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.

Monday, December 31, 2012

WARNING!!!!

PLEASE DO NOT OPEN AN E-MAIL FROM FEDEX about a package that they were not able to deliver.

IT IS A VIRUS!!

I know, because I am waiting for a package and I clicked on that e-mail.
For the past two days we have been removing this virus from my computer.
Thankfully my son and daughter jumped on it right away and found a great website that helped us step by step to remove the virus.

It shut down my internet and shut off all of my security within seconds.

I just got back on my computer about an hour ago.
I had 45 comments to catch up on.
I have managed to respond to half of them.
Hopefully I will be be able to respond to the rest of them tomorrow.
That is if my computer still boots up right. :/

Right now I am getting ready to sit down with the family and watch 'The Avengers' and then see the ball drop for 2013.

I WISH EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Grooming, MFF

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sometimes I Wonder....

....why I enjoy grooming so much.

When you come to think about it, there are quite a few reasons not to like grooming.

Slobber: That loooong slimy string that hangs from some dogs mouths.
 By the time you notice it, and reach for a towel to wipe it away, the dog either shakes his face, wrapping the string of slobber around his muzzle and into his clean hair, or they shake their head and send that long, slimy string sailing right onto you.


 ❖Drool: Drip, drip, drip. Another form of slobber. Only, the drool is a constant dripping slobber. It drips off the end of the dogs bottom lip. It drips all over your table, arms, hands, clippers, scissors, comb, brushes. It never stops no matter how many times you wipe the dogs mouth.
Then to top it all off,  the drooling dog continues to drool even after you finish grooming. So when the owners shows up to pick up their dog, the dog has managed to soak its neck, chest, and front legs with slimy drool that refuses to dry when you quickly try to fluff the dog back up for their owner.


Cleaning Poop: They poop in your lobby. Their owners like to blame it on the fact that they are scared of coming to the groomer. It couldn't possibly be because the owner didn't let them out to the bathroom before they brought them.
 They poop in the kennels. Less than two seconds after you closed the kennel door, because again, their owners did not bother to let them out to the bathroom before they brought them in to be groomed. 
They poop in the tub. At least this is the most convenient place for them to poop.
They poop while being HV dried. The only problem is, you don't notice till you hit the poop with the HV air and send it in all directions around the drying room.
They poop in your apron pocket. They poop while you are carrying them. You smell the poop, but for the life of you you can not find it. There is no poop on the dog, not on the floor, not in the kennel, but you can still smell it.
Then 10, 20, 30 minutes...2 hours later you stick your hand in your smock pocket and wha la, the elusive piece of poop...stuck to your fingers!

 ❖Pee Feet: Yes, I said pee feet. You know what I am talking about.
Pee feet is what I call those dogs that pee in their kennels while they are waiting for their bath. Only you don't realize that they have peed in their kennel, because they have danced all through the pee until their feet have soaked it all up.
You pick the dog up out of the kennel and suddenly those pee feet are all over you.
Or, the dog jumps into your arms spraying pee all over you and into your face before you can do anything to stop it.





War Wounds: I can't complain. I have brought it upon myself when I agree to work with difficult dogs.
Bites, bruises, scratches and scars that I will have for the rest of my life. 
You do get some strange looks from people when they see all of the red marks going up and down your arms.




The picky customer: That customer who drives you insane with knit picky things. You know...like how the ears just don't look right. They were perfect 3 grooms ago, but ever since then they just have not looked right. No, the owner is not sure why...they just don't look the same as they did 3 grooms ago. You figure it out.

The Boss: Not your real boss. The customer boss. They are sure that they know more about your job than you do. They tell you what blade to use. The only problem is there is no such blade. They describe the cut that they want in detail. Only their directions make no sense.
Oh, and they know exactly how long it should take you to groom their dog. They will be back then.


 ❖Bad Breath: I don't think that I have any words to properly describe the smell that emanates from some dogs mouths.
You have recommended to the owner to have the dogs teeth cleaned, but they haven't had it done for one reason or another. The little dog with the really bad, old teeth tends to pant as you are trying to scissor the face.
You try to hold your breath, but the smell is so bad that you can almost taste it.
You hold your breath, scissor, turn your head, take a breath, and then you hold your breath again and go in for more scissoring. You repeat this step for as long as it takes to scissor the face, which feels like forever.
Sadly, sometimes you forget to turn your head before you take a breath. That is when you get a nice big whiff of that bad breath... you struggle not to gag.




Stinky, Slimy, Infected Ears: They smell almost as bad as the bad breath.
Every time the dog shakes its head, which is often, the stinky ear smell fills the air around you.
You try to clean out the ears. They are so full with wet, slimy, sticky wax that you can't get a hold of the ear hair to clean it out.
So, you use ear power in hopes to soak up some of that wet mess so that you can clean the hair out, the only problem is, now you have a pasty, wet, slimy, sticky mess.





Eye Crust: Not the little eye boogies that are easily removed. I am talking about the gooey, crusty, scabby eye crust that practically seals a dogs eyes shut.
The eye crust that you spend 20 minutes in the tub just trying to soften up so that you can get it off of the dogs eye without hurting them.





Projectile Diarrhea: (Don't worry. I don't have a picture for this one ☺) an intestinal disorder characterized by abnormal frequency and fluidity of fecal evacuations.
There is no warning with this disorder. The dog is standing very nicely on your table. You are grooming away.
As a matter of fact, you are almost finished the groom. The owner is do to pick up the dog in about 10 minutes. 
Then it happens...
You notice the dogs tail raise up.
He doesn't squat.
He does not whine.
He does not move...except for that tail. 
At the same instant that your brain registered what is about to happen...it happens!
Squirttttttttt!!!
When I say 'squirt', I am telling you that that brown liquid shoots out at an unbelievable rate of speed, half way across the room. All over everything! 
The dogs rear.
Your table.
The floor. 
The wall.
And everything in between. 






 Hair Storms: Undercoat. Undercoat. Undercoat. 
Clouds and clumps of hair flying round and round the room. In your eyes, your mouth, and your own hair.
You are left with a heck of a mess to clean up.









Wet Clothes: There is nothing like having the first dog of the day soak you straight through to your underwear with just one single shake in the tub.
Or, to be reaching up to rinse off a large dogs face and head, only to have a stream of water run down your hand, down your arm, into the sleeve of your shirt to continue on, all of the way down your side to the top of your pants.






Hair Splinters: It is amazing how such a teeny, tiny sliver of hair can drive you mad.
It started as soon as I started clipping dogs in Grooming School. Those little cut hairs that would get into your skin.
The worst were the hairs that would work their way through your shirt, then through your bra into your skin. I have lost count, over the years, the number of times that I had to stop grooming to go into the bathroom to half undress just to find and remove that offensive sliver of hair before I went totally batty.

Last but not least.....

Expressing Anal Glands: The smell...need I say more?


So why?
Why, with all of the disgusting and uncomfortable parts of grooming, do I love it so much?

Because......

I love the dogs!

I love the wagging tails.

I love the happy dance of the dogs who truly like coming in to see us. 









I love looking into their eyes!










I love the hugs!









I love the kisses!





 But most of all.....

I love that I have the skill to take this dog from a painful, matted mess.....









....to a clean, happy dog!

 Happy Grooming, MFF



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Present...To Me!!!

Well, a present to the shop really.

How was your Holiday?

I hope that all of the busy Holiday grooming was profitable for everyone.
I hope that your customers treated you well for taking good care of their pets all year. 

The last three weeks feel like a blur.
I am happy to get back to blogging.

A week before Christmas one of my Self-Serve HV dryers died.
A day later a hose split on another Self-Serve dryer.
A couple of days after that a customer dropped the one remaining dryer and busted it.

Really????
Now????
Right before the Christmas rush????

So, I had to order two new HV dryers for the Self-Serve.
Thankfully we were able to repair the hose on one of the dryers with a spare we had.
I like to save parts.
You never know when they will come in handy.

To top things off, the dryers that I ordered could not be delivered until Christmas Eve.
Grrrrr.
That was going to be too late.

Oh, I could have had them delivered over night.
That would have cost me almost $250 extra.
Or, I could have had it delivered in 2 days....that would have only set me back an extra $175.

I opted to have them delivered by Christmas Eve for $60 shipping. :(
We had to let the Self-Serve customers use one of our really nice HV dryers.
Two dryers for four tubs. :/
We managed. 

Anyway, I also bought the shop a Christmas Present.


 BLADES!

I have not bought new blades in a while.

Some of the last new blades that I bought were the 'Buttercut' ones.

I hate them.

So, as I was looking a HV dryers for the Self-Serve, I checked out the blades too.



There are so many to pick from.
≈ Oster.
≈ Oster Lucky.
≈ Geib Buttercut. (no, no, no)
≈ Master Grooming Tools..Classic..Pro..Premier.
≈ Andis UltraEdge
≈ Andis CeramicEdge (no, no, no)
≈ Andis ShowEdge

Then there is Wahl.
I love my Wahl cordless clippers.
I also like the Wahl 5in1 blades.
So, I thought that I would try out some new Wahl blades.


 ♦Precision-ground stainless steel blade set
“Made in USA”. High quality for increased performance
and long service life. The perfectly
adjusted spring setting provides constant
clipping pressure while generating little heat.



Thanks to its optimized tooth geometry, it offers
improved clipping performance and fur intake, as well as smoother trimmed edges can be achieved
– for clipping that is 2.5 times faster! In comparison with Competition Series Blades.

(taken from the Wahl website)







♦The blades have a black chrome nickel finish with an effective rust inhibitor.

♦Designed for a smooth cut and a show finish.


My Review:

First, I really like the large blade number on the front of the blade.

Even though I can normally tell what length a blade is just by glancing at it, it still helps to have that nice big number on the front that will not wear away over time.


The Claims:

~Smooth feeding and faster cutting: I agree. The blade slid through the hair very nicely.

~Increased performance: I used the blade right out of the package to see if it would cut without having to be washed and oiled.
I was very pleased when all of the blades cut perfectly right out of the packages. I did clean them after the first use, and they worked even better.





~Smoother cut: Very smooth. Very nice.

You be the judge.

This is a picture of the body of a Yorkie that I clipped with the #5F Ultimate Competition Blade.


 ~Constant clipping pressure while generating little heat:
←I clipped this dogs entire body and legs with the #3F blade and the blade was barely warm when I finished.
I usually have to switch out blades, for a cool blade, half way through a body clip.
~Clips 2.5 times faster: The blade did seem to move faster and smoothly through the coat, but I can not say that it was 2.5 times faster. I think that it depends on the type of coat that you are clipping.

~Effective rust inhibitor: Only time will tell.....

My Opinion: ☻☻☻☻☻
I give these blades five out of five smiley faces.
I really like them, and I will defiantly order more.

©TheGroomersMall has these blades on sale right now if anyone is interested.
*They are compatible with most standard detachable blade clippers.

The information and opinion above are only my personal experience and opinion of this product.
I do not work for Wahl, and do not get anything for recommending their products...(I wish)

I have one more thing that I would like to share tonight.
Below is a sign that I saw yesterday.
With the resent loss of my girl 'Annie', the sign really hit home.


Happy Grooming, MFF

Saturday, December 22, 2012

We Will Miss You Annie

Our sweet girl lost her 2 year battle with cancer this morning.



Rescued February 2002 - December 22, 2012

Treasured Friend

I lost a treasured friend today,
The little dog who used to lay
Her gentle head upon my knee
And shared her silent thoughts with me.

She'll come no longer to my call,
Retrieve no more her favorite ball.
A voice far greater than my own
Has called her to His golden Throne.

And though my eyes are filled with tears,
I thank Him for the happy years
He let her spend down here with me
And for her love and loyalty.
Author Unknown

MFF :'(

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Had to Share

My heart felt a little lighter after reading this poem.
I hope that this poem finds its way to some of the grieving parents.

 Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is Heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King.

As they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."

Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,

"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"

Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Cameo Smith
Mt Wolf, PA 

Remember to give whomever you Love an extra hug. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


Tis the Season to be Grumpy.....

....falalalala lalalala...... 9 more days.

Well, actually 8 more days.

We don't work Christmas day right?
Our customers do know that, right?

How have all of you been doing?
Are you hanging in there?
Are your customers being naughty or nice?

I have to say that 90% of my customers are being nice.
So why...why do I let the naughty, grumpy customers bother me?

This last week was so busy.
I felt like the last week was never going to end.
It was not that the dogs I groomed were hard to do, or that I had too many to groom.
It was grumpy customers.
Some of them long time customers.

Maybe it is just me.
At my post-op appointment last Monday, my doctor asked me if I had been having mood swings since the surgery.
No.
I didn't have any of the other symptoms that he mentioned either.
After all, he only removed one ovary.
I am not ready for the change of life just yet.

The one symptom that he did not mention was over sensitivity.
Because, I am telling you, I was over sensitive to things that my customers were doing this past week.
Or, maybe it is just because it is the Holidays.

I just don't know.
I usually just try to let things roll of my back.
I try very hard not the let what a customers says, or does bother me.
I don't want to let someone ruin my whole day for some stupid thing that they said, or did, and then walk away and never give it, or me a second thought.

So why am I being so sensitive?

Maybe I am not.
Maybe every groomer would be just as sensitive as me. 

Let me give you a few examples.
(descriptions of the dogs are very vague to keep from hurting anyone's feelings)

I could not help but feel a little depressed when half of the customers that I gave picture calendars to didn't even recognize their own dogs.
I have spent hours on those pictures and calendars.
I at least thought that they would recognize their dogs.
Was I being over sensitive that it hurt my feelings when customers didn't even recognize their own dogs?

Next was the Self-serve customer with the beautiful large dog.
The owners are a very nice couple that had bathed their dog in the Self-Serve before.
I happened to be walking past the lobby just as they came in the front door.
The dog is very sweet, but also extremely shy and timid.
I stopped to greet them only to be told that their dog did not want to come in, because I clipped his nails the last time that they were here.
Was I being over sensitive to be flabbergasted, that even when I am not the one bathing the dog, I still get blamed for the dog not wanting a bath?

Then came the long time customer...like over 20 years long time customer.
She dropped her dog off at 8 am.
She asked me what time we closed.
4 pm.
The same time that we have been closing for the last 5 or 6 years.
Gone are the days that I stay open till 7pm.
She got upset that I was not going to be open later.
She even called at 3 pm to see if we were still closing at 4pm.
So, was I being too sensitive, when I got very irritated, when she walked in at 4:10 to pick up her dog?

I will have to admit that I had a mixture of feelings about the next customer.

Another long time customer with a very sweet dog.
But, the dog is a big job.
He is a medium size dog, with an extremely thick double coat.
A double coat that takes forever to brush out, because the undercoat no longer blows out with the drier.
A dog that no longer stands for the grooming.
A dog that once you have brushed him out, and can finally get a comb through the coat, gets hand scissored all over.
The dog is a lot of work.
The owner has never tipped, so imagine my surprised when a family member came in to pick up the dog and handed me an envelope.
I knew the payment for the groom was in the envelope, but I could also feel something else inside.
It is Christmas, so forgive me if my first thought was a Christmas card with a Christmas tip inside.
After the owner left, I opened up the envelope.
I took out what was inside, and then through my head back and laughed.

The 'Christmas tip' was a check for the exact amount of the grooming, as usual, but there was a note attached.
A note telling me to hold the check until the next week.
 I laughed at my stupidity for thinking that this customer, who has never given a tip before, was giving one now.
Was I being a little over sensitive to also get a little irritated that she hadn't even asked if it was okay for us to hold the check?

Then there was another long time customer, that for the second time, sent her kids in to pick up the dogs, and gave them a pre-writen check with the wrong amount for the groom.
She now owes us $12.
The problem is, she never comes in.
The owner always has someone else drop off and pick up.
She has always been a good customer.
Yes, she was told about the amount being wrong on the check.
She still has not come by to pay the difference.
So, am I being over sensitive about a long time customer would do this?

We had to finish off the week with the customer who insisted on arguing that we were charging her a dollar more than we had before.
"No, your price went up a dollar at the beginning of the year, but has been the same price ever since," my husband explained.
"No, you went up a dollar from the last time, I am sure of it."
A dollar?
Really?
I know the economy stinks right now, but really?
A dollar?

Yes, I must be over sensitive. :/

There were a few more things, but I think I have rambled on enough.
I am still trying to keep that Holiday cheer.

One more week.
It is going to be another long one.

I am putting it out there in the cosmos right now....

.....NO MORE GRUMPY CUSTOMERS!!!!

All of my customers are going to come in full of Holiday cheer.
All of my customers are going to come in full of Holiday cheer.
All of my customers are going to come in full of Holiday cheer.
 All of my customers are going to come in full of Holi.........

Oh, sorry.
I thought if I said it enough it just might happen. :)

Hang in there, and have a great grooming week.

Happy Grooming, MFF