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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

If I Ever Quit Grooming....

It will not be because I got tired of dogs.
It will not be because of mean, or biting dogs.
It will not be because of the long days.
It will not be because of the hard physical toll it takes on your body.

It will be because of the dogs owners.

Let me change that a little.

It will be because of a few of the dog owners.

I know that I probably sound like I am beating a dead horse.
 I seem to be ranting a lot lately about some of my customers and I hate it.

I don't like feeling this way.
I don't want to feel this way.

There must be something in the air.

Customers have really been....I don't even know how to describe it.
It's not that they have really been complaining lately.
I guess it has been more like they have been rude, petty, and inconsiderate.

More and more customers are coming in late for their appointments.
I don't mean 5 minutes late, I am talking about 30 minutes to an hour.

We give all of our customers a 15 minute leeway, because I understand that people can get caught up in traffic, or may just be running a little late.
The thing that irritates me most is when we call the customer at 16 minutes past the hour, and the customer answers their home phone and says, "we will be leaving soon" or, "I'll get there as soon as I can."
What do you mean?
You were supposed to be here 15 minutes ago!
No "I am sorry. Is it still okay to come over?"

As with many other groomers, I am not independently wealthy.
I book the number of dogs a day to meet my overhead and pay my bills.
I do not have the luxury of telling a customer that shows up late, "sorry, but you are late for your appointment and will have to reschedule."

I think, over the years, my customers have realized that I won't turn them away when they show up late, and it has been getting worse and worse in the past year.
Even some of my regulars come late repeatedly for their appointments.

Yes, I have told them that this causes us to run behind.
They either don't get it, or they just don't care.

Pick-up time has become a problem too.

It is a lack of respect for your time.
I can not tell you how many times my customers will show up anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes (or more) after our closing time, to pick-up their dog.
Yes, they know the closing time.

I once groomed for a Vet/Kennel.
They closed at 5pm.
My boss closed and locked the front door at 5pm on the dot.
If a dog had not been picked up, he kenneled it, and the owner was to pick the dog up the next day and pay the grooming fee and a boarding fee.
If they knocked on the door 5 or 10 minutes after 5pm, he would not open it.

When I worked for him, I remember thinking that he was not very understanding or nice, but I think now, having so many customers take advantage of us and our time, that I could almost agree with him.

Another thing that has been bothering me lately is the petty complaining that we have been experiencing lately.

Now, if I missed cleaning the ears or clipping the nails on a foot, or left one ear longer than the other, I have no problem with a customer telling me about it.
I am only human, and I try very hard not to let it happen again if I messed up.

It is the customers like today.

This is a customer that came to me when a groomer in my area was on maternity leave an sent her customers to me to groom.
Apparently this customer is now going back and fourth between me and the other groomer.
This customer is a chronic complainer.
The only time that she has not complained, was the very first time we groomed her dogs.
Since then, the grooms have not been 'perfect like the first time.' 
She complains about the price because we are higher than the other groomer.
She complains that she can't get appointments on the times and days that she wants.
That is why she is going to the other groomer too.
She even told us that the other groomer didn't get it right last time either.

Did I get it right today?
Apparently the head was not 'perfect like the first time.'

It is the customers that come in and complain about the last grooming, but for the life of them, can not tell you what was not right.

Then I had another customer complain today.
This one did not upset me, I kind of expected it.
It was a first time customer with a 5month old Shih-tzu mix.
He was so cute and so very sweet.
He was booked on me, but I was picking up a customers dog and was not there to talk to the customer when she dropped the dog off.

My daughter took her in, and tried to figure out what the owner wanted.
It was the typical, "I want him short, but don't take too much off."
The hair was only about 2 inches long.
He had a  nice wavy, silky type of coat.
I used a yellow clip comb on his body and scissored his legs.
He would not stand on the table, so I did most of the grooming with him laying down.
The yellow clip comb took off about 1/2 an inch.

When the owner picked up, I explained what I did, and that if she wanted it shorter next time just let me know.
I also told her that she may find some stray hairs here and there because he would not stand, but the more he was groomed, the better he would get about grooming.
She seemed to understand when she left.

She called back a few hours later to tell me that I didn't take him short enough, and that there were some long hairs sticking out.
I repeated everything that I had told her when she picked her dog up, and I offered for her to bring her dog back over and I would take him a little shorter.
She only wanted him a little shorter on the back and around the neck.

I didn't mind that she wanted him shorter, it is just irritating when they don't listen to you the first time.

As Rodney Dangerfield would say...."I don't get no respect."

To top it all off, I had one more complaint today.

This was a complaint from the customers Vet.
This was about something she (the Vet) accused me of doing and not doing.
This one deserves a blog all by itself, so I will tell that story tomorrow.

Needless to say, all I want is for my customers to be a little nicer and respect my job.
I get up everyday and go to work to make dogs feel good and look nice.

I know that these days will pass.
They seem to come in waves.
Waves of petty complaints.
Waves of No Shows.
Waves of late drop-offs.
Waves of late pick-ups.

I'll get over it.

I am sorry for another rant.

There is another one coming tomorrow.  :/
This Vet ticked me off big time.
Because of her, I will be changing some things in my shop.
I am tired of Vets that bash groomers.

I am going to cheer myself up now by climbing in bed and reading a good romance novel. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. You need to charge late fees and boarding fees if they're rhere more than a couple hours past the end of a groom. I say this as a customer only. That's insane, but I miss my dog the couple hours he's goneso I pick him up immediately...still you're not a doggysitter or you should charge like one!

  2. I agree i miss my dogs after a couple hours too!!!!!!