Pet Groomer Returns Wrong Dog, Owner Realizes Mistake Four Months Later


Imagine you’ve just picked up your dog from the kennel or the pet groomer. You’re so happy to see them! But later in the day, something feels off. Maybe they’re just cranky from their time away from you. Maybe they’ll feel more like themselves in a few days. Or maybe — it’s not your dog.

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One Redditor was returned the wrong dog after a visit to the groomers and didn’t realize the mistake until four months later when a series of events caused the truth to be revealed.

“Ok, so in early June my dog Emma (an all black Sheppard/Newf mutt) was taken to my local dog groomer to get her hair cut. When we got her back from her hair cut she began to act very strange. Physically, she was identical but mentally she was not there. She began to get more aggressive (She bit my hand when I would feed her scraps, or she wanted my attention), ignore people whom she knew and was acquainted with (this dog bonded to me and ignored my father, brother, and neighbors), and she changed her entire routine with the family,” said the OP.

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“See, my dog Emma was attached at the hip to my father, she would follow him around day and would even express anxiety whenever he would be away for long periods of time. But it just so happens that at the beginning of June my Father had to temporarily live on the opposite side of my state for work. And this dog that we had gotten back from the groomers was expressing all of my dog Emma’s mannerisms of anxiety of begin away from my father. Or so we thought.”

“For four months. For four months I’ve been taking care of and loving this dog I was calling Emma who looked exactly like my dog but somehow different from the Emma I once knew. This morning my mother got a call from her groomer, a woman whom is a customer of my mothers at the dentist office that she works at. My mother after not seeing her since we got our dog back from her in June made an off hand comment about how Emma had been acting almost traumatized like since we got her back in June. The woman played it off like it was no big deal, the next day she called my mother. The call consisted of her asking my mother to bring Emma to a meeting at her shop immediately. Because another dog owner asked her the same question just the other day. An hour ago my parents came home with my actual dog. The dog that I had been caring for was named Bear, and belonged to a pair of near elderly psychopaths. Their dog is my dogs almost identical twin sister from the same litter.”

“I’ve got my dog back now, and it’s really hard to describe this bizarre feeling about the whole situation. Sorry if this isn’t the right place to post this, or if it’s kinda hard to read. I’m sorta shaken about it.”

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The OP updated the original post explaining that the dog groomers are trying to make things right, but it feels entirely too little too late.

“So yeah, I’m still waiting for an E-mail from a parent that contains pictures of Bear but I did just take a quick pic of Emma. I’m a shitty photographer, and this is the best I could do today. This afternoon the current owner of the Dog Groomers where this whole debacle started with dropped by with an ‘I’m very sorry this happened gift-basket.’ Along with a note there was a hundred dollar gift card, dog treats for Emma, a new collar for Emma, and some assorted snacks for my family. All in all it was a nice gesture, but it comes too late and feels entirely like a small bribe.”

“She’s lost a lot of weight. And in need of a trip to the Vet. She has food allergies, and the people whom had her did not know, but they were feeding her the stuff she can’t eat. and has what are called Hot spots on her back. The spots are what got the other dog owners to start asking questions, so it helped us get the dogs back to their right owners.”

What a horrible situation. It’s wonderful that the OP was able to get her dog back, but what a terrible mix-up.

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Folks on Reddit were shocked that it happened, but some could understand how such a mix-up could occur.

“How did the groomer feel about this mistake? Like, were they just as shocked & hopefully overly apologetic or does this happen often for them??! But I can understand how it could happen. I was once at the dog beach & there was this girl there who had a dog almost identical to mine. Swear they had to be from the same litter. I kept yelling (not yelling yelling, you know what I mean) at her dog on accident & she did at mine. Fortunately hers was a girl & mine a boy, but if they were the same gender I could easily see how they’d get switched up by someone who didn’t know either dog. It just seems like an organizational issue for the groomer though. I’ve worked in a vets office before & you’re supposed to keep the identity of each dog well marked so you know if anyones missing or so you don’t take the wrong dog to the owner…Such a scary mistake. I hope your poor baby girl is alright, just shower her with love & let her know she’s safe and at home now. Four months probably felt like an eternity for her,” said


“That is absolutely crazy. I would definitely spend some good time re bonding, and get her micro chipped! It probably wouldn’t have prevented this, but its good to have ID that can’t be removed. Get it scanned periodically to make sure it’s working,” advised


“I’m sorry for what you’ve all been through. I’m a groomer and one time an owner brought me the wrong dog! I thought it was a joke so I shaved their golden retriever down, like always. Except this time Dolly was a male. Turns out the owner had picked their dog up from being boarded (elsewhere) and was given the wrong dog. They drove straight to me for a bath and cut. The boarding facility didn’t charge for either board and paid me to groom both dogs! I would hate to make that phone call: ‘we gave away your dog and shaved of his gorgeous coat,'” shared

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“This happened to a friend of mine before I started working at the kennel I work at. We have two older black land that board quite a bit and looked basically identical. She wasn’t thinking and put dog A in dog B’s outdoor run and when the owners came, gave them the wrong dog! They has both gotten baths so their collars weren’t on. The owner’s of dog A noticed when they tried to take their dog for a walk that afternoon and was a complete terror to walk. They got the dogs switched back the same day. She felt so terrible! Luckily the owners weren’t upset and still board with us frequently. I’m so sorry this happened to you,” said


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