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.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rescue Round-up

Finally getting this post up.
Last Sunday morning at Groom Expo was the Rescue Round-up.

We had to check-in at 7:30am.
All of the groomers gathered at the holding/bathing area.
After we signed in, we each picked a number.
Then we had to match our number to the dog with the same number.

The dogs were from several different rescue groups.
Sadly, the group that my dog was from did not stay around so that we could ask questions about the dogs, like all of the other groups did. 

I am not going to name the rescue group.
I don't want anyone getting mad at me, and blaming me for bad mouthing, but I did not like the way this particular rescue group did things.

  Anyway, my dog turned out to be the dog in the worst shape.

The organizer asked if I wanted to change to another dog, but I said no.

How could you say no to a dog that so badly needed grooming.
I really wanted to groom this dog.

  After we received our dogs, we walked up to the Trade Show room to set up our grooming areas and get our tub times.

The groomer next to me had a cute little Pom that was full of undercoat.

We were guessing that my little guy was around 10 months to a year old, never been groomed, and an unnuetered male.

The person organizing the rescues, the dogs, and the bath times was Cheryl Purcell.

An award winning groomer that I have been watching in grooming competitions for a long time.

She did a phenomenal job!

After I got my dog, I asked one of the Judges about bathing the dog first.

She took one look at the dog and told me that I would have to clip it first.
I told her that I don't normally preclip and didn't want to now.
She told me to talk to Cheryl.
It would be up to Cheryl whether I would be one of the first three groomers in the tub.

Thankfully Cheryl agreed with me.
She bathes all of her dogs first too. :)

We were also told that because there were 15 dogs to be bathed that we would only have 15 minutes to bathe the dog.
Normally, that would not have been a problem, but this dog needed more than one bath.
I have to admit that I was a little panicked about only having 15 minutes to bath this hairy, matted, male urine smelling dog.

You better believe that it took every second of those 15 minutes to get this guy clean.

I only scrubbed once, but I scrubbed the heck out of him.

I used Best Shot shampoo and Creme Rinse.

Thankfully there was no time limit on the drying time.

I have no idea how long it took me to dry him.
I am guessing about 20- 25 minutes.

I was trying to blow the mats as far away from his body as possible, so that I could get a longer blade through him.

 He was a little scared of the water at first but quickly accepted it.

He freaked at first with the dryer also, so I wrapped him with a towel, tucked his head under my arm, and started drying one of his back legs.

By the time I was half of the way through the back leg, he was accepting the dryer.

He was turning out to be a really sweet little guy.

He did not want to stand on the table at first, so I started clipping him laying down.

Unfortunately, they had cameras and lights all set up in front of the stage for an interview with a special guest, about the rescue dogs.
So my son was not able to get many pictures of the other groomers.

Here are the pictures that he did get.

These are only some of the other groomers that were competing in the Rescue Round-up.

I was able to get a #3F blade under the mat.

He was so good about having all of that hair clipped off.

At one point he looked pretty choppy, but with a second go-over with the blade, and some scissoring, he smoothed out pretty nicely.

Look at that face that was hidden under all of that hair.

I love that face.

I am sure that you can guess that I was falling in love with this dog.

He was a kisser.

I worked on him all of the way up to "scissors down".

Time for the Judging.

He was very good about the Judges touching him.

He liked everyone.

Time to relax and wait for the Judges to finish deciding first, second, and third place winners.

My little guy and I took 2nd place.

Mary Miller took 3rd place.

This was her first competition ever.

She was very nervous, but she did great!

Nicole Kallish took 1st place.

Her guys back end was all chewed up and had a lot of bald spots.

She came up with the clever idea to do a Lion cut on this dog.

She also did a great job.

ALL of the groomers did a great job!

Now this is where the story turns a little sad for me.

As I said before, most of the rescue people stayed while the dogs were groomed.
They were very happy with what the groomers did for their rescue dogs.

The rescue that brought my dog and five other dogs did not stay.
They were not there after the competition either.
I waited with my dog for about 30 minutes after the competition for the rescue person to show up.

I didn't have the heart to put him back in the kennel.
I had my son take the pee covered blanket that was in the kennel out, and he took the kennel into the bathing area and washed it out.
Then we took a towel that I had with my groom supplies and put it in the kennel.

 I still did not want to put him back, so I took him to the doggy playground.

It didn't take him any time to mark his territory. :/

 He wanted to play with my dogs, but I did not know enough about him to let them play together.

So I played with him.

He was so playful.

While I waited for the rescue person to show up, there was another person waiting that really liked the dog that I groomed and wanted to ask about adopting him.

There were also several other people hanging around the other dogs wanting to adopt some of them.

When the rescue person finally showed up, I waited for the other person that was interested in my dog to talk to the woman about adopting him.
They talked for a few minutes then she walked away and wished me luck.

Okay, what was that all about?

The rescue person then walked up to the other people waiting by the other dogs.
They talked for a few minutes then all of them left.

What the heck was going on?
These people wanted to adopt.

Now it was my turn to talk about this dog.
I didn't need another dog.
I didn't do this competition to adopt another dog.
I wanted to help this dog get adopted.
But, this dog had really gotten under my skin, and the other woman had walked away.

Now, this is where it gets tough.
I am not knocking rescue groups, but I truly believe that sometimes their rule get in the way of a dog getting a good home.

This rescue would not take names.
It was first come first serve.
Once they put the dog in the adoption area, the first person that askes about adopting him would get the chance.
Even if I had followed her back to the rescue, I was supposed to bring everyone living in my house with me to meet the dog.
It would have taken me 3 hours round trip to go home and get everyone.
Then I would also take the chance that by the time I got back, the dog would already be adopted.
A freshly groomed, sweet young dog.
Yep, he would have been adopted by the time I got back.

Then, I was also to bring all of my dogs to meet this dog.
This unneutered male dog, that did not have all of its shots yet.

Sorry, I don't agree with that one.
Not all dogs take to each other right away.
I have a couple that were not crazy about each other at first, but are great together now.
Plus, I don't agree with bring my dogs into a rescue group environment.
These are just my personal feelings.

I can't tell you how much it hurt to hand that dog back to the rescue person. :(
I try to tell myself that because of all of their rules, and the fresh grooming that he got, he got a good home.
Someone was getting a very sweet dog.
I hope that he got a good forever home.

I would do this competition again...no matter how much it kills me.

Kudos to the groomers who volunteer their time to grooming rescue dogs.
I am afraid that I would become a hoarder if I groomed rescue dogs.

I want to give them all forever homes. lol

I knew that writing this post was going to upset me.
I started writing it a couple of times in the past couple days.

I hope that he is sleeping in a nice warm house with very caring owners.

God Bless ALL of the rescue, neglected, and unwanted dogs out there!

I am going to go hug my dogs now......

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Bless you for helping him!

  2. Congratulations Lisa on your second place finish. You did a phenomenal job. I also have to agree with you about rescue groups. Although their intentions are good, their rules have turned away thousands of good potential homes, simply because they don't meet all of their criteria. The rescue groups in my area have turned away dozens of my long time customers simply because they didn't have a fenced in yard, or they lived in an apartment, etc. You get the picture. I know some very well to do people who own dogs, who are the worst pet parents on the planet. You can't judge a book by it's cover. I'm sad for you that you had to experience this. Perhaps you should write a letter to this group about what happened. At least it may make you feel better. I'm hoping they will behave better in future situations like this. Karen in NJ

    1. Thank you Karen!
      I have sent many really good customers to rescues only to have them come back with puppies, because the rescue groups turned them down, or made it too hard to get a dog from them. Also, I truly feel that home checks don't mean a damn thing. I had one customer that I groomed her dog for its entire life, in shop and in Mobile. She was a very nice owner and she came fairly regularly, but the dog was always extremely filthy.
      The first time that I went to her house in the Mobile, I was blown away. The inside of her house was like walking into a Better Homes and Garden photo layout. You could eat off of this woman's floor.
      So, why was the dog so filthy all the time? It never saw the inside of the house. It lived outside all year round. Home visit..HA!
      The dog from the rescue round-up still pops in my head every once and a while. :/
      Thanks again!
      Lisa, MFF

  3. Well Done, Lisa! I love reading your blog and it helps a lot with my grooming. I love how you groom this dog's face. Could you do a post on how you do it please. Thanks May (your fan from Australia)

    1. Hi mayw,
      Thank you! I am glad that my blog has helped. I will work on getting a post up about how I groomed that dogs face. :)
      Lisa, MFF

    2. Thanks, Lisa. Looking forward to it :-)

  4. It's such a wonderful idea to groom this rescue dogs. It certainly gives them a great chance to be adopted. Like it or not we are very visual and when something looks pretty we want it more.

    I am very proud of you and all the other groomers!

    1. Thanks!
      I am hoping that they will continue to have this competition every year. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  5. ;( congrats on tge second place you did a great job and i bet that dog had the best day in his life :(

  6. thanks for your blog. I was at groo expo and saw the competition. I hope to compete in the rescue roundup next year.

    I have to agree with you that rescue groups seem to make it almost impossible for a person to adopt. But I guess the dogs get adopted or they would rethink their rules and procedures.