2/17/19: Hot Tips 

  

I went to Tractor Supply last week with Bryn (who loves wandering up and down their aisles) to buy more dried co
w lung for her. It’s packed with goodness, and the ingredient is simple- dried cow lung. Period.  She loves this treat. 

Anyway, as we were leaving, the clerk noticed Bryn and said, “Did you know that this Tractor Supply offers a dog groom room- which is going national as we speak? It has everything you’ll need to clean and groom your own dog. 

“Each wash bay has a big steel tub with a tall steel back covering the wall behind it. You can’t mess up when you use the hose. Two sturdy plastic tub shelf trays raise the tub ‘floor’ much higher if your dog is small. 
You never need to bend.”  (Bliss!) 
“A portable ramp allows your pet to walk right up into the tub. Tie-up leashes keep her secure while you work. The hose has a control lever that offers hot and cold water you can adjust to your satisfaction and turn off and on instantly.  
Huge plastic pump bottles full of various favorite shampoos and conditioners sit right next to the wash station. Choose what you like. 
We provide two clean white towels. 
A separate, lower steel table is supplied with a pole with leashes of various lengths to help keep your dog secured while you work. There’s a wall-mounted blow dryer, a very nice metal comb, and even brushes. It’s also a fine place to trim fur and nails. (Bring your own nail clipper, though...) 
There is soft music, too- your choice. 
Finally, we supply a plastic apron to prevent your getting wet.”   

I was amazed. Somebody had thought this out! 
A smiling employee showed me the facility.  
It was spacious, clean and absolutely perfect for the job. Two people can groom their dogs there. And the price per dog?  $9.99!   

But wait! That’s not all! The next morning I was back with grubby Bryn to try it out. She was fine with the ramp, the tub and the whole thing. After two hours of concentrated work clipping her clean, blow-dried fleece (I’d brought my own scissors) I finished, with no sore knees or backache or dirty bathroom. I used the provided broom and dustpan to sweep everything up, tossed the damp towels in the towel bin, cleaned the big wash basin’s drain of hair and was about to leave with my newly minted Bryn when the same man showed up again.  

Get this: He was incredulous that I’d cleaned up the considerable mess I’d made. (Bryn’s snipped fur had been everywhere.) 

“No need to do that: that’s our job!”  

I hadn’t known of this perk! Then the guy asked me to wait for a few seconds... He returned shortly with a $5.00 discount chit and told me to apply it when I paid up front.  

Taken aback, I asked why.  

“Well, you did clean up...”  

Not that this gift is ‘policy’- he was just -generous. 

So. Total price: $4.99!!! 
Ridiculous.  
Wonderful!   

Here’s the thing. What I did in that shining clean room costs at least $100 at a regular groomer facility. NOT including tip. It’s the best deal anywhere

Tractor Supply stores nationwide are being modified to include this service. Watch for this service at a TS near you.  (So far, eleven stores have installed it in Michigan: that number is steadily rising.) 

And another tip:  

Everyone should consider buying this slick winter tool: SSD7500 8-inch snow and ice scraper with D-grip handle, available with next day shipping, for under $20.  

We tried to buy one at the local Home Depot, Lowes and Menard store, but they hadn’t heard of it, or knew of it only vaguely, so we found it on Amazon and ordered it. (Pictures show how it looks.)  

 

It came the next day. 

The shovel-like tool just might save you from a vicious fall on the thick ice that currently blankets much of Michigan. In the last week, ERs are seeing many more broken heads, ribs and limbs from serious tumbles on driveways and walks. Joe fell hard, twice; deep breaths and sneezing are agonies. Dressing is agony. He’ll be walking wounded for weeks. This winter has proved a challenge for all. (So far, I’ve been lucky, but that can change in an instant.)  

Good friends showed up brandishing the ice scraper, and cheerfully demonstrated how it could chop easily right through the inch-thick sheet of solid ice that blankets our very long driveway, the sidewalk and even the first foot of the garage’s interior.  
Bare cement and asphalt were exposed quickly. Dan and Vicki just flipped the ice chunks away. Wow! Now we can walk from our house right up to the garage without risking life and limb. The chopper is sturdy, razor-sharp, and simple to use. We consider it more valuable than snow shovels, which are ineffectual, or useless, for ice removal. 
Owning the ice chopper has lowered our anxiety level considerably. (The only danger is finding a way to chop to a firm surface that first time without falling on the ice you must stand on to begin.) 
We’ve also applied a big bag of chunky salt (available anywhere and kind to pet paws) to the ice-free surfaces. It’s effective down to minus fifteen degrees.   

Joe has a saying; 90% of life is maintenance. But in this sort of tricky winter it can be more like 98%. This useful tool helps to lower that percentage to a more acceptable level.  
Buy one for a friend!

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