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, May 8, 2012

One Of My Grooming Nightmares Comes True!

I have to be honest, I was not sure that I was going to share this story.
Even though I took pictures, I still felt terribly embarrassed about telling anyone about what happened today.

After I thought about it, I decided that I should post this story.

I wanted this blog to be about real, everyday pet grooming.
During real, everyday pet grooming, accidents happen.
Thankfully they rarely happen in my shop.

We are beyond careful.
We actually annoy each other by always telling the other person "to be careful with that dog," "watch that dogs back," "don't take your hands off of that dog," "that dog has a bad leg, be careful," you name it, we just about drive each other crazy always watching over the others shoulder.

We are very careful about taking good care of the dogs that we groom, because we truly care for them and take pride in what we do.
We are annoyingly careful with them, because the public seems to be out to crucify pet groomers when a dog is accidentally hurt, or to sue them.

The accident that happened to me and the dog today was a first in my 28 years of grooming.

Twenty-eight years!

I was dumbfounded.

The crazy thing about it was, that I didn't even know that it had happened.

This dog is a very long time customer of mine.
She is the third Maltese that I have groomed its whole life for this owner.
This Maltese is 15 years old.
I groom her straight through and get her back to her owners as quickly as I can.
She is a very sweet dog.
She stands still as a statue on my table.
The only thing that she does now, in her old age, that she never used to do, is pull her face away when I try to scissor it.

I know, I know.

I can hear you....you're asking 'what the heck happened?!'

I clipped a wart off!

Correction...I clipped part of a wart off.

I have accidentally nicked a wart before, but I have never clipped one totally off.

How did I not know?

I was running the clipper down the back to the back leg.

I blade never caught up, or even hesitated like it caught onto, or hit something.

The #4F bladed glided through the dogs thin, straight hair very smoothly, hardly taking anything off of the top of the back.

The dog never moved, flinched, cried, or turned her head...she did not react at all.
She just kept looking out my window.
I didn't know I had clipped the ward off until I saw the piece of wart hanging in the hair on the dogs leg.
I even thought; "what in the world is that?"
I second I touched it, I knew.

 It barely bled at all.

I had to go pushing back her hair looking for it.

I remembered the wart.

I have seen it before.

It has been there for awhile.

I saw it in the tub.

I know that it is no excuse, but once her hair was dry and covering the wart, I forgot about it. 

The wart was the kind that has a solid piece to the body and an extra piece that hangs off of the rest of the wart by a tiny bit of skin.
I think that that is why the dog didn't feel anything, and why the blade clipped it off so easily.

Only another groomer knows that feeling that goes through you when you know that you have nicked a dog.
It is beyond upsetting.
I did not get into this business to hurt a dog.

I can't tell you how thankful I was that the dog didn't seem to feel a thing.

 Even when I was cleaning the rest of the wart, that sweet little Maltese didn't move or flinch.

She was wonderful, which only made me feel even worse.

Of course I was still in shock.

I kept looking at the piece that had been clipped off shaking my head.

Twenty-eight years!

 It cleaned up very nicely.

I was amazed that it hardy bled.

The blood you saw in the picture above was it.

Warts are notorious for bleeding.

Sometimes just hitting one with a comb will make it bleed like crazy.

The arrow shows the little piece of skin that the other piece was attached to.

Even while I am writing this and looking at the pictures, I still can't believe that it happened.

The #4F blade has always glided over warts without cutting them.
Something else to worry about now when I clip a dog. :/

 Another really sad part about this whole thing was, that this was the only wart she has on her.

The only one!

 It's not  like she was covered with them, and I hit one trying to avoid another.

I just failed all of the way around.

 After I had cleaned the wart out, and let the wart air dry, I combed the hair back over the wart.

Please tell me that you can see how I forgot about it.

Out of sight out of mind. :(

I know, I know that is no excuse.

This will bother me for weeks.

Yes, of course I told the owner.

I would not knowingly let a dog, that I cut, walk out of my shop without telling the owner what happened.

It wasn't the dogs fault.
Nothing was distracting me.
She didn't move suddenly.

I f**d up.

It was all my fault.

Yes, I know that accidents happen.

The owners were great.

No, it does not make me feel any better. :(

Watch out for those warts!

Don't forget that they are there.

You don't want to feel like I feel right now. :/

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Thats terrible but accidents do happen so dont Be so hard on yourself! :) i hate those warts and also those little fingers hanging from a thin skin on the sides :(

  2. littlemonsterbc@gmail.comMay 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    My comment on this post isn't about the post, but a previous one and although I have looked through your archives I can't find the one I am looking for. I am interested in the dryers you use. I have a master blaster and I love the power it has, but it just gets too warm for the dogs and I cannot use it the way I would like to due to the heat. I know you had a blog saying the dryers you use and like and you mentioned that they produce no heat. The master blaster does not have a heating element, but the motors heat the air too much. I am interested in hearing about the dryers you are using or have used in the past, since I am looking to replace mine. Thanks!

  3. My husband has performed 'plastic surgery' one time on a client's dog, who happened to be my parents neighbor. An old mix about 30 lbs, he was 'cleaning off eye boogies' and thought the mole on her eye lid was an eye boogie. As he went across the eye with the flea comb, it did not get caught on anything, or so he thought as there was no resistance, so he didn't think something happened. He mentioned to me that the eyelid was bleeding, of course I freaked out wondering what happened. Then he realized it was a mole instead of a eye boogie, so it took 30 mins to stop bleeding. I told the owner and she said " Thank God! Do you know how much the vet wanted to charge me to take that mole off! Hopefully she will be able to see better!" Holy cow was I relieved when she told me that!! But let me tell you, I know how awful and scared you must have felt!! I have another story, old white shih tzu, my mom was bathing for me and she mentioned to me, "Sissy, I can't get this tick off!" So I came over to see, she had tried to use her fingers, hemostats, and it started to bleed a little bit, when I saw it I laughed and said MOM! That is a mole!!!!! and we both laughed, then mom felt so bad for picking at it!! RIP mom, I love ya still!

  4. im surprised no one else has commented! (albeit this is the first time i have)DONT BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF!!accidents happen! im surprised no one else has commented on here! but i hope your feeling better now!

    ive been following your blog for quite a few months now, and love it! im a novice groomer (onn my second year of employed grooming now) and find all your posts brilliant! and very helpful! i look forwad every few days to new installments! im hping when i get a free day off to go back to the start and read through all your past posts too! there is just never enough hours in a normal day!lol xx becky willicombe(from blackpool ENGLAND!) x

  5. Hi Jessica & Becky,
    Thanks,I am always hard on myself. :)

    As you can see Becky, I did get some comments, I just haven't had the time to post them and answer. :) Thank you for all of your nice comments. Thanks for reading my blog. Good Luck on your grooming career.

    Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for reading my blog.
    Those are some stories. I think that all groomers have some kind of stories about accidents. Although I think that I have heard more crazy stories from customers.lol
    It a little funny though, I thought the same thing when I first cut the wart..'the Vet would have probably charged $75 to cut this wart off.'

    Hi little,
    Thanks for reading my blog. :)
    Here is the post that you were looking for:


    My dryer does get a little warm. I like it a little warm. The only time it gets too warm is if I have been using it continuously on very large dogs, without giving it a chance to cool down.
    If it stars to get too warm I just put a small fan that I have right in the back of the dryer, where the filter is. The fan helps cool down the motor.

  6. Please help me, i have now caught two dogs skin with scissors - I have bought smaller scissors to prevent another accident but again today i have clipped the top skin off a poor little shih poo's leg - i feel i must give up as some people can and some people cant - I must be someone who cant - i have been grooming 6 months - someone that feel like sh&*.

    1. Hi,
      I am so sorry that this has happened to you.It is the worst feeling in the world.
      It is hard to help without knowing the circumstances around the cuts. Did you cut them because they were moving around a lot? Were they matted? Have you cut the dogs when rushing?

      ~I have trained myself to hold my scissors very lightly, and to immediately stop scissoring if my scissors meet ANY type of resistance, no matter how slight. It has become second nature for me and has saved me several times.
      ~ If the dogs were matted, don't ever pull the mat out and cut. The skin will be pulled out with the mat, and you will cut a chunk of skin off also.
      So many groomers are worried about speed, or have bosses that rush them. Just about every nick that I have ever done on a dog has been because I was rushing to get the dog finished. I learned very early on not the let anyone rush me. Speed comes with time and practice.

      Don't give up yet. Three cuts in six months is too many, BUT think about all of the other dogs that you groomed without issues. Remember that you are still learning, and believe me many new groomers have accidentally nicked dogs.
      Again, it is very hard to help when I can not see you groom. Hang in there and take your time. Always be aware of what your scissors are cutting and where every part of the scissor is while cutting. If the dog is moving, pull your scissors away till the dog is still again.

      One of the first dogs that I ever nicked was right after I finished Grooming School. I had bought a new pair of scissors. I had not realized that the scissors that I had been using in school were so dull. Those new scissors cut so smoothly. It was like a hot knife through butter. The scissors were so sharp that I nicked a dog on the side of his pad while trimming his feet. I was so heavy handed with my dull scissors and had to fight them through hair that I didn't even realize the small resistance to the blade of the sharp scissors was a pad. :(

      I don't know if any of this helps you. All that I can say is, take your time, double check what you are cutting. It will become second nature in time. :) Good Luck!

      Lisa, MFF

  7. oh my gosh. I'm sure I'm getting annoying commenting on OLD posts, but this blog is what I've been doing with my time (sadly). I actually almost removed one of my dog's warts forcibly thinking it was a tick. he was an outdoor dog but never had ticks (we were very careful) but I found one on his belly and my mom and I actually got the tweezers on the thing before I yelled wait and checked to make sure it was indeed a tick. It was not. he was just old and growing moles. You can bet I looked MUCH more closely any time I wanted to pick something off him and any other dog!