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 29, 2011

A Sweet Maltese

A few months back, during the summer, a long time customer called.
I groomed her Maltese for about 10 years before he passed away.
That was 9 years ago.

She called us this summer to let us know that she was going to get a new Maltese.
She also wanted to find out if she could get back on our client list.
Of course we would take her back, she was a really good customer.

She called a few weeks ago looking for an appointment for her new Maltese.

Isn't she cute?
She is very sweet.

I was not at the shop when the owner dropped her off.
I was picking up another dog, so my husband took her in.

Because I was not there to take her in , I was not able to ask a lot of questions about the dog before I groomed it.

I had a lot of questions, because this dog was matted.

This owner had always taken really great care of her other Maltese.

 This dog was not just a little matted, she was pelted.

Her entire body was a cast.

Someone had been brushing the top of her coat but that was all.

Only her face was mat free.

I wanted to know when the owner got her.
How long she had her.

My husband didn't ask and didn't know.

I wanted to know if someone had been bathing her.
My husband did ask that, and was told that the owner had not bathed her since she got her.

I couldn't imagine that this owner would not have brought this dog to me if she had had her for a while.

  I decided to bathe her first, in hopes that I could get the mats to loosen up, away from the skin, so that I could hopefully get a #4F blade through her.

I also did not want to wet shave a white dog whose skin seemed so thin and delicate.

The matting was just way too tight to wet shave for me.

I could tell that someone had most defiantly been bathing this dog with the mats in her.

The mats were what I call tight bath mats.
(Mats that had been washed and left to tighten up while the dog air dried.)

I soaked her in Best Shot Shampoo and Creme Rinse.

I tried to work the mats apart, and loosen them up while she soaked in the shampoo.

These mats weren't going anywhere.

My only hope now was, that the HV drier would loosen the mats away from the skin a little.

The mats did not budge.. at all!


There was no possible way of saving any of this little girls coat.

I really hated that I was going to have to shave this dog.

Stubborn me had to make sure that I could not get a #5F blade through the coat.

I knew that I was going to have to use a #7F, but I was hoping the #5F might get through.


It took me about five minutes just to get the #7F blade started through the coat.

Oh, and she also acted like she had never had a clipper touch her before.

I had to let the clipper lay against her till she got used to the vibration before I could start clipping.

Once she accepted the sound and feel of the clipper, she did great.

Her coat was coming off in one piece, and she was going to look pink.

These photos were not only for my blog, but they were also to show the owner.

She was being so good.

She was feeling better too.

I saved the matted coat for the owner to see and feel.

Because the coat is clean, I am thinking about framing it and keeping it to show other customers that want to fight me about matted coats.

When the owner came to pick her up, I started asking questions.

As the owner talked, I got mad.

She got this dog around the end of October.
She drove a few States away to get her.
The Maltese is 2 years old.

The breeder was showing her but said that she did not like the way the dog ran in the ring, so she was no longer going to show her.

When my customer went to pick the Maltese up, the breeder told her that she (the breeder) normally grooms all of her dogs, but because my customer was buying the dog, she (the breeder) took the dog to a groomer and had her groomed right before my customer came to pick her up.

That was in late October.
The matting on this dog took way longer than 2 months to get that matted.
My customer thought that the coat on this Maltese was just a lot thicker than the coat on her other Maltese had been.
She had been trying to brush the dog because the breeder had told her that the dog should not be clipped short.
She said that the dog would get upset with her when she tried to brush its coat.
Ya think?

I have a hard time believing that this breeder and possibly a groomer would bathe a dog and leave the mats in the coat.
But, there was the proof.
A pelted Maltese that had just been sold to my customer.
A pelted coat that took a long, long time to get that way.

How in the world could someone hand a dog over to a new owner in that shape?

My customer was so upset that she did not realize that the dog was that badly matted.
She was a regular customer with her other Maltese, and always kept him in great shape.
She was also embarrassed that she didn't realize that the coat was matted and not just thick and different from her first Maltese.

I told her that I thought that this may have been the first time that the dog had ever been clipped with clippers.
I also told her that her new dog may be embarrassed by its new hair cut.
I told her not to laugh at the dog, but to keep telling her how pretty she was.
I did not find any sores under the matting, but told her to watch out for the dog going home and rubbing on furniture or the carpet.

My customer was very happy with the cut.
She made her next appointment for a bath and neaten up in 8 weeks.
She plans on keeping her around 2 inches long.

It is good to have a regular customer back.
This Maltese is very lucky to have a new home with this owner.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Hmmm. Wonder if the poor thing was so uncomfortable with all that matting that she didn't want to move in the ring? If I was in that kind of pain when I moved, I wouldn't look all that great when I ran either!! I'm so glad for that little baby that she has a new owner and a new groomer!!

  2. Poor thing....I'm so glad her skin is free now!!

  3. Hi Bev,
    You know, I think you are absolutely right. I had not thought of the matting affecting her in the ring other than the judge not being able to feel the dogs body structure through the matting. I am telling customers all of the time that the severe matting hurts their dog when they walk and run. You hit the nail on the head. The important thing is that this new owner will take care of this dog.

    Hi Mittens,
    I am glad too! She is such a sweet dog.

    Hi Danielle,
    I hope that you have a very Happy New Year too!

    Lisa, MFF