Snail Visits Dog Groomer And Ends Up Getting Pampered Too
“She was adventurous and making the most of her day!”
Brittany Johnson’s pet grooming salon is different from most. She treats her clients to a spa-like experience in her backyard Grooming Garden. Outside in the shade, pets can smell the fresh air while being washed and pampered.
But her clients aren’t the only animals to visit Johnson while she’s working — bumblebees, butterflies, spiders, hummingbirds, and sometimes a chicken or two will drop by just to say hi.
Recently, Johnson was grooming a dog named Sam when one little creature made a big impression. A baby snail made herself at home on Johnson’s grooming supplies and refused to leave.
“Snails are drawn to old rotting wood so I think she was initially interested in my wooden repurposed grooming box,” Johnson said. “But as I watched her, she had this curious little personality and kept crawling from one shear to another like a snail jungle gym!”
“Since snails are nocturnal, usually I discover them throughout the day curled up napping on my shampoo bottles or under boxes, but not this little baby,” she added. “She was adventurous and making the most of her day!”
Johnson decided to take the little snail under her wing and give her a crash course on what it takes to be a pet groomer. But first, she had to see if the snail liked dogs — and if dogs liked her.
“I held her on my finger and let sweet Sam sniff her all over,” Johnson said. “He gave me this look like, ‘Lady, that isn't a cookie’ and flopped over puzzled as to why I was so fascinated by this oozy little friend.”
Johnson placed the snail on the ground, and she immediately started crawling toward the dog’s nose. When the brave snail explored Sam’s whiskers with her feelers and crawled up onto his nose, Johnson was shocked. “Sam was the best boy,” Johnson said. “I think he knew he ought to hold still for whatever this thing was that I was so excited about … You can tell that he is a gentle giant.”
Johnson then went through the whole grooming process with the little snail by her side. First, she gave Sam a de-shedding treatment in the tub, then a blow-dry and a trim.
“She bravely jumped all-in with trimming his toes and toe floofs, and brushing out his undercoat,” Johnson said. “She was super helpful and a naturally talented groomer.”
“If she had thumbs I would hire her in a heartbeat,” Johnson added.
But one of Johnson’s appointments wouldn’t be complete without a custom dog flower crown, made from whatever's blooming in her garden that day.
After making Sam a flower crown and doing a photo shoot with him, Johnson picked the tiniest flowers to make into a baby snail flower crown.
“Snail slime happens to be the best flower crown adhesive,” Johnson said.
After her grooming training, Johnson went one step further and surprised the snail with her own tiny salon, complete with her own bathtub, scissors and inspirational Jess Rona Grooming posters.
"The look that she gave me at the end was priceless!" Johnson said. "She seemed so snail-stoked."
When Johnson checked the tiny salon in the morning, the snail had left, leaving a little trail back to the garden.
But Johnson knows the snail won't be the last of her wild visitors.
"Maybe grooming wasn't the baby snail's career of choice, but that's OK," Johnson said. "We are all on a wild journey discovering who we are and what we are living for — one slimy path at a time."