Today I had Lab mix on the books for a bath.
Now, my father has always preached to me not to assume.
Well sorry, when someone makes an appointment for a Lab Mix, I afraid that I automatically picture something like a short haired Lab.
Don't you always hate it when you have to admit that your parent was right.
Especially when your only a couple years away from the big 5 0!
This is what walked in the door.
She was big.
She was hairy.
She was more Mix then Lab!
Did I mention she was hairy.
Boy, was she a sweetie pie.
She could easily kiss you to death.
"What would you like done to her today?" I asked the first time customer.
"They always cut her short," he answered.
"How short do you want her?" I asked while trying to run my fingers through her dirty, undercoat packed coat.
He patted the dogs head and said, "they usually take her as short as her head."
"Okay, I'll call when she is done," I said.
Did I say she was dirty, and she was packed with undercoat?
It is times like these that I am most grateful for my Best Shot Shampoo and Cream Rinse.
As I was drying her, and half of her hair was swirling around my head and into my eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and other places I don't even want to think about, I was thinking.
Isn't that what you do while your drying a dog.
You can't do anything else but think, because you certainly can't hear anything.
So your mind travels everywhere, even places you don't want it to go.
Anyway, I am getting off track.
Not hard for a 40 something women going through pre-menopause, to do. :)
Half way through drying the dog, I kept thinking what a pretty coat she had when she was clean and undercoat free.
Then I started thinking; 'I wonder if her owners have ever seen her like this?'
Then I started thinking; 'Have they only ever seen her shaved?'
Then I started thinking, he kept saying 'they' instead of saying 'I'.
Then I started thinking....(see I told you all you do is think while drying.)
'Do they know that she can be trimmed up short without shaving?'
So after I finished drying her, I went and called the owner.
After talking to the owner, I had found out that they had no idea that they could get something other then a shaved dog back.
This dog is 9 years old and no other groomer had ever discussed with them that there were different ways to groom their dog.
I will admit, that before I started clipping dogs after the bath, I was one of those groomers that thought a dog coming in looking like her HAD to be shaved down, no if, and's or but's.
Customers would come in and ask if I could keep the dog longer, but my answer would always be, 'Sorry, but I have to get my blade between the undercoat and the dogs skin.'
Of course, in order to get a blade through a dirty, undercoat filled dog, I would have to use at least a #7.
I still can't believe I went so many years close minded and only thinking one way.
The owners were delighted when they found out that they did not have to shave their dog down in the middle of winter.
I like educating customers about the choices they have.
I like showing them how to brush theirs dogs.
I like talking to them about their dogs diets, and how to help keep their dogs healthy.
It may just be me, but I think our job is more then just cutting a dogs hair and handing the dog back to the owner.
For years, January - March would be slow grooming months for me, then I started educating my customers.
I would tell them that it was okay to give their dog a bath in the winter, because it would be completely dry before it went home.
I also told them that is was okay to get the dogs hair cut in the winter time, just get a little longer cut.
Once my customers realized that it was okay to groom their dogs all year round, my slow months got busier.
I am now booked solid all year long.
It took awhile, but educating the customer really pays off.
The most frustrating thing is, that I will still get a customer here or there who's Vet tells them not to bathe or clip their dog in the winter.
I even had one potential customer tell me that their Vet told them not to bathe their puppy till it was at least a year old!
The owner was very happy with the groom.
They will be clipping her short in the summer, but this is exactly what they wanted for the winter.
Have fun educating your customers.
Some of them can be really hard headed and set in their ways. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF