For the last 17 years I have taken my dogs to Shari Mackesey of Door Creek Grooming near Madison. When I first met her, I had Tiger (Lhasa/Maltese cross) and Boo Boo (Lhasa Apso). Tiger was still quite young and I had been taking them to a different groomer who had clipped them both with a Lhasa style cut. When Shari met Tiger, she felt he needed his own identity and clipped him a little differently. Not only was he adorable but now he was himself. She was able to find his personality and express it through his hair cut. You could tell the difference in him as well. He understood and felt his “uniqueness”.
Eight years ago when I moved to Central Wisconsin I searched for a groomer but could never quite find anyone as artistic, talented and loving as Shari. I tried a few and one still makes me laugh. One of my client’s dogs told me he really liked a particular groomer in this area. He was a reliable source and I decided to try this groomer. Afterwards, when I picked them up, Maddie told me in no uncertain terms “Don’t ever bring me here again”. And so I drove the two hours to Shari’s every eight weeks with the dogs in tow. I would drop off the dogs and then head off to shop at the Willy St. Coop, Trader Jo’s or have lunch with my sisters.
With each new dog that has been added to our pack, Shari found their personality and created the perfect cut for them. She never was rattled when King would fuss about his legs, she just took her time and understood these things can be scary for little (5.5 lbs) dogs. As I waited while she made out the bill, Maddie would jump in her lap and give her kisses.
A few months ago I received a call from Shari’s Mother-in-law to tell me that she would not be able to keep our next appointment and she might not be able to go back to grooming. She told me Shari was sick and they didn’t know what was wrong with her. She was to have a complete body MRI that coming Monday. My heart sank as I thought of the challenges Shari must be facing. In addition to being an amazing dog groomer, she is also a wife and mother of three boys, now beginning and ending college. Becky and I both sent love and light to her and the family.
Just a few weeks ago, I received another phone call, this time from Shari’s father. Apparently he wasn’t aware that someone had already contacted me. I returned his call and learned that Shari has been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). My heart sank again. He shared with me that she has gone down quickly, now barely able to talk or walk. They were taking her to the Mayo clinic the next day. I let him know how much we appreciated having her in our life and what a very special soul she is. And to please tell her how much she has meant to us, we are thinking about her and sending her love.
Sometimes we just can’t fathom why something like this happens. I’m trying to remember that everything happens for a reason…that our soul has chosen certain experiences for this lifetime. But still, I feel sad and powerless. Shari is such a bright light, a loving, consummate dog lover. It’s hard to think of her facing this struggle. Please join me in sending her love, light, prayers and healing. It is the one thing we can do.