Tara The Christmas Dog

I’m a dog groomer. I stay open pretty late on holidays so last minute pets can look especially pretty for holiday celebrations.

On this one Christmas Eve, I was already closed. The computer and register down for the day. I was cleaning up. A man came and knocked on the door. I told him I was closed. He was crying. He had a dog, a big lab named Tara who was dying. She had always loved water and he wanted her to have one last bath before she went. I said no. He literally begged me. Everyone was closed, it was late. I was touched and agreed. He carried her in, she could no longer walk. We put her in the bathtub and I started giving her a bath. A good rub, conditioner and a gentle dryer with warm air. While I worked, the man told me about Tara, she loved water and could even fish. They were from Ireland and had been boating and fishing all over he world. She looked at me with the most intelligent eyes, filled with pain and even yes some gratitude. She really did like her bath. Afterwards he carried her out to the front and laid her on the floor to pay me. I refused. I could not take money for giving a dying dog a bath on Christmas Eve. I just couldn’t. It went against everything I believed in as an animal lover, as a human being, as a Christian. I could not take payment. In fact, I’d dislike anyone who DID take payment. After some disagreement he agreed, but left a small armount as a “tip”. When he turned to pick Tara up, she had left us. He carried her body out to his car and I locked up.

The next Christmas on Christmas Eve, the same man came back. He had a new puppy. A puppy who every year since then gotten a bath on Christmas Eve in loving memory of Tara the Christmas dog.

Melody from CA