April 28th marks the third anniversary of Harley’s untimely death at the hands of a negligent groomer. The acute grief we felt has passed, replaced by sadness and loss. She will be forever loved and never forgotten. Her little walnut box of ashes sits on my bedside stand, and I wear a ring with a few of her ashes tucked inside. Sometimes I talk to her to tell her how much we miss her and love her. Love never dies – it merely takes a different form.
It is said when cardinals appear, angels are near. A cardinal appeared in a bramble bush where we were looking for Harley shortly before we found her lifeless body on the boulevard of a busy street after she had been hit by a car. The cardinal looked at me, turned its head this way and that, and flew off. The moment our eyes met, I knew Harley had passed on. The cardinal, I believe, was sent to prepare me and let me know Harley’s spirit lived on – just not in the form we loved. Cardinals have since shown up on the doorstep on the first anniversary of her death, sing in the trees, swoop in close now and again to sit on the fence, and we even have cardinals who nest in a tree in the backyard. Usually, only one showed up, but since Sammy, our rescue crossed the Rainbow Bridge last year, two cardinals often show up together. Most often a female and a male. God, Divine Love, the Universe provide us with signs like these to let us know love never dies.
Pet grooming is not a licensed or regulated industry and pets die at the hands of negligent groomers every day. Every year on the anniversary of Harley’s passing I dedicate a post to her memory. I will continue to do so until the grooming industry is regulated and groomers are required to meet certain standards for licensing and inspections to better ensure the safety of pets in their care. Most groomers are people who love animals, love what they do, and care for the animals they groom to the best of their abilities. But that isn’t enough. Licensing and regulatory oversight will not prevent grooming deaths from occurring, but it will limit them – and hopefully weed out groomers who should not be part of the multi-billion dollar industry. That is billion with a ‘b’.
Think about it the next time you drop your beloved pet off with the groomer. Do you assume the groomer is licensed and is required to meet certain standards to maintain their license? Are you confident everything is being done to make sure your pet receives the highest quality care and services and is safe with the groomer?
Take a moment on behalf of your fur babies and contact your state legislators and encourage them to draft bills to ensure licensing requirements and regulatory oversight is adopted into law. It is my sincere hope and eternal prayer that no one ever has to receive a phone call as we did on April 28th, 2018…..