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, January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Tip #39 Check-In

I messed up the other day.
I did something that I am always giving my husband a hard time about.
Now I can't say anything to him.

So, what is it that I am always giving him a hard time about?

Reading the file cards before he waits on the customer.

What was that?

We still use file cards!?

Yeeeeees, we still use those darn file cards.

My husband hates computers, or the computer hates him.
Actually I think it is a mutual feeling between the two of them.  :)

I am working on putting everything on the computer.
I am checking out a program that I think even he can work with....I hope.

Anyway, my husband used to be really good about reading the customers file, and then talking to them about what they wanted done with the dog.
That was back when we were building the business.
Now that most of are customers a regulars, he has gotten into the bad habit of just saying "You want the same as usual?", or "do you want us to do the same as last time?"....without looking at the file.
The other problem is, that the customers just say yes even if something was different last time.

Most of the time there is no problem.
Most of the customers do get the same groom over and over again.

Most of the time the problems come at the change of the seasons, because a lot of my customers get longer clips in the winter and shorter clips in the summer.

So what did I do the other day?

I had a long time customer come with her two Havanese.
The one I have been grooming off and on during his 'Show' career.

His owner retired him from showing last year.

After his last show, his Mom brought him in and decided that she wanted to shorten up his hair, but not too much.

She was not ready to lose the long hair.

Even this cut was a little shocking for her.

The owner does not bring him in very often.
She likes to do a lot of the grooming herself.
When the coat starts to get out of hand, she brings him in to me.

When she brought him in the other day, I didn't bother to look at his file.
Even when she started to tell me that I didn't cut him evenly last time, I didn't pick up and look at the file.
I thought that she was just being a little picky.
She has always been one of my knit-picky customers, but she has always been very nice about it.  :/

She also had her new Havanese with her.
This was the first time I was meeting the new dog.
She was now a year old.
The owner had been showing her also, but has decided to stop because she is such a nervous thing.

When I got him on the table and could look him over, I though 'wait a minute!'
There is no way I chopped this dog up like this the last time.

Now I must stop here to say that, pre-children I would have remembered the last grooming without looking at the file, but since my kids have sucked all the memory out off my body, I don't remember anything anymore.

Even standing there looking at this dog, I could not remember the last grooming, until....

I looked at that darn file.
As soon as I started reading what I had written, I remembered.

The owner had tried to shape the legs herself before the last grooming.
On top of that she had also been chopping out mats.

I had even made a note that I told her I could not get all of the choppy look out without taking him as short as some of the places she had chopped up.

Now if I had looked at that darn file when she came in, I would have been able to remind her that she was the one who chopped up the legs, and that I was not able to get them evened up again.

I felt like a fool.
I couldn't believe that I did something that I am always giving my husband a hard time about.
It sure came back to bite me in the butt.

So once again I tried to fix the owners groom job.

 Did I go back up to and remind the owner that the uneven legs were her fault and not mine?


I let it go.

I had my chance.

I blow it.

Plus, so far my husband didn't know about what I did.

I am not that stupid.

Why would I let him know that I did the same thing I that I give him a hard time about?

I would never hear the end of it.

So, my tip for the day is simple.

Keep good notes on every grooming.

AND, most important of all!

Read those notes before you take the dog in for grooming.

I have to get my files on the computer so that I can make notes for myself and my husband to look at before we take in a customer. 

Time to move into the 21st century. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I also used file cards for years and I recently purchased the groomers write hand. It is very simple and it is exactly what I was looking for. I think you would be very happy with it. You should check it out.

  2. Hi Anonymous,
    I used Groomers Write Hand several years back. Right now I am checking into programs that I can use for retail and scheduling too. Thanks for the information. I am glad that you found a program that works well for you. :)
    Lisa, MFF