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, August 30, 2012

This Post is Rated X


Sexual Content
Discussion of male body parts....dog male body parts that is....sorry.

If you are offended by such things, or are easily grossed out...



This rant could get gross and offensive.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Anyone still there?

Of course you are.

You want to know what the heck I am going to rant about now.

Well, here it goes...

Male dogs that have NOT been neutered!!

Yes! This bothers me.
A lot.
Only it may not be for the obvious reason.

Of course, I would like to see all my customers male dogs neutered to help control unnecessary breeding, but I am not here to climb on top of that soapbox.

My rant is purely from a groomers stand point.
I bet that there are a lot of groomers out there that have the same rant.

Grooming un-neutered male dogs can be disgusting.

First there is the smell.
Sometimes you can smell them as soon as they enter your lobby.
There is nothing like the smell of an un-neutered male dogs urine when they have peed all over their own hair.
Smelly, sticky, yellow, yucky hair.

Don't even get me started on the owners that want me to keep hair on the end of the penis so the dogs pee will be directed to the ground.

Where in the world did that myth come from?

You bathe them, once, twice, three times trying to get the smell out.
Forget about getting the yellow stain  all of the way out of the hair.
Your best bet is to talk the owner into letting you shave all, and as much hair as you can from the belly and penis.
I also try to talk the customer into clipping a pathway above the penis, halfway up to the chest, so that no hair is left to hang down in the way of that stinky, yellow stream.

Next, the marking...everywhere and on everything!
Just the other day I had an un-neutered male Schnauzer in that managed to hit about four spots in my lobby before I was able to pick him up and stop him.
The owner certainly wasn't stopping him!
To top that off, when she came to pick up, another customer stopped the Schnauzer owner to talk to her as she was leaving with the dog.
After about five minutes of conversation the owner said; "let me get him out of here before he does something."


I stood there and watched her leave.
Then I turned around to go get the mop.
That Schnauzer had managed to hit every place in my lobby.
The chairs, the table, the counter (in several places), the bookshelf, the middle of the floor, my plants...everywhere!

There are also the un-neutered males that continually pee in their kennel.
Before you bathe them.
After you bathe them.
You clean it up and they pee again, and again, and again.
It is never ending.

Then there is the sniffing.
It is not regular sniffing.
It is horny sniffing.
They sniff at your arms.
They sniff at your smock to smell all of the other dogs you have been holding.
They sniff and slobber all over your table.
You try to lift their head to work on it, but it is like their nose is glued to the table.
Their neck is so stiff from their determination to keep their nose to your table that you feel their neck will snap if you try to lift their head.
You finally get them to lift their head and the slobber and drool hanging off of their beard and mustache, (that you just finished cleaning and drying), is now disgusting.

Also the constant checking and licking. 
Checking to make sure that their penis and scrotum is still there.
Licking to make sure that their penis and scrotum is still there.

Lets not forget dealing with the matted scrotum's.
They almost always have some kind of matting up right in the fold, where the scrotum and belly meet.
You have to try to clip those mats out of the tight fold, on a dog that protects that scrotum as if it were the Hope Diamond.
They twist and turn to see what you are doing.
They try to lick their scrotum as you are trying to clip out the mats.

Lets not even talk about how close you have to get your face to that part of the dogs anatomy to make sure that you don't nick them while they are twisting and turning.
How many times do you beg them to stand still so that you don't neuter them the hard way?

Then there is the ultimate horny.
The un-neutered males that get so worked up and horny that things are exposed.
You have to wait for them to to put that thing back where it belongs. 
Then things are humped.
They try to hump your hand.
They try to hump your arm.
When you back away so that they can't get your arm or hand, they hump the air.
So you stand there waiting for the horny moment to pass.
Then you start to groom again praying that you don't do or touch something that will start the humping again.

I was just wondering...would it be considered animal abuse if I dumped a bucket of cold water on them.

Oh never mind..then I would just have to dry them all over again. :/

Lastly, the worst.

Worse than humping?

Oh ya.


Yes, you read that right.

Remember, I warned you.

Thankfully it doesn't happen often.
As a matter of fact it has only happened a couple of times.
A couple of times too many.

The very first time it happened I had only been grooming for a year.
I had had  a couple of dogs hump before, so I wasn't surprised when the miniature black Poodle that I was grooming started to hump.
He had been showing all of the signs.
The sniffing.
The trying to grab my arm.
Constantly licking himself.

So, when he started to hump, I stopped grooming and waited for him to stop.
98% of the time they will stop if you back away.
This guy didn't stop.
Oh no, he just kept right on going, faster and faster...till he ejaculated all over my table!
I had never seen this before.
I was in shock.
My boss at the time laughed his a** off.
He also blamed me for exciting the dog.
Needless to say, I was not happy.

After cleaning up my table I tried to groom the dog again.
He did it again!
And again!
Three times.
I was beyond upset and disgusted.
I also got no help from my boss at all.

To top it all off, when I told the owner how hard of a time I had grooming his dog and why, he was actually proud of his dog.
I don't know who I wanted to hit more.
The 20 something macho man owner of the Poodle, or my boss who thought that the whole thing was one big fat joke.

That was 27 years ago.
It wasn't until about a year ago when I had another dog do the same thing.
This dog only did it once.
Once is too much.

I don't get paid enough to deal with all of this.
I will continue to try to talk all of my customers into neutering their dogs.

I will also continue to think about refusing to groom un-neutered male dogs.

Okay...I feel better now.

Happy Grooming, MFF

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesdays Tip..Scissoring Pom-Poms on a Poodle

Yes, I know that it is not Tuesday.
This post was for yesterday, but a new patch came out for WOW yesterday.

What is WOW?
World of  Warcraft for those who don't play.

I share the internet with my sons.
There was no way that my DSL was going to handle my son downloading a patch for his game and me uploading pictures and video to Youtube.
So, I turned off my internet and hope that the patch wouldn't take too long.

It took all night. :(

So here I am posting Tuesdays tip on Wednesday. :)

Actually this post is about scissoring Pom-Poms on a Poodle with a little tip mixed in.

Let me start out by saying that I hate this clip.

The Bikini Clip.
The Town & Country Clip.
The Summer Clip.
The Pom-Pom clip.

Take your pick.
I have heard so many names for this clip.
There are most like more that i haven't named here.

I am not sure why I don't like this clip.
I really don't get that many requests for it.

Maybe one of the reasons I don't like this clip goes way back to when I first started grooming.
I had only been grooming for a little over a year, and I just got a job at a pet shop.
I was grooming all by myself.
One day I had a woman come in with four miniature Poodles.
She wanted the Summer cut.
That is what this cut was called when I went to grooming school.


This owner wanted pom-poms on all four of the Poodles.
Do the math...four pom-poms on all four dogs...16 pom-poms.
Then add on the topknots and the tails.
24 pom-poms in one day!!

I had only done this cut one time in grooming school, and that was for a test.
I had gotten a pretty good score, but I remember really struggling to get those darn pom-poms round.

Did I mention that I had only been grooming a little over a year at the time?

I wanted to cry.
Who knows, maybe I did.

I remember having at least one dog a week overwhelm me back then.
Of course it also meant that I was clipping 16 poodle feet too.
I used to do my poodle feet with a #10 blade back then...they took me forever.

The worst part about it was, that I let the owner talk me into giving her a price break because she was bring me four dogs.
I was so naive back then.

One of the other reasons that I hate this cut.

The owners that seem to want this cut almost always have Poodles with no legs....and they want the body clipped with a longer blade.

So, there are a couple of tricks or tips that I do to help get a nice pom-pom.

This Poodle gets a #4F on the body.

First Tip: I use a blade length shorter on the legs to help make the pom-pom stand out.
I used a #5F on the legs.

 I also like to wrap my fingers around the top of the pom-pom so that I don't accidentally clip the top of the pom-pom too low.

This also helps for the dogs that like to suddenly yank their legs upward, causing the blade to cut into the pom-pom before you can pull the clipper away.

Been there..done that. :/

The top of the pom-pom, on the back leg, starts right above the hock.

 The way that I set the pom-pom on the front leg is a little harder to explain.

If the pom-pom is not there and you are setting the pattern for the first time, I take hold of the front leg.

First, I place my thumb over the dogs knee.
Then I gently bend the knee and my thumb.
Make sure that the bend in the knee and the bend in in your thumb are line up together.
Then I clip the leg down to just above the tip of my thumb.

Did that make any sense at all?

Hopefully the picture helps. :)

I have always set my pom-poms this way.
It has always worked for me.
Every once in a while I will lower the top of the pom-pom a little more to balance them if needed. 

 Tip #2:  I also clip the feet higher than normal.

I feel that it helps me get a nice clean line on the bottom of the pom-pom.

It also helps with this dog, her feet are clipped with a #15 because of her sensitive skin.

Next, I comb all of the hair straight down, towards the foot.

Then, I start scissoring by going straight across the bottom of the pom-pom.

I scissor all around the bottom of the pom-pom to expose the foot.

I do not cut into the rest of the pom-pom yet.

I use my scissors to push up the hair to check and see if I have gotten all of the stray hairs around the top of the foot.

Then I comb the hair up towards the leg.

Now I scissor straight across the top of the pom-pom to clean up the line between the leg and pom-pom.

I am still not cutting into the pom-pom yet.

After scissoring up the top line of the pom-pom, I comb the hair up and out.

Then I  shake the leg a little bit to let the hair fall naturally.

 Now I go back to the bottom of the pom-pom and start to scissor from the bottom up.

I start back down at the bottom and curve my way out and up to shape the round pom-pom.

I used straight shears while scissoring this pom-pom.

In the video that I uploaded to Youtube, I used curve shears on the front leg.

If you have  hard time getting the round look, curved shears can help.

Comb the pom-pom often to check the shape that you are trying to achieve.

Work your way around the leg.

I like to scissor small amounts of hair at a time so that I don't accidentally cut a hole into the pom-pom.

The finished pom-pom from the front.

From the back.

I made a video of me scissoring the front leg pom-pom.

Here is the link:

Well there she is.

She is such a sweet heart.

Her owner loves her pom-poms.

I hate to admit it, but the pom-poms really fit this little Poodles personality. :)

I hope that this post helps all of the other groomers out there that hate this clip too.

Oh...it's just me?

Happy Grooming, MFF

Friday, August 24, 2012

What Would You Do? A Cockapoo

I had another new customer in yesterday.

I did not have to do a lot of guessing as to the kind of cut that this owner wanted.
I could see the pattern on the dog very clearly.
The owner was also very specific about how she wanted the dog clipped.

So what is the question?
Why am I asking; What would you do?

Because, I broke one of my own rules.

I took one look at this dog in the lobby and listened to the owners instructions, and was sure that I knew exactly what this customer wanted.

The pattern looked so obvious.

This is the dog after the bath and blow dry.
In this picture, I have not done any clipping on the dog yet.

So what was rule did I break?

I didn't look closely at the dog.
I didn't check the entire dog out closely. 
I didn't ask enough questions.
I saw the Lamb pattern, but I didn't pay attention to how the pattern was placed on the dog.

 The owner wanted the body very short.
That was a given, because the dogs body was still short from his last groom.

The thing that I didn't pay attention to was, how far the pattern was taken down on the legs.

The owner wanted the legs left full.

I don't take my Lamb patterns this low on the leg.

I also like to blend the legs into the body.

I hate the sharp cut off.


 Also, the back leg had been taken way lower than I normally take the Lamb pattern.

Again, the back leg was also not blended into the body.

Once I clipped the body short, I stood back and looked at the legs.

There wasn't any question in my mind that I wanted to fix these legs and blend them into the body, still keeping the legs full.

 I actually started scissoring and blending when it suddenly struck me....

What if the owner likes the blunt cut on the legs?

Why didn't I look closer at the dog while the owner was still in my lobby, so that I could ask her and show her what I was talking about?

I was sure that if I tried to call the owner to ask about the legs, she most likely wouldn't understand what in the world I was talking about.

So, what would you have done?

What did I do?

I had already started to blend the leg when it had hit me that the owner might like the blunt cut, so I continued to blend the leg the best that I could.

The body was still short like the owner wanted.
The legs were still full like the owner wanted.

The only thing different was that I blended the leg into the body.

I thought that it looked so much better than the blunt cut.

The owner also wanted the ears clipped and the top of the head full and round.

This is what I did with the head.

I wasn't totally sure about the ears.

I know that the owner said that she wanted the ears clipped.

They were clipped too low for Cocker ears.

The ears looked more like tassels.

So, I followed the pattern on the ear.

It is hard to see in this picture, but I did leave some hair to try to even out the line above the long hair.

Then there was the tail.

I had really failed on my check-in of this dog.

I had not asked about the tail either.

It looked like a Poodle tail, but it had obviously not been shaped.

What to do?

I had my husband call the owner for this one.

I was not going to scissor that tail into a nice round pom-pom without the owner telling me so.

Tails and ears.

I have found that these two body parts can be something that owners are very picky about.

I wasn't that worried blending the legs, but my little voice was screaming at me about the tail.

Lets just say... I am glad that I called.

I was to only neaten the tail.

So, would you have gone ahead and blended the legs, because that is the way that you do a Lamb cut? 

I figured that they came to me.
They did not go back to whoever groomed the dog before.
I would groom that dog the way that I groom.
I was still following all of the owners instructions.

 Sorry that some of the picture are blurred.
This guy was really good, but he could not be still to save his life. :)

I think that his groom turned out nice.

I don't know if they liked the clip.

The husband picked up.

I guess we will see if they call for another appointment.

All you can do is do your best.

Oh, and make sure that you look over the dog really well at check-in.

AND, ask questions, even if you think you already know what the owner wants.

Happy Grooming, MFF