When hard luck strikes, when misfortune showers down like boiling rain, when life sends boulders crashing across every step, some good old, rolled-up-sleeve work is the surest way to kick adversity in the face.
So after a miserable year, Betty Brock dreamed up just such a plan: Dunk her hands in a tub full of soap bubbles and scrub away the accumulated gunk.
To work her way out of a hole, the 60-year-old grandmother proposed to wash dogs for $25 apiece, using the expertise she acquired as a professional groomer in a salon. Her house has no furniture, but it has a bathtub, and she has shampoo.
“I figured, you know, people want their dogs done before Christmas,” she said. “I could do about 40 dogs a day.”
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But her advertisement sat on Craigslist without a single taker. No calls from the owners of smelly pugs or Dalmatians with spots hidden by mud. In a week, the only response came from your humble columnist, who hated to see ingenuity go unnoticed.
So I’m asking everyone in the 910 area code with a dirty dog to give Brock a call at 910-849-3624. Let her sponge her way back to prosperity.
“I do their nails and clean their ears and everything,” she said.
In April, the house her family rented in Lexington, Ky., burned down after a car in the garage caught fire. Brock and her two grandsons escaped unhurt with their three dogs and a bird, but the blaze took her only source of income: an answering service for doctors’ offices. The Red Cross provided enough money to live on for a few days, but Brock moved to Fayetteville to be near her sister.
In October 2015, her daughter Rhonda died in Tennessee after she and another man were arrested for narcotics possession. Brock said the man gave her drugs to hide as evidence, and her daughter swallowed them.
“Rhonda had a heart of gold,” she told Tennessee TV station WSMV last year, using her married name Jozwiak. “She was always picking up stray animals, getting mixed up with the wrong people. She wanted to help them.”
In Fayetteville, she and her teenage grandsons still lack furniture.
“We have a twin mattress and a queen mattress,” she said. “The twin mattress is used as a couch.”
With the dog-washing business, she thought, she might buy her grandsons a tree. But her other daughter’s boyfriend provided that Christmas trimming, and now the electric and gas bills prove more pressing.
So I applaud her idea. A grandma’s willingness to wash dogs for Christmas cash is the sign of a woman who hasn’t quit. And we should back her soggy path to recovery.
For dog-washing purposes, Betty Brock can be reached at 910-849-3624. Please be kind.