I am talking about me.
I was the idiot yesterday.
Let me just say, even us seasoned groomers mess up sometimes, and do things that we know better.
Let me give you a little grooming history first.
When I went to grooming school we were not taught how to dematt a dog.
As a matter of fact, 90% of the dogs groomed at the school I went to were clipped with a #7 blade or shorter.
Even the dogs we tested on.
There was nothing like taking a test on a Springer, or Poodle, or Cocker, putting the style clip on the dog, doing all of the scissoring, get graded, and then have to shave that same dog down before it went home.
We were not allowed to let a dog go out with a style clip unless the customer had asked for it and was paying for it.
The owners were not to know that their dog was at a grooming school, or that a student was grooming their dog.
We were also not allowed to have any contact with the customers.
So, because almost every dog was shaved down, I didn't have to deal with dematting until I left school.
Boy, was that a rude awakening.
Now I had customers coming in wanting me to get the mats out of their dogs, or claiming that their dog was not matted and wanted their dogs left long.
I was not taught how to demat, much less taught how to say 'no'.
If only I had a dollar for all of the times I stood in the grooming room, in tears, trying to figure out how to get the mats out of the dog.
There was no internet then.
There was no one to ask.
I had to figure out how to demat on my own, and I did.
I got really good at it.
I got really fast at it also.
I tried different tricks to make dematting go faster and not hurt the dog.
It took me years to learn how to say 'no'.
I have gotten very good at telling people right up front that their dog is too matted and needs to be shaved.
Yes, I have lost a few customers over this.
I had one walk right back out the door because I refused to bathe the dog with the mats and give it back to them that way.
That dog was a Newfie mix that was so tightly matted that the mats felt like rocks.
Another customer that I lost was a small Yorkie.
The first time the dog came in it was a puppy whose entire body was matted.
The owners do not want the dog shaved no matter what.
They had been brushing the dog, but only the top part of the coat.
So I gave them the benefit of the doubt and dematted the puppy.
With Best Shot Shampoo and Conditioner I was able to demat the puppy fairly easily.
Although, I did not tell the owner it was easy for me.
I showed them the correct way to brush their dog, sold them a brush, and told them if the dog was matted like that again it would have to be clipped.
They came in three more times.
The first time there were only a couple of mats, and you could tell they were trying.
I did the 5 minute demat.
The second time the dog was about 40% matted, and the owner had excuses for not brushing the dog as much.
Again I dematted the dog, and told them that I would not demat it the next time.
The last time the dog came in matted all over just like the very first time I dematted her.
I clipped her with a #5f blade.
Yes, I told them before I did it.
I always tell an owner first.
I never just shave them down.
The owners were pissed.
I never saw them again.
I had made a mistake dematting the dog the first time.
They saw no reason why I could not demat the dog every time.
Now I no longer do large demat jobs.
Notice I said 'large demat jobs'.
I still like the challenge of saving ears and tails.
I also don't mind saving legs sometimes, if I feel that the mat is not that bad.
It drives my daughter crazy.
I actually like dematting, if the dog does not mind it.
As I said before it is a challenge for me.
It actually makes me feel good when I can save a coat, and not have to make a dog look skinned.
But, I have learned to control myself and only demat dogs that are not unreasonably matted...
Yesterday I had a OES come in for the third time.
The very first time that the dog came in, it came into the Self-Serve.
The owner was bathing it herself and asked me if she was doing a good job brushing the dog.
Actually she was.
The dog was in full coat and only had mats behind its ears and some dead coat stuck in its legs and chest.
A quick brush with a good slicker brush and all of the dead coat was out.
I showed her the correct way to brush the dog, getting all of the way down to the skin.
A few months later she made an appointment for the dog to have a full grooming.
Once again the dog had some mats, but 80% of the dog was mat free.
So I dematted the dog and hand scissored half off of the dog.
That was 5 months ago.
The dog came in yesterday.
His owner wanted a bath and trim.
She knew he was matted but did not want him clipped.
He was matted on his chest, behind his ears, and all four legs.
On top of that, she had given him a bath even tough I had told her to never bath the dog without getting a comb through the coat first.
My husband brought the dog back for me to check.
That is when I turned into an idiot.
I said okay to a Bath and Trim.
I did tell her that there would be a demat charge.
I don't no!
I don't know why I told her I would demat the dog.
Maybe because the dogs body was mat free.
Maybe because I knew that the dog was really good about dematting.
Maybe I just lost my mind for a few minutes.
My husband kept asking me, 'are you sure?'
I could hear the little voice in my head saying 'what the he** are you doing?'
I could hear my daughter saying 'why are you dematting that dog Mom!'
Then my husband came back in the grooming room and told me one of the worst things he could have.
He had told the owner that I would demat the dog.
The owner told my husband that they had clipped the dog down themselves at the beginning of the summer and did not think that the short hair needed to be brushed.
The owner told him that the dog was only matted a little around her neck, and a little bit on her legs.
She also told him, 'she (meaning me) dematted her for me before.'
Once again I have created a monster.
A customer that knows I can get the mat out, and has slacked up on brushing the dog herself.
It took me 3 hours to groom the dog from start to finish.
I was pissed at myself the whole time.
Not at the dog.
Not at the owner.
I knew better.
The inside of the back legs were so matted that I took a #5F to them.
I clipped the inside of both back legs 3/4 of the way down.
As a matter of fact, I clipped all of the matting that was very tight, and did not loosen up with the shampoo, creme rinse, and HV drying.
The green arrows are everywhere that I shaved off tight mat with a #5F balde.
I did have to use a #10 blade directly behind the ears and the belly.
Three hours for a groom that should have taken an hour.
She was wonderful!
This dog does not mind being brushed at all.
There is no reason for her to be matted.
Most of the mat came out fairly easily, it just takes time.
No reason why the owner can't do the same.
We told the owner that if the dog came in like this again, it will have to be shaved.
My daughter wanted to get that in writing.
She wanted me to write down that I would never dematt that dog again.
She knows me so well.
The owner made an appointment for 8 weeks.
I'll try not to be an idiot again. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF