and resilience. Moreover, it underscores the vital role grooming plays in maintaining a dog’s health beyond just aesthetics. From untangling matted hair to allow air to get to the skin thereby keeping it healthy, to uncovering hidden health issues, grooming is a holistic process aimed at ensuring the well-being of our furry friends.

In my many years of grooming, I’ve encountered various other health concerns in dogs, such as infected ulcers, decaying teeth, and long seeds buried deep in the eye socket – demonstrating the importance of regular grooming not only for their appearance but also for their overall health and happiness.

Working with Les Amis des Animaux and dogs like Manon, brings me immense joy, knowing that there’s often a bright and hopeful outcome awaiting them. And that, is the tale of Manon, a testament to the transformative power of the Les Amis des Animaux team, of love from their fosterers, care from new owners and a good grooming session.