What a mess!
I don't get very many dogs in anymore that look like they have not been groomed in over a year.
When I first opened my shop, I groomed matted dogs all of the time.
Mainly because I was trying to build a clientele, and took every person that called, even same day appointments and walk-ins.
It was mostly those same day appointments and walk-ins that had the really matted dogs.
I no longer take same day appointments or walk-ins...ever.
Even if I had a cancellation.
Owners that call and want their dogs groomed right then and there always turn out to be trouble.
They show up later than the time you told them to be there .
Their dogs are in bad shape.
You end up waiting for them to pick up their dog after your closing time.
Today we had a new customer on the books who walked in two weeks ago to make an appointment for her three dogs.
We were able to give her an appointment for two of them for today.
She waited two weeks for this appointment.
When a new customer comes in, my husband gets them to fill out the paper work, and then he comes to get me to talk to the owner about what they want done on the dog.
When I came into the lobby, the owner was not there.
"Where did she go?" I asked my husband.
"She went back out to the car to get her dog," he told me.
So I stood there waiting for a couple of minutes before the owner walked back in the door.
This is what she carried into my lobby.
I was not expecting this.
Then she went to get her other dog.
Can you smell them?
I still can.
I think the smell is stuck in my nose.
I had such a headache by the time I got first dog in the tub.
The owner told us that her and her husband divorced last year, and he took the dogs with him out of spite.
Her daughter told the owner that her father was not taking care of the dogs.
The owner waited till her ex-husband went on vacation, then she went and took her dogs back.
That was a couple of weeks ago, when she made the appointment.
We put the Brussels Griffon in the tub first.
He was mostly covered in dirty dreadlocks.
I scissored most of the dreadlocks off in the tub before we bathed him.
Both of the dogs are 4 years old, but the Brussels didn't act like he had ever been groomed before.
It was no fun trying to scissor around his eyes.
He also wanted no parts of the dryer.
My daughter clipped him down with a #5f, and scissored the face the best she could.
It was impossible to get a good picture of him.
He never stopped moving. :/
The other dog turned out to be a lot more work.
I actually thought about bathing this dog first.
Not to do a wet clip.
I didn't think that would be safe on this dog.
This dog smelled soooo bad.
But, because the other dog acted up so badly in the tub and especially for the dryer, I was afraid that this dog would act the same way.
If I was going to clip this dog after the bath, it was extremely important that I was able to use the HV dryer to pull the mats away from the skin.
If this dog was like his friend, there was no way he was going to let me dry him the way I would need to.
So I decided to clip him before the bath.
His head and all four of his legs were the worst.
This is what the bottom of his feet looked like.
I could not find the pads of his feet with my fingers.
His back legs were just as bad as the front legs.
That is not his one leg and tail.
It is both of his back legs.
His feet are in there somewhere.
You could only see two toes nails on one front foot.
Those were the only toe nails that you could see on all four of her feet.
I don't know how the poor guy was walking.
The ears were matted to the head and neck.
There are eyes in there somewhere.
The first thing that I did was clear the eyes.
It was just a matter of finding a safe place to start.
Luckily, even though the dog was matted badly, there was a good airspace between the matting and the skin.
As soon as I cleared the eyes and around the mouth and cheeks, I spent a few minutes giving the dog a nice face massage.
He loved that.
I used a #7F blade to remove most of the mat on the face and head.
I had to use a #10 blade on the ears.
I was able to peel the mats off of the legs with a #7F blade...till I got to the feet.
I had to pick at the mats with a #15 and #30 blade to find the pads and toes of the feet.
Surprisingly, only one nail had grown into the pad of a toe.
I am surprised that I did not find more.
Most of the nails were curled around to the side of the toes.
A couple of nails had broken off into the mat.
Look how badly the pad has dry rotted on this dogs toe.
I could not tell how far the nail had grown into the pad...
...till after I cut the nail.
It had grown pretty far into the pad.
I sprayed the wound with peroxide, and cleaned it out well.
He was such a good boy.
I think that he knew I was trying to help him.
I went over the rest of his body with a #4F blade to get the rest of the hair off.
Time for a bath.
Any body have a Neddi Pot?
I need to clean the smell out of my nose.
I can still smell this dog.
He got a bath in deodorizing shampoo followed up with a Medicated bath.
His pads were falling apart from dry rot.
Pieces of pads were all over the tub.
I made the right decision to clip before the bath.
Just like his friend, he wanted nothing to do with the HV dryer.
As usual, with most badly matted dogs, he was great for the before clip, and all over the place for the finish clip.
It is like they feel so good and so free that they can't stand still any longer. :)
Was the owner telling the truth about how they got so matted?
I am not sure.
I hope so.
She made another appointment for them to have a bath in six weeks.
I hope that she keeps the appointment.
We will be grooming her third dog next week.
I hope that she brought the worst two in first.
We will see.
At least these two feel better tonight. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF