About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years

Happy New Years to all of those who have already rung in the New Year!

 Wishing you a very successful and prosperous 2011!

Since my past few posts have been a little whiny...
Okay, a lot whiny.
I thought I would end the year with some of  my messed up pictures.
I have many outtakes from trying to get pictures of a moving object.

"You want me to look up?"

"I am not going to put my leg down just so you can get a picture of it getting dried."

"I have to stand still?"

"Good grief I thought you were done."

"I don't want my picture taken, no,no,no."

"Did I just hear my Dad walk in?"

"I want to sleep!"

 Yawnnnn, you are really boring me."

"Why can't I smell the camera?"

  "I don't want to look, please don't make me look."

I am so pretty, I am so pretty..."

 "Wait, I haven't seen her for a couple of minutes, I need to sniff her and make sure she is my Westie."

Those are just some of my outtakes.
I hope you liked them.

In 2011...

May all the tongues stay in the mouth while you groom.

May you have very few of these come to your shop.

May you avoid this at all costs.

And this!

And this!

If you do get bitten, may it not cost you $300 in medial bills.
And, over $400 in repairs to the wedding rings that had to be cut off .

May you not get any requests for the Pom-Pom cut.

Oh,sorry, that one is for me.

May your matted dogs be clipped safely.

Treat yourself to a Trade Show.
Have fun meeting other groomers.

May your New Year be colorful and creative.

May all of your dogs trust you, and sit calmly and still while you work.

May all of your dogs feel this relaxed while being groomed.

 Have fun teaching the puppies that grooming can be a good thing.

Most of all...

Continue to LOVE what you do.
Even if they don't like the grooming process, know that you are sending them home clean and happy. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good Bye 2010

I can't say that I am sorry to see 2010 go.
It was a hard year economically.
Rent went  up.
Gas and Electric tripled.
The price of some shampoos went up.
It does not help that I like and use the really good, expensive ones.
That will not change.
I am very picky about my shampoos.

I am not really complaining.
The business will most likely break close to even, almost, maybe.
I am just happy to have a job.

I must say that I have decided to board up the front of my shop, only leaving an opening for the dogs to come and go.
Every owner must put their dog through the window with a note.
I know longer want to deal with the owners anymore.
They have been abnormally nuts this year.
It is either that, or it is me.
It is not me.

The second grooming job that I had after Grooming School was at a kennel.
They had a receptionist, and I was never allowed to go up and talk to the customers.
That caused problems sometimes with the translations of what the owners wanted for their dogs.
I never really questioned this practice, because the Grooming School would not let the students talk to the customers either.
That was because the owner of the School did not want her customers to know her shop was a Grooming School, and that students were doing the dogs.
Her prices were high for the time.

Anyway, it used to upset me that I could not talk to the customers or see their reactions to my work.
Well, I have come to the conclusion that I was insane to think that way.
I would rather deal with a biting dog then deal with some of the nuts that I have dealt with over the years.

What I would like to know is, when will our customers start listening to us.
It runs from one end of the spectrum to the other.
You try to give friendly advice about a hair cut, or how often they should have their dog groomed to keep up with the cut they want, or how to feed their dog to help it's coat, and it goes in one ear and out the other.

Yet, I am the first person they call about a medical problem.
Not their Vet.
Their Vet will tell them to come in and change them, so they call me first to see if I think they need to see a Vet or is there something else they can do.
And, they call me to ask if I think it is time to put their dog to sleep.

I am not good enough to tell you how your dog should be cut, or how often, or the best shampoo to use and food to eat, but I am good enough to call about medical problems and death!
I just don't get it.

Another thing...
If one more person brings in shampoo for me to use on their dog I am going to scream.
I don't mean the Vet shampoo, which I think half of it is crap anyway.
I mean the store bought shampoo.
Come on now people, this is my job, don't you think I have better shampoo than what you picked up a Wal-Mart!
Don't even try to hand me a Hartz product.

Today was no different.

Self-Serve customer: "My dog ate a stink bug and now his skin stinks," she asked very seriously.
"Do you think the bug caused his skin to stink?"

Full-serve customer: "I have been to a lot of grooming shops and they have all been terrible." is the first thing out this second time customer.
"I only want 1/2 of her hair off, do not shave her." she instructed, repeating that other shops can't get it right.
"Don't shave her belly, it looks ugly, and don't clip her nails," she said. "I just clipped them.

This is 'Molly'.
I groomed her for the first time in September.
She was only a bath and trim that time because she was growing out of a shave down.

I think we were being tested.

I guess was passed, I groomed 'Molly again today.

 Sorry, I know her owner just clipped her nails, but....

I clipped them.
I could get so much more off of them.

I may have blown it, she may never come back again.

We shall see.  :)

1/2 off.

I decided to use a 3/4 blade on the body and skim the legs, then scissor up all over.
I did my best to repair and blend in the owners chop job on the face.

'Molly's' Mom said she liked the cut.
Will she still be happy when she sees that I clipped the nails?

This is 'Candy'. (the second)   Before-->
Why do people name their second dog after their first.

Is it that hard to find another name?

I have had a hand full of customers do this over the years.



I have another question...

What happened to all of the little Shih-Tzu's?

They are breeding them bigger now, at least the ones I see.

Then there was 'Sophie'.
'Sophie' is almost a year old.

You can smell her when she comes in the door.
She has very over active tear ducts.
Under her eyes is always soaked.
It stinks.

Mom wants me to do something.
"Have you talked to the Vet. yet?" I ask.
"No," can you get it to stop smelling?" she asked.

I told her that I could shave all of the hair out from under her eyes down to her mouth.
I warned her that some people thought that clipping the face like that made them look like...???
I bet you can guess.
...A Poodle.
She was willing to try anything to get the smell under control.

I was going to show you how I clipped the face.
My camera has been acting up.
The picture that weren't blurry, looked like this.

My hand was in the way of all of the shots.

I should have told my husband to move around.

Oh well...sorry.

I can tell you what I did.

I used my Moser, set on the #15 blade setting, and scooped out under the eyes and half way down the nose.

I clipped all of the way down to the top of the lip line, leaving a path of very short hair so that the owner could swab out her eyes with a warm water and a cotton ball.

I gave her a nice round mustache to hide the shaved out eyes.

I also told her Mom to ask the Vet about her eyes.

This is 'Moses'.

He usually gets a puppy cut with the #3F blade and scissor.

At the beginning of Fall, Dad asked for a bath and trim because it was getting cold.

Big mistake.
I have warned the owner that 'Moses' would get matted and have to be clipped short in the middle of the winter.

In one ear out the other.

 Today I had to clip 'Moses' with a #5f around the neck and chest, and a #4f on the rest of the body and legs.

I try to warn them.

If your dog is inside all of the time, keep them the same length all year round so that they don't have to get shaved.

Today the girls, two sisters, were bath and trims.

Mom was warned that they do not come in often enough for just a trim, and that they will be matted the next time they come in.

Mom still wanted the Bath and Trim.

I will not be dematting  these giant Labradoodles when they come in next.

Dad already complains about the price.  :(

That was the last grooming day of 2010 for us.
14 dogs.

The customers will be better next year...the customers will be better next year...

 Welllll... it worked for my cold.
I felt better today.
Maybe it would work for my customers too.

I really don't want to board up the front of my shop, but I am afraid I am going to go off the deep end one day and physically kick one of my customers out the door.
Not really.
I haven't done it yet. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sick Days

After High School, and for 2 1/2 years before I became a groomer, I worked at a Bank as a Reconciler, the person who finds the tellers mistakes.
I enjoyed that job, and liked most of the people that I worked with.
I could not stand the interoffice politics.
Give me dogs any day.

It is days like today that I miss working for the Bank, and wish that I did not  own my own business.


I miss paid sick days.

I am working on my second head cold in a month.
I have never had one cold follow right behind another.
It is not the same cold, because both colds have been different.

Today was a fully booked day of dogs.
We are booked for the next couple of weeks, so there was no place to move anyone.
And, I don't get paid sick days.  :(

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like you take three times longer than usual to finish a dog.
I would swear that the hair grows right back the second you cut it.

My first dog was a Wheaten, that gets a scissor cut.
She also likes to lay down every chance she gets.
It took me 5 hours to finish her.

Not really, it just felt that way.

My next dog was a Shih-Tzu that got a Lamb clip.
I felt like he took me 6 hours, and that was just scissoring one leg.

Waiting for me while I groomed these two dogs was...


'Dooley' is the biggest Standard that I have ever groomed.
I have been grooming him ever since he was a puppy.
He is a sweet, nervous, goof.
I mean that lovingly.
'Dooley' is a huger.
He loves to have his face rubbed, and loves to bury his face into your neck.

I like grooming 'Dooley'.
Just not today.
It already took me 11 hours to groom the first two.

Oh, it didn't?
Well, it sure felt like it did!

'Dooley's' mom and Dad only wanted about 1/4" off of 'Dooley' today.
That worked for me.
I actually groom faster when I scissor a whole dog, then when I clip and scissor.
Don't ask me why.
I guess it is because I love scissoring so much.

 'Dooley' is a good dog to groom, he just fights a little for his face.
He does not like it held down.
He always wants to point his nose in the air.

When I have to look up, I can't breath.

'Dooley' is one of those Poodles that like to constantly pull his feet backwards while you are trying to clip them.

He acts like I am tickling his feet.

First he tucks his head in my neck trying to get me to stop and rub his face.

All the while slowly oozing lower and lower...

...and lower, until we have both oozed to the bottom of the table.

My hands are so cramped by the time I finish one foot that I have to stop and shake my hands out for a minute before I start the next foot.

 After clipping all four feet, which only take me a couple minutes per foot, my nose has run so much that I have gone through a whole box of Kleenex.

Not really, but it sure felt like it.

This dog is so tall, that his head touches the ceiling in my bathing room.

Bathed and blow dried
Half way there.

It is now 11pm.

It isn't?

Well, it sure feels like it.

Scissor, scissor, scissor.

And scissor some more.

It is now Friday.

It isn't?

It's still Thursday?

My head feels like it is going to explode.

All done!

And it only took 12 hours.

It didn't?

Oh, I give up.

Only three dogs left to groom.

I need meds.

Oh, that's right, I don't like meds.

I think I'll make an exception today.

Somebody go get me some Tylenol Cold Medicine.

 Does anyone want to buy a business?
I want paid sick days.

Tomorrow will be better..tomorrow will be better..tomorrow will be better.

I am going to keep telling myself that.
Positive thinking, right?
It better work.
I am going to bed now.

Cough, cough, sneeze.

Happy Grooming, MFF