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.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesdays Tip #6

Today could not have started out any worse then it did.
We have a 40 minute ride to work everyday.
Two miles from the house we ran into a one mile back-up, not good.
We had a first time customer do in at 8am.
I don't usually take first time customers around the Holidays, I save those appointments for my regulars.
This customer happened to call at just the right time.
We had had someone cancel an appointment right before she called.
The new customer talked about a dog she had rescued that needed grooming.
They where going to take her to PetSmart, but someone had highly recommended us.
Now, I am a sucker for rescues and the people who rescue them.
So, I gave this new customer the appointment.

Back to this morning.
We sat in traffic for 20 minutes before everything cleared up.
We were going to be late.
Very late!
By 8 am we were still around 15 minutes away, so my husband called a friend who owns the 7-11 store in our Shopping Center.
My husband asked if he could run over to our shop and tell the customer that we were caught in accident traffic and would be there in 15 minutes.
He called us back a couple of minutes later to let us know that he had talked to our customer, and she said she would wait.

I know that it was bad on our part.
We did not mean to be late.
We tried not to leave her out in front of our shop wondering what was going on.
I never could have expected what happened next.

We pulled up in front of our shop right at 8:15 am.
I pulled up next to her car.
When I looked over at the new customer to give her a smile, she was pissed!
My heart sank.
Oh crap...we have probably made her late for work too.

As I got out of the car, she popped out of her car and asked if I was the groomer.
"Yes. I am so sorry we are late." I said, very apologetically. 
"Were you in an accident?" she asked angrily.
"No, we got caught in accident traffic." I said, as I walked into my shop.
" I have been here since 7:45am." she said angrily as she followed me into the shop.

Within the 30 seconds it took me to walk around my counter and face this angry new customer, she burst out crying.
"I am taking Chemotherapy and I am in so much pain. I have been here since 7:45. I wanted to get here on time because I knew you fit me in for this appointment," she blurted while crying.

I stood there stunned.
You have got to be kidding me.
Is this really happening?
All I could do was continue to apologize.
I don't like being late," she said.
Again I said: "I am sorry, we did not mean you make you wait.

I took her information about the dog.
"How old is the dog? I asked.
"She is 10 years old."
Oh, it is so nice that she adopted an older dog, I thought.
"How long ago did you rescue her? I asked.
"Ten years ago." she said.
Oh, I thought you just rescued her? I stammered.
That was the impression she gave on the phone. 
That was why she got this appointment!

The dog was a little Spaniel mix with medium length hair and a little feathering.
"What would you like to have done?" I asked.
" You know," she looked at me like I had two heads.
"Clean her up and trim her." she said a little disgusted.
"Okay, so would you like to just trim her feathering or shorten her body? I asked, feeling that this was not going well.
Looking at me like I was nuts, she said; "They usually leave her tail and cut her body short."
"Would you like me to take more then 1/2 or less then 1/2 off of her body?" I persisted while looking at the dog and thinking I would never cut into that pretty coat if she were mine.
"Take 1/2 off, what time will she be ready? she said and asked in one sentence.
"I should have her done by 11 am, but I will call you if it is sooner." I smiled.
She made a face.
"Okay." she said as she started out the door.
"I am sorry about the wait," I apologized again.
I am in pain. I don't like to be late," she said without turning, as the door closed behind her.

"Why was she crying?" my husband asked, as I picked up the dog.
I just shook my head, and told him everything she said.
I don't know what to think, other than the fact that I feel like a big piece of crap right now, because I don't know whether to believe her or not about the pain and Chemotherapy.

At 9:05 am, while I was drying the dog, my husband tapped me on the shoulder.
Pointing at the dog he said; "She is on the phone and wants to know if you are almost done?"
After I picked my jaw up off the floor and mumbled something I can't remember under my breath, I told my husband to tell her to pick her dog up at 10:30 and get out of my life.

She picked the dog up at 10:30 on the dot.
I gave her $5 off the groom as another apology.
She said the dog looked pretty and left.


The one good thing about this morning?
The dog was an absolute sweet heart!

I know, I know...
You are asking; "Where is Tuesdays Tip?
Sorry. :)
Needed to vent a little.

Today's tip is about drying.
These tips are some of the things that I do to try to help the drying go a little faster.
90-95% of all of my drying is done with the HV dryer.I have not touched a stand dryer in over 10 years.
I hate stand driers.
I do not use cage dryers, except for cats.

I recommend a good veritable speed HV dryer, so that you can turn down the power of the air flow for puppies, old dogs, and scared dogs.
Also for drying around heads and ears.

First, I squidgy the dog with my hands to get as much water off of the dog as possible.
Second, I use an Absorber towel or Moisture Magnet towel to suck as much water out of the coat as I can.
These towels will pull the water out of the coat.
When the towel is full of water, just ring it out and go over the dog again, as many times as you need to.
Third, I rub the dog down with a regular towel.
Then I put that same towel on the drying table for the dog to stand on.
The towel will help soak up the water coming off of the dogs feet.

First Tip:
Drape a towel over the hand that you will be holding the HV hose in.

I also take the pointy part of the HV hose off. 
I like to use the wide part of the hose so that I can get up close to the skin.

Then take a hold of the hose keeping your hand covered with the towel.

I hold the hose so that my fingers are hanging over the end of the hose a little.

I do this so that the towel is rubbing the coat and sucking up water as the HV blows it out of the coat.

When the towel gets too wet around my fingers, I just adjust the towel to a dry spot.

I place my fingers and the hose right up against the dogs skin and work in small areas at a time untill that area is dry.

I make small clockwise and counter clockwise circles to move the hair all around.

Second Tip:

If the dog you are drying really sprays a lot of water at you, lift and hold up the end of the towel to catch the spray while you are drying.

Third Tip:

If you have a dog that is blowing a lot of coat while you are dying it, drape a towel over the dog and work under the towel.

This helps reduce the amount of hair that flies around and into you face.

The towel will also suck-up extra moisture off the coat, helping the dog dry faster.

If you have a very large dog to dry, such as a St. Poodle or a Labradoodle, you can wrap them in a towel and clip the towel with a hair clip to keep it on the dog.

Put the dog in a kennel for 5 or 10 minutes while you do something else.
You will be amazed how just letting them sit for a little while will help speed up the HV drying.

  I also use my HV dryer as a stand dryer.

When I need two hands to brush out the coat while drying, I tuck the hose up under my arm and use my body to point it where I want it.

This trick is great to use to fluff up a poodle or a curly coat while HVing.

I also like to use this trick when I want to bush out stubborn undercoat while HVing.

I also like to hold the HV hose away from the dog to part the hair and find undercoat or mats.

This is also a great way to really separate the hair on a thick main or rear, to make sure you got all of the undercoat out.

By the time I am finished HV drying, my dogs are 95% dry.
I use a hand dryer to do a quick fluff up and finish drying.

I use most of these tips and tricks everyday.
They also worked really great when I was out in my Grooming Van.
Most of my dogs were groomed within an hour, and they were completely dry.

I hope that at least one of these tips or tricks will help.

Tomorrow will be a good, good day! :))

Happy Grooming, MFF

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