LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Rob McLeod hardly has time to take a break this Monday on his first day back to work at Mona's Pet Crossing at Highview.
"The phones just keep, keep ringing," McLeod, the owner, and head groomer said. "Probably by the end of the day tomorrow, I'll be four weeks booked out. I'm looking at probably being five to six weeks booked out."
McLeod said he was already booked through the next two weeks in just the first two hours of being open as customers are racing back to get their dogs cleaned and trimmed.
"Some of them have broken down into tears," he said. "They're like, 'Oh my God, Rob, I cannot believe that you're open. It's so good to hear your voice. We miss you so much.'"
But despite the big surge in activity, McLeod said it cannot be business as usual with the threat of the coronavirus still hanging over everything. He has implemented a new safety protocol to protect both his clients and his staff.
Customers are now required to wear a mask and interaction between customers and staff are very limited. Customers are now asked to pull up to the building and an employee will pick up and drop off the dogs.
"Don't get out of your car," he said. "The leash and the collar has to be off of your dog. I send my secretary out there. She leashes the dog."
Even the payments will be over the phone.
"I don't want nobody touching my keypad," McLeod said. "I don't want to touch anybody's credit card."
Like many other groomers reopening Monday, McLeod understands the safety measures are necessary as Kentucky gradually opens back up its economy. Several other businesses are also able to reopen Monday, including manufacturing, construction, and car dealerships. McLeod said he hopes everyone will work through these adjustments to keep the coronavirus from continuing to spread.
"I'm one of those people that I believe if we don't do the protocol properly, we could look at that second wave that everyone's talk about," he said. "And if that happens, oh good Lord, we could be shut down for four months instead of just too."