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, December 30, 2010

Good Bye 2010

I can't say that I am sorry to see 2010 go.
It was a hard year economically.
Rent went  up.
Gas and Electric tripled.
The price of some shampoos went up.
It does not help that I like and use the really good, expensive ones.
That will not change.
I am very picky about my shampoos.

I am not really complaining.
The business will most likely break close to even, almost, maybe.
I am just happy to have a job.

I must say that I have decided to board up the front of my shop, only leaving an opening for the dogs to come and go.
Every owner must put their dog through the window with a note.
I know longer want to deal with the owners anymore.
They have been abnormally nuts this year.
It is either that, or it is me.
It is not me.

The second grooming job that I had after Grooming School was at a kennel.
They had a receptionist, and I was never allowed to go up and talk to the customers.
That caused problems sometimes with the translations of what the owners wanted for their dogs.
I never really questioned this practice, because the Grooming School would not let the students talk to the customers either.
That was because the owner of the School did not want her customers to know her shop was a Grooming School, and that students were doing the dogs.
Her prices were high for the time.

Anyway, it used to upset me that I could not talk to the customers or see their reactions to my work.
Well, I have come to the conclusion that I was insane to think that way.
I would rather deal with a biting dog then deal with some of the nuts that I have dealt with over the years.

What I would like to know is, when will our customers start listening to us.
It runs from one end of the spectrum to the other.
You try to give friendly advice about a hair cut, or how often they should have their dog groomed to keep up with the cut they want, or how to feed their dog to help it's coat, and it goes in one ear and out the other.

Yet, I am the first person they call about a medical problem.
Not their Vet.
Their Vet will tell them to come in and change them, so they call me first to see if I think they need to see a Vet or is there something else they can do.
And, they call me to ask if I think it is time to put their dog to sleep.

I am not good enough to tell you how your dog should be cut, or how often, or the best shampoo to use and food to eat, but I am good enough to call about medical problems and death!
I just don't get it.

Another thing...
If one more person brings in shampoo for me to use on their dog I am going to scream.
I don't mean the Vet shampoo, which I think half of it is crap anyway.
I mean the store bought shampoo.
Come on now people, this is my job, don't you think I have better shampoo than what you picked up a Wal-Mart!
Don't even try to hand me a Hartz product.

Today was no different.

Self-Serve customer: "My dog ate a stink bug and now his skin stinks," she asked very seriously.
"Do you think the bug caused his skin to stink?"

Full-serve customer: "I have been to a lot of grooming shops and they have all been terrible." is the first thing out this second time customer.
"I only want 1/2 of her hair off, do not shave her." she instructed, repeating that other shops can't get it right.
"Don't shave her belly, it looks ugly, and don't clip her nails," she said. "I just clipped them.

This is 'Molly'.
I groomed her for the first time in September.
She was only a bath and trim that time because she was growing out of a shave down.

I think we were being tested.

I guess was passed, I groomed 'Molly again today.

 Sorry, I know her owner just clipped her nails, but....

I clipped them.
I could get so much more off of them.

I may have blown it, she may never come back again.

We shall see.  :)

1/2 off.

I decided to use a 3/4 blade on the body and skim the legs, then scissor up all over.
I did my best to repair and blend in the owners chop job on the face.

'Molly's' Mom said she liked the cut.
Will she still be happy when she sees that I clipped the nails?

This is 'Candy'. (the second)   Before-->
Why do people name their second dog after their first.

Is it that hard to find another name?

I have had a hand full of customers do this over the years.



I have another question...

What happened to all of the little Shih-Tzu's?

They are breeding them bigger now, at least the ones I see.

Then there was 'Sophie'.
'Sophie' is almost a year old.

You can smell her when she comes in the door.
She has very over active tear ducts.
Under her eyes is always soaked.
It stinks.

Mom wants me to do something.
"Have you talked to the Vet. yet?" I ask.
"No," can you get it to stop smelling?" she asked.

I told her that I could shave all of the hair out from under her eyes down to her mouth.
I warned her that some people thought that clipping the face like that made them look like...???
I bet you can guess.
...A Poodle.
She was willing to try anything to get the smell under control.

I was going to show you how I clipped the face.
My camera has been acting up.
The picture that weren't blurry, looked like this.

My hand was in the way of all of the shots.

I should have told my husband to move around.

Oh well...sorry.

I can tell you what I did.

I used my Moser, set on the #15 blade setting, and scooped out under the eyes and half way down the nose.

I clipped all of the way down to the top of the lip line, leaving a path of very short hair so that the owner could swab out her eyes with a warm water and a cotton ball.

I gave her a nice round mustache to hide the shaved out eyes.

I also told her Mom to ask the Vet about her eyes.

This is 'Moses'.

He usually gets a puppy cut with the #3F blade and scissor.

At the beginning of Fall, Dad asked for a bath and trim because it was getting cold.

Big mistake.
I have warned the owner that 'Moses' would get matted and have to be clipped short in the middle of the winter.

In one ear out the other.

 Today I had to clip 'Moses' with a #5f around the neck and chest, and a #4f on the rest of the body and legs.

I try to warn them.

If your dog is inside all of the time, keep them the same length all year round so that they don't have to get shaved.

Today the girls, two sisters, were bath and trims.

Mom was warned that they do not come in often enough for just a trim, and that they will be matted the next time they come in.

Mom still wanted the Bath and Trim.

I will not be dematting  these giant Labradoodles when they come in next.

Dad already complains about the price.  :(

That was the last grooming day of 2010 for us.
14 dogs.

The customers will be better next year...the customers will be better next year...

 Welllll... it worked for my cold.
I felt better today.
Maybe it would work for my customers too.

I really don't want to board up the front of my shop, but I am afraid I am going to go off the deep end one day and physically kick one of my customers out the door.
Not really.
I haven't done it yet. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF

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