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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mild Panic Attack....

.....over a grooming tool.

Not just any tool mind you.
My Bravura!

I have been wanting to buy a second one, just in case my original Bravura dies on me.
It has been acting up lately.
It was no longer holding its charge for more than about 10 minutes.
It was not that big of a deal, because I could always plug it in.

There are several tools that a groomer could not do without.
A brush.
A comb.
My Bravura.

My Bravura, with its 5in1 blade, is a tool that I just can't groom without.
I had been using the #10, #15, #30, and #40 settings on the 5in1 blade for about 10 years.
I have not used my individual 10, 15, 30, and 40 blades in all of that time.
They have been tucked in a drawer for years.
I am not even sure if any of them are still sharp.

That is how much I love my 5in1 blades.

While grooming my first dog today, a St Poodle, my Bravura started to act up.
It seemed to be slowing down.

I had clipped the Poodles face and three of her feet when my Bravura just died.

It died on me!!

But, I noticed that when I moved it around it would pop back on.
A short?
I jiggled the cord, and sure enough, the cord was shorting out.
If I let the cord just fall naturally, no power.
If I held the cord on a certain direction, I got power.

So, out came my trusty duck tape.

I held the cord in place where I got power, and then taped the cord in place.

I finished clipping the feet with no more problems.

Then I bathed and dried the Poodle.

The duck tape worked.
I had power, until I didn't.

My Bravura died on me again!!!!

 Right in the middle of clipping her legs!

Well, the clipper itself didn't die, it just ran out of charge, because the cord had not been charging it right.

The cord died.

No matter how I jiggled it, or moved it around, I just could not get any power.

Time for a mini panic attack.
I was losing the use of at least four blades all at once.
Plus my clip comb attachments, because I only use them with the #40 on the Bravura.

I needed that clipper!!!

I would have to pull out all my old 10, 15, 30, and 40 blades.
I would have had to clean them.
Oil them.
And then test them to see if they were still sharp.

I was in the middle of grooming my first dog of the day.
I did not need this.

I normally hold on to extra parts of grooming tools that are still good when the rest of a tool has gone bad.
I have a small tool box full of blade pieces and screws if I ever need something to fix a blade.
I have held on to old clippers for the parts.

Unfortunately, this was my first Bravura clipper and I did not have and extra cord......or did I?

Did Wahl use the same cord for charging all of their cordless clippers?
Would the cord of one of my old Chromado clippers work?
Had I kept the cord from the old  Chromado clipper?
Before I could go look, I spotted my miniChromado. (that I hardly ever use)

I quickly grabbed that cord and prayed that Wahl used the same cord for each of their cordless clippers.

IT WORKED!!!!! (happy dance)

Only another groomer would understand my relief and excitement.

Not only did the cord work, but I also noticed that my Bravura was back to its normal strength, and was holding the charge again.

Needless to say, I will be ordering another Bravura.
I must have a backup.
Next time it may not be just a fixable cord problem.

So, hold on to those extra salvageable pieces of your old, or broken grooming tools, you never know when they may be a lifesaver. 
I got very lucky today. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Hi Lisa -

    Love your blog. I think I commented on a couple of blogs yesterday but I can't remember which ones so i apologize that I'm asking the same questions. I did notice the little box that says notify me : )

    I have a 3 yo wheaten who has been getting groomed since he was 16 weeks. He used to go every 5 weeks for a bath/trim or a bath/cut. I have liked my groomers well enough although they don't follow the pictures for his face that I provide but it grows out. I lost my job last year and have not found a new one at the same income. I've gone to taking him every 3 1/2 months. Now that it is winter and his hair is longer I'm having a horrible time with mats. He seems to get them overnight. I bought a grooming table because without the noose he does nothing but grab at the brush. He hates being brush because he always has knots/mats. I don't go more then a day without trying to brush him but it is very tough to get all 4 paws and underbelly in one session. His feet, underarms and back legs mat horribly. I've been using a wire brush, metal comb and matt splitter. Is there a better tool to use to brush him or a good shampoo/conditioner I can use to make his brushing sessions less of a hassle for him? He gets a bath every other week and air drys. If i try to use a hv or blow dryer he gets scared and pees all over the table. My groomer says he doesn't do that at her place but I think she is just being nice, lol. I know he is a pain, very dancy, kissy and wiggly but she says that he is not mean at all. Is there a correct way to brush?? Thanks for any help you can give me. I've always treated my groomer like my hairdresser (never missing and appt./ 20% tips) but after reading through your blog I have a totally new appreciation for what you do!!! I think the dogs you work on are really really lucky to have you for your groomer.

    1. Hi Xcesev1,
      Sorry about your job. I have had a number of my customers have to rework their dogs grooming schedules to go longer in between. I have offered for them to come in in between groomings for me to give a quick brush out and trim around the eyes for a nominal fee. This helps me and the owner, so that hopefully their dog will not be in too bad of shape when they come for the full grooming. I also teach them how to brush their dog.

      I am a visual learner and teacher, (as you can see by my blog lol) but I will try to explain some tips for you. First, have a very special treat ready for you dog AFTER the brushing and BEFORE you take him off of the table. Something like boiled chicken, or a piece of beef, or hot dog. Something that he never gets any other time. It has to be a special 'grooming' treat. You want him to learn that if he lets you brush him, he gets a really special treat when you are done.
      Since your dog is kissy, wiggly on the table, you must be matter of fact with the brushing. Love him up BEFORE you put him on the table, but once he is on it you much become a pack leader and become all business. This does not mean be harsh, or rough, or scold him. It just means that you must approach the brushing as a job that you must get done. Matter-of-fact attitude. Put him on the table and go right to work. Go to the rear leg, start at the foot. Lift the long hair up with one hand. (you should be able to see the skin) Now take your brush and gently, in small, quick strokes, brush the foot. Once that small area of the foot is brushed let go of a little bit of the hair you are holding up, let it fall and brush that out then repeat. Work your way up the leg. If you brush with gentle, quick strokes, your dog my tolerate the brushing better. Do not look at your dog while doing this, just pay attention to his leg and what you are doing. Talk to him gently. You can tell him he is being good, but don't do it in an excited voice that may cause him to become wiggly. Keep lifting sections of hair and brushing out small areas at a time till you work your way up the back leg, across one half of the body, then up the front leg to his head. If he is doing really good, repeat on the other side. If he has had enough after one side. Praise him, give him his special treat, THEN let him off of the table. Brush the other side later in the same day if possible. You want to work up to brushing his whole body in one session.
      If his matting has gotten past brushing, take him in for a grooming and start over. Even if he comes home with a short cut, put him on the table everyday and still brush the way I explained. If his matting is not too bad yet, try taking baking soda powder and work it into the mat then pick at the mat slowly with your brush. Sometimes the baking soda helps to release the mat. Make sure that all mats are out of the coat BEFORE you bathe him. When mats are left to air dry they shrink and tighten up as they dry, making them much harder to brush out. As he air dries, brush him out once in awhile so that the wet hair does not mat as it dries. If you would like to try to dry him, put a cotton ball in each of his ears to defuse the sound of the dryer. Sometimes wrapping a towel around the top of head and ears also helps. When using the dryer, I would also start at the back foot and work your way up the leg.
      I hope that you can understand what I have tried to explain. It is so much easier to show a person. :)
      Lisa, MFF

    2. Thanks!!!! I think what stresses me out is how much he pants....I probably just need to be mentally tougher and realize that it has to be done and brushing will be much easier then getting knots out. He is not matted...I cut the little loose mats out that I can't break up. Sometime if it's been raining and I go more then a couple of days his ears will get pretty bad. I do keep roast beef from the deli as his grooming treat. What is the best brush to use on him? I have like 6 different kinds so hopefully one of them is correct ;-) Do you prefer a guillotine or a scissor type nail cutter? Finally I am reading through all your posts so don't feel you need to answer all my replies and I hope you don't think I'm stalking you. I am just learning so much! I will ask my groomer about a mid touch up (especially a sanitary trim) If I take him in all cleaned and brushed out she might do it. She seemed miffed that I had to go to every 3 months...I know the economy has been hard on her as well. Anyway thanks again for all your help!

    3. one more thing....I work for TreatPlanet and we make specialty dog treats. If you go to http://ettasays.com/pages.php?pageid=13 and watch the video you will see Bentley my wheaten. email me your address and I will send your pups a goodie box!

    4. Hi Xcesev1,

      My favorite brush is the Tuffer than Tangles slicker brush. Here is a link if you would like to check them out. I like both the regular pins and the firm long pins.


      My favorite nail clipper are the Millers Forge Heavy Duty (reg) nail clippers. Here is a link to them also:


      Hope this helps. :)

      Lisa, MFF

  2. I have a love-hate relationship with my Bravura. I agree, it's a wonderful tool. But, I do not like the charger it comes with. It stopped making the proper connection and I thought the thing was broken. Now, I have to use the cord exclusively to recharge. Also, I hate where they've placed the on-off button. I find myself inadvertently turning it off many times while using it. The Andis Ion Pulse has a much better designed on-off switch. But, it is a great time saving piece of equipment and I would encourage any groomer to invest in one of these 5 in 1 clippers. I just love this blog. I look forward to it every day. Thanks, Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy,
      I know what you are taking about with the on-off button. I am always turning the thing off in the middle of clipping something. lol
      Sometimes if you take a screw driver and scrape the connections a little bit, (make sure the charger is unplugged) on both the charger and the clipper, you will get a better connection.
      Thanks for reading my blog. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  3. Thank you for all of the information! I love your blog! I have just moved to Indiana. I am thinking of taking my dog to pet grooming in Munster IN. What is your opinion on them?

  4. Lisa, I just bought my first Bravura, and I was just curious... how often do you replace the blade? any other tips to make it last ??

    1. Hi Monica,
      I have two 5-in-one blades to use with my Bravura. One blade I use ONLY on CLEAN dogs with my Wahl attachment combs. The other blade I use for everything else. I still try to use the second blade on mostly clean dogs, but I do clip feet and faces before the bath. It is the only clipping that I do before the bath. I always spray and clean the blade after clipping faces and feet. When you use a blade spray ALWAYS wipe the spray off right away and blow any spray residue out from between the teeth.
      My 5-in-1 blades tend to last at least a year (the clip comb one) and about 6 months for the 'everything else' blade. They can be sent to your sharpener to be sharpened. I have done this several times with very good results. If you ever drop the blade and the little leaver breaks and the blade will no longer stay on the clipper, DON"T throw it away!! Your blade guy should be able to fix it. I learned the hard way. I was told the the 5-in-one blades could not be sharpened.
      Uhggg....I don't even want to think about the blades I trashed because I thought that they could not be sharpened. :/
      Also, let the clipper run all of the way down before recharging. I don't use my stand unless I unplug it when not charging. (You can still use it while it charges. Just plug the charger cord into the bottom of the clipper.) DO NOT let it over charge. DO NOT charge it over night. The battery seems to lose some its battery time if over charged.
      I hope you like your Bravura as much as I like mine. :)
      Lisa, MFF