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.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Do NOT cut the lashes!

I have only had this request about a half a dozen times in the 26 years that I have been grooming.

I still remember the first time a customer asked this of me.
Well, actually it was a new customer, and she asked my other groomer Not to cut the eyelashes off her dog.
My shop had only been open about a year.
This customer had two min. poodles, and she had very specific instructions for what she wanted done on her dogs.
She wanted a Lamb clip with very full legs, a very full topknot, and DO NOT touch the eyelashes.
My poor groomer had only been grooming a little over a year. (I had only been grooming for 3 years)
This customer had really intimidated my groomer, and me for that matter.
My groomer was so nerves and upset that she asked me to scissor the dogs topknot.
Now these dogs topknots left a lot to be desired when it came to scissoring a nice full, round topknot.
You know the ones...thin, fine, straight hair, only about one hair per follicle...

But that is for another blog.

Well, I got to work on that topknot, and if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty darn good.
Both my groomer and myself were very happy about the way the topknot turned out.

When the owner arrived, I proudly brought her first poodle up to her.
I had barely taken three steps out, into the lobby, when the owner started screaming!

YES, screaming!

over and over and over again.

I just stood there with the dog in my arms.
OMG I forgot about the stupid eyelashes.
I was so worried about getting the topknot right, that I not only cut the eyelashes. I cut them completely OFF.

I knew exactly when I had cut them off...
With the very first cut.
I combed the hair forward and SNIP, right over the eyes!

All I could do was stand there dumbfounded. I did not know what to say.
Not that I could get a word in edgewise.

Meanwhile, to make matters worse, my groomer had followed me up with the other poodle.
When the owner saw that I had done the same to the other poodle, I thought she was going to pass out.

Was it really possible for a persons face to get that red, and for them to still be standing?

She grabbed the dogs, told me it was the worst grooming that she had ever had, and she would never be back, AND she would tell everyone how terrible I was.

Yes, I did apologize... or I tried to... over the screaming.
I tried to explain about the eyelashes curling up into the topknot.
I tried.
I did feel bad.
I did wrong.
I messed up.
I am only human.

But for goodness sake, who ever heard of saving eyelashes on a Poodle?

I cried.
My groomer cried.
I think it scared me for the rest of my grooming life.

I only have two customers now that want the eyelashes.
You better believe that I DO NOT forget to keep those eyelashes.
There are notes all over their files.

This is 'Scooter'.
I have been grooming him all his life.
You can't see it in the picture, but his eyelashes have grown all the way down to the end of his beard.
I am allowed to trim them so that they do not grow below his bread.

This is 'Oby'.
I just groomed him. He is a very sweet Cock-a-poo.
Mom likes his eyelashes.
His eyelashes grow off to the side a little.

Mom likes the hair over his eyes cut VERY short, BUT DO NOT CUT THE EYELASHES!

Mom's instructions:
Take him as short as you can go, but do not shave him.
Cut his face short with no hair on his cheeks, but don't shave.
Shave his butt!
1" off ears.
Cut top of head very short, No hair hanging over eyes.
My interpolation of the owners instructions: 
Body: #5F 
Legs: #4F and scissor
Top of Head: #5F blade
Side of Head: #5F blade
Beard: off with #5F blade
Mustache: scissor to lip line, blend into cheeks, and softly round off mustache
Ears: scissor off an 1''
Over eyes: scissor very short and tight


Oh, that poodle lady that screamed at me.
She called back a few weeks later. (I think it took her that long to cool down.)
She wanted to set up another appointment.
It was the best grooming she had ever had.
She would come back if I promised not to cut the eyelashes again.
Did I give her an appointment?
Of course I did. My shop had only been open for a year.
I groomed those dogs for years.
Yes, she was a PITA customer.

That's another blog...

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. funniest thing I've ever read about grooming...You should write a book of funny grooming stories ....I have a 5 mth old Lhasa and her eye lashes grow strait down.....I had to cut them so she could see even though I will always keep her full coated as with my last Lhasa.....I felt horrible......everyone said "YOU CUT HER EYE LASHES?????? WHAT"S WRONG WITH YOU! " Now I don't feel bad anymore and I don't care...MY BABY CAN SEE AND DOESN"T HAVE EYE LASHES LAYING ON HER EYE BALLS!!!!!! Thank you...Sunny and Molly the Lhasa Apso

    1. Hi Sunny,
      Glad I could help AND make you smile!
      Lisa, MFF

    2. Lisa, I asked my Breeder if she had any other dogs whose eyelashes grew strait down onto the eye balls and she didn't answer that question but said Never cut the eyelashes, it's too dangerous.....TRY TO CURL THEM.......WHAT?????? is she crazy? does she really think my 9 mth old puppy will sit for that?.....ANY WAY.....have you seen this problem......I groomed my 2 full coated Beardies and Lhasa for 17 yrs and never really noticed their eye lashes...They just got trimmed with the wispy eye brows with the thinning shears......I use small blunt nosed scissors very carefully but I do have to cut them as close to the lid as I can so they are not laying on her eyes otherwise her eyes tear constantly and the tears hang off the eye lashes...now I sound crazy...what do you think?

    3. Hi granmommyli,
      I have been cutting eyelashes on dogs for over 30 years with no problems at all. Lashes that grow straight down in front of the eyes blocks the dog ,and I personally see no reason to let the eyelashes grow like that.
      I used to have a Collie whose eyelashes grew inwards towards the eye. Every time he blinked those lashes would rub against his eyeball causing a hole on the eye. My Vet taught me how to flip the eyelid and pluck the lashes out. I would do that every month.
      Carefully cutting the eyelashes is fine.
      Lisa, MFF

  2. Thanks.....I don't think her's are that bad but I will let my vet look at them just in case........do you believe the breeder wants me to curl them up?????I don't think they make tiny eyelash curlers for dogs........as judge judy says " RIDICULOUS !" I think.........

    1. Hi granmommyli,
      Unfortunately, I have heard a lot of different things from breeders that I think are ridiculous. :/
      Lisa, MFF