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.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Westie

As you can see, I survived today.
One more day left of this week.

Does it sound crazy that I was actually looking forward to this Westie coming in.
I don't know what it is exactly, but I really enjoy the challenge of grooming a dog that hates  being groomed.
I want so much to show that dog that grooming doesn't have to be bad.

The Westie came right at 9am.
I had been envisioning all kinds of different scenarios with this dog.
Would she be mean?
Would she be insane?
Would she be a fear biter?
Would she be a go-for-blood biter?

The owner had been adamant on the phone about how bad this dog was.
He told us that it would be okay if we had to call him back and say that we could not do anything with her.

When the Westie came in, my husband went up to get all of the information for a new customer.
About 5 minutes later he came back into the grooming room with a very stressed look on his face.

(He hates that I groom there difficult dogs.)

Anyway, he looks at me and says, "that Westie is 14 years old and she has never been professionally groomed, and she is matted."
"They didn't say any of that when they made the appointment!" my daughter tells me.
I went up to the lobby not really sure what I was going to see when I got to the lobby.

The dog took one look at me and made a beeline for the door.
The owner told me that he and his father had been grooming the dog for the last 14 years.
He said that they had been sedating the dog and that he would clip it while his father held the dog.
The owner also told me that his father could no longer help him groom the dog so they decided to try a professional groomer.

As the owner finished filling out the information sheet, I walked over to the dog and slowly picked her up.
She did not fight me at all, but she was shaking out of her skin.
She did not know what was happening.
I was not getting a bad vibe off of her.
The biggest thing that I was worried about was the fact that she was 14 years old.
I did not want this first professional grooming to stress her out.

The owner was going to hang around the area.
I asked him how he wanted her groomed.
"We will be happy with anything that you can do," he told me.

The first thing I did was put her into a kennel and give her a little time to get used to her surroundings.
I finished grooming my first appointment of the day and then put the Westie into the tub.

 She was very tense but she had stopped shaking.

Once again, I was grooming a very head shy dog.

She was very sensitive to everything that I was doing.

She was pretty good about letting soap up her body.


 I slowly soaped up her legs, rubbing them to she how she felt about me fooling with her legs.

Once again she tensed up but she let me rub them without getting upset.

The only time she showed teeth was when I was rinsing around her mouth.

Other than that, she did really good for the bath.

I was worried about using the HV dryer on her because of her age, and the fact that she was a white dog.

Older white dogs are the ones that seem to have the 'dryer seizures'.

She is already deaf but I put cotton in her ears anyway.

I turned the HV dryer pressure only half way.

She did great.

I didn't use the HV on her head.

She was also very good with letting me brush and blow-dry her.

She did tense up a few times and she was watching me closely.

She only snapped a few times and never at me, but at the brush or the comb.

She did have a lot of small hanging dreadlocks, and some short areas where the owners had been cutting out mats.

It took me a little while to talk her into letting me brush her face, but as long as I let her move her face when she wanted to and held her face very lightly she let me brush out the mats.

She turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

I don't doubt in the least that she would have let me know if she didn't like what I was doing.

I have to say that I was very relieved that she was not the bad dog that her owners made her out to be.

The last thing that I wanted, was to have a 14 year old dog flip out on me.

I didn't push anything.

I didn't get knit-picky with the groom.

I did a quick Westie cut, letting her get used to me and the process.

She is not prefect, but I was happy with the finished dog.

The owners were tickled pink that she was a good girl.

Imagine being unnecessarily sedated, for 14 years, to be groomed.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I have a westie with the same problem. WHere are you located? Thanks. I am in Hyde Park, NY.

  2. Hi Linda,
    I am located in Maryland.
    Lisa, MFF