Howl of the Wild Poetry Site

Published  Works




I am sitting here on a rock so cold,

Listening to the sounds of new and old.

The new sounds-technology-sound so bold,

The old just whisper till your heart is sold.

Do not ask me why I sit here,

For I will not answer, just wipe a tear.

The sounds of old will disappear,

Killed by the new, as I fear.

As time will slowly weave its mist,

I find myself tightly clench my fist.

One day this rock will not exist,

Remembered only from a list,

Of things, that were in the past,

Even that list will not last.

Setting now, the die is cast,

Unless broken now it will hold fast.


Copyright 1982

Copyright 1995 (At Waters Edge)


Why I Stay a Groomer

Why a Groomer? It's a question I get asked a lot. I know my family thought grooming was an easy way out, a non-ambitious career choice for me. Yep, those were things they said behind my back and yes it hurt, a lot. People tell me grooming is an easy job, anyone can do it. Well, I see and hear about a lot of dropouts from the industry, people who found it too physical, too exhausting, just plain too hard! So why am I a Groomer? Because for the ones who stay, the ones who love it more than any other job, the ones who get satisfaction in a groom well done, it's more than just a job, more than just a career, it's a Calling.

Why a Calling, you ask? Because it's something that comes from deep within me to do, I just can't walk away, I keep coming back. I have suffered groomer burnout, birthed 3 children, held other jobs, but grooming remains my art, my passion, my love. It was only when I was faced with the total loss of it that I realized how precious this gift was. How much being a Groomer was a part of me.

In July 2000, I was in a car accident in which I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. In a matter of moments my life was changed, only we didn't know at the time how much damage was done-that we were to learn about later. In the months that followed, we went from doctor to doctor trying to get me back together. All I knew was I had problems with my balance, speech impairments, shakes, the list went on and on. We wanted an explanation, a place to start so I could go forward and try to reclaim my life. It was months before we got a proper diagnosis and explanation. In that time my business was closed, then reopened, with another groomer doing the work, while I was trying to figure out the puzzle that was now me. Which we did eventually, and with that knowledge came acceptance and with acceptance came closure. At that time I was advised by one neurologist to consider grooming a past part of my life, sell my business, move on and get well. Which I did, since it was a source of much stress and pain at not being able to perform as I had in the past.

I always joke "Old groomers never die, they just keep on barking up the wrong tree", well, this old groomer couldn't stop. I continued to groom my own dog (Standard Poodle) and 15 months after my car accident I placed him into a creative groom for Halloween. It made me realize how grooming would never be out of my blood, and despite being in the process of selling my business, I knew in my heart I would never leave the industry altogether. So after moving to a new home and spending the next year recuperating and getting myself back on track, I decided to see what time had done for my body and soul and ventured back into a grooming salon in April 2003. To my delight I found myself not only able to groom competently but able to make a living wage! I have my limits and know how far I can push them without a danger to my health or mind. I stick to them as any Groomer should.

I didn't pick grooming as a career, it picked me. I cannot leave it behind nor can I go forward without it. It is a part of me and I cannot change that. I examine every dog I meet or see and figure how its groom was done. I give of my knowledge freely to those who ask (and those who don't!), for I feel deeply in my heart that what I have learned must be shared, so others can walk their path a little more lightly. If I can make a difference today, then tomorrow will be a little easier for someone else. To me, I am not just a Groomer, I am an educator, an artist, a business person.... a friend to someone in need. If grooming was just a job, it wouldn't follow me home, inhabit my dreams, run my life or influence my future. It is my Calling and it keeps bringing me back no matter where I go.

It is Who I am.

Copyright Annette Bamper 2003

Runner-Up Essay competition

On this page are pieces that have been published with the original writing year and then the year and publication they were published in

Time is still one of my favorite pieces. To me it speaks of what can happen if we do not work to preserve our world and its creatures

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