Grooming with Balance Trouble

Graham is a golden retriever. Golden retrievers tend to have gorgeous fur that needs a good brushing and lots of attention to keep the home free of any fuzzy balls. The sight isn’t pretty… even on a rug that almost matches said golden’s fur.

Because I walk with crutches, and because my balance isn’t quite where I’d like it to be, grooming Graham is difficult. He’s not a large golden, sitting at 58 lbs and coming to my waist (remember… I’m 4’8) but I need to be able to reach under his ears, his belly, the feathers on his legs and so on and so forth. Getting him dressed is equally as challenging. His gentle leader is simple for the most part but putting his vest on, or jackets and booties in the winter, is so much more complicated. The clasps are at the bottom, under his belly. His front paws are easy to grab with a simple command but there’s no way to then grab his back ones.

What’s a girl to do?

One day I was shopping at IKEA, looking for nothing in particular, when I came across a lovely little bench. It had a shelf for storage and had a solid frame. The color matched a lot of the furniture already in my apartment and the height made it great for sitting on. At the time I bought it on impulse. A few days later, an idea struck me.

Graham's grooming bench: an IKEA bench, basket, yoga mat and more.
Graham’s grooming bench: an IKEA bench, basket, yoga mat and more.

The bench was a perfect height for Graham. He liked to sit on it from time to time and I wasn’t really using it for anything. I grabbed some storage containers and got to work. The top of the bench has slats so I took a yoga mat and cut it to size, both to be comfortable for paws and to also catch any loose fur. Next I gathered all of the grooming and medical supplies I had for Graham, and for Simi too, and put everything together.

I’ve had the bench now for about a month and it’s absolutely a dream. I use it all the time and Graham knows to go to it as soon as we get inside. Putting his equipment on, brushing him and even taking care of muddy paws is a breeze.

I’m thinking about posting a video with the bench in action this weekend. Stay tuned, gotta run!

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