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, November 1, 2010

One of my favorites

Look at that face!

This is 'Henry'.
I Love this dog!
If his owner had to give him away tomorrow, I would take him in a minute.

Why am I telling you this.
I don't know!
Maybe so you won't think I am as nuts as my daughter thinks I am.
Why does she think I am crazy?
She is a teenager and I am her Mom.
Just kidding.

My daughter thinks that I am crazy, because I always  demat his coat, or do whatever I can to save it.

There are so many reasons not to.
*His owner never brushes him, but insists that he does. "I spent a couple hours getting all of his mats out last night."
*His owner always comes in saying that "'Henry' doesn't have any knots this time", and he does.
*When I put 'Henry' up on the counter, and show him the mats, his owner always  stands there with a blank expression on his face, nods his head rapidly, and repeats "Really?!" to everything I say.
*Whenever I do take 'Henry' fairly short, (I have never shaved him...yet) his owner almost always skips the next appointment, because "He doesn't need grooming, he still looks good."

Soooo, why do I always save his coat?
I need help.
It is a sickness in me.
There just seems to be certain dogs I always demat.
Sometimes it is because I like the owner.
Sometimes it is because I like the dog.
Sometimes it is because I know the dog will look like crap shaved down.

Now, please understand that I WILL NOT save a coat if it hurts the dog.
No matter how nice the owner or dog is.
No matter how crappy the dog will look, I WILL shave the coat if it hurts the dog to demat.

I have never told the owner this, and never will.
'Henry's' coat is very forgiving.
A lot of his mats come out with Best Shot Shampoo and Creme Rinse.
When I HV him most of the mats break up, and some totally blow out of his coat.

This time 'Henry' was in pretty bad shape.
He skipped his last appointment.
Once again his Dad said, "I got all of 'Henry's' knots out last night."
He was amazed that I found mats.
He was even more shocked when I showed him how bad 'Henry's mats were.
Oh...the games we play.

Most of the mats loosened up in the bath.
For some reason, both of his back legs and skirt were very matted.
Surprisingly, his front legs and chest were mat free.

First, I used my trusty mat splitter to split all of his large mats into small mats.
I must say, I have a love, hate relationship with this tool.
It works great on mats, but it is a scary and dangerous tool to use.
I am always very careful with this tool, and breath a sigh of relief when I finish using it.

Because he was matted, I had already told his owner that I would be taking him shorter.

After I split all of the knots, I skimmed the legs with a #7F blade to quickly shorten them a little.

For those that have never tried it, skimming is just a matter of taking a #7F blade, and very lightly skimming over the hair on the body or legs to take off excess hair.

I always follow up by hand scissoring the finish.

It does take a steady hand and a good dog that tends to stand still.
I am always prepared to yank my clipper away if the dog moves.

Once I have taken off the excess hair, I then brush out the mats.

'Henry's' hair is so thick, that I am able to clip out stubborn mats without it showing.

'Henry's' ears were very thick and also matted.

To save 'Henry's' ears, I shave the inside of the ear all of the way down to the end of the ear leather.

When I get to the end of the ear leather, I lift off of the ear and skim some of the thickness off the inside of the ears.

Then I scissor the ears up to just below the leather and demat the rest.

Once again, I have saved 'Henry's' coat.
I did not blend his skirt in as much as I normally would, because there was not much skirt left to work with.
I also shaved the ears lower then normal because of the matting.
Yes, I had to modify the clip in order to keep from shaving him, but Dad will be happy that 'Henry' still has hair on his legs, ears, and a skirt.
No matter how goofy I think he looks.

Henry's Cut:
BODY: Cocker #7F
LEGS: Skimmed and scissored about 1/2 off.
             Clipped the inside of the back legs with #3F.
SKIRT: Shaved out the belly with#5F. Lifted the top of the skirt and clipped out 
             the matted sides, letting the top of the skirt fall to cover the sides.
EARS: Clip the inside of the ears with #15, to the end of the ear leather.

           Clip the outside of the ears 1/2 way down to remove some large mats.
FACE: Clip smooth with #15
HEAD: #7F against the grain on the top of the head.

Don't you just love that face.
I love that face!
He is such a sweetheart.
Can't wait to see him again.
I will most likely save his coat again.
It is a sickness I tell you.
I can't help it.
Stop shaking your head at me.
I am to old and set in my ways to change now. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF

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