For 16 years I groomed the way that I was taught in Grooming School.
I groomed that way for a long time, then I went to an all day seminar at Hershey's Groom Expo.
I was down sizing and going Mobile, and I needed to find a quicker way to groom.
I learned two major, career changing things at that seminar.
**Bathe before doing any clipping.
**Use a HV dryer, and use it properly.
That was 11 years ago.
I have not clipped a dog before the bath since then.
Well, that's not quite true...I did have a OAY Standard Poodle that I used a #7 skip tooth blade to skim off 1/2 of the thick dirty coat before I put the dog into the tub, but that was a couple of years ago.
I have been grooming this little lady for a long time.
She is 16 years old now, and she has always been a little testy about the grooming.
She will go for blood if you piss her off, but most of the time she is pretty good to groom.
Well, that is until a few years ago, when she started having problems with her eyes.
~She no longer likes her face fooled with.
~She is blind now.
~She barely tolerates the bath.
~She will no longer tolerate the HV Dryer.
Her eyes are always crusted over, and a couple of times one or two of her eyes have been sealed shut with the crust.
Now, her owners do take care of her, but they can no longer get near her eyes.
Her summer cut is a #4F, but in the winter they let her grow out, and she gets a puppy cut until the hair gets too long for the owners to keep her mat free.
That was today.
After I took her in, I started straight for the tub as usual.
Then I stopped.
I felt her body again.
The body was fairly mat free, but the legs were very matted.
Normally I would bathe a dog like this and then HV her to get the mats away from her skin enough to get a longer blade through.
As I stood there, I thought; 'Damn, she gets hand dried now and there is no way she is going to let me use the HV on her to pull these mats away from her skin.'
There was also no way I was going to spend the time hand drying her when her legs were so matted, and she was so old, and has arthritis in her legs to top it all off.
Then I stood there and thought; 'Oh crap, I don't want to clip her before the bath.'
I had no choice in this case.
Her legs were too matted to hand dry.
I would have to rough her in.
Thankfully her Mom had bathed her the day before.
I know, I know, why do they do that when they are bring them in for you to groom.
I asked a owner once why she bathed her dog when she knew it was coming to me and that the bath was part of the groom.
"Oh, she was too dirty, I didn't want to bring you a dirty dog," she explained to me.
If she only knew the dirty dogs that I have had to bathe over the years.
Anyway, back to today...
Where was I..
Oh yeah, because the owner had bathed her, I didn't have to rough in a dirty coat, and dull a blade.
The rough cut, before the bath.
All I could think of while I was clipping her was; 'I am going to have to clip her again!'
I was able to get the #4F blade through her, but if I had been able to bathe her first and HV the mats away from her skin, I could have gotten a 5/8 blade through her.
Since it is still cold, I didn't want to take her down in the #4F summer cut yet.
There was no other choice.
I also tried to scissor a lot of her eye crust away, but most of it was going to have to soak.
She only tried to eat me four times while cleaning out her eyes. :-)
This is her after the bath and hand blow dry.
Doesn't she look choppy?
I have to clip her again.
What a waste of time.
She would have been done by now.
Sorry, having a hard time getting over that, can you tell?
She doesn't like the clippers run down her legs, so instead of clipping her legs twice, I just scissored them up.
The face isn't as short as the owners like, but she bites the scissors, and I can only take so many heart attacks a day.
I don't push it, I just make her look presentable.
I still can't believe that I groomed that way for all of those years.
I love only clipping and scissoring once.
I love the look of the hair when it has been HV dried.
Cage drying..what's that?
I love the smooth, velvety look of most of the finished hair cuts.
I will never go back to clipping before the bath.
Well...unless it is necessary, like today.
Happy Grooming, MFF