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.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas and Grooming... Bah,Humbug

I used to love Christmas.
Well, I still do, but it is different now.
I love Christmas day.
Grooming for 28 years at Christmas time has taken a toll.
I don't look forward to Christmas as much as I used to.

Oh, I enjoy Christmas day and the time spent with family.
It is those weeks leading up to Christmas....

It actually seems to start even before Thanksgiving now.

The calls.

The begging.

The anger.

The calls looking for appointments right before the Holidays.
The begging when you say that you are all booked up and have been for quite a while.
The anger when you  can not, or will not fit them in and give them the exact date and time that they want.

The closer that it gets to Christmas, the more you dread hearing the phone ring.
You are already grooming more dogs than you normally would just to try to fit in all of your regulars.
By the time Christmas Eve arrives you feel like you couldn't possibly groom one more dog...not even your own.
The best Christmas gift you could get would be, to be able to sleep from Christmas day til New Years Eve without being disturbed.

Bah, humbug....

I don't like feeling this way.
I didn't always feel this way.

The first Christmas that I had my shop I stayed after work one night to decorate the lobby.
I stayed till very late.
I made my lobby look like a winter wonderland.
I had garland and stars hanging from the ceiling.
I sprayed fake snow on the windows in a nice decoration.
I had little doggy stockings hanging off of the picket fence in front of our big window.
I had a really nice Christmas tree in the corner.

I had also bought candy cane raw-hides and tied ribbon around them to give my customers.
It was all I could afford for my first Christmas.

I was 21 years old, a new shop owner, and I was so excited for my customers to come in and see my lobby.

It is strange how it still bothers me after all of these years, that out of all the dogs we groomed that first Christmas in the new shop, only two customers ever said a thing about how nice the lobby was decorated.
Very few seemed happy about the raw-hides either.
It was like it wasn't even Christmas, just another grooming.

I never decorated my lobby like that again.

I still decorate, but minimally.
I no longer put up a full size tree either.
I got tired of cleaning up after the dogs that peed on my tree.
I got tired of having to replace the ruined  tree skirt at the bottom of the tree.

How would my customers like it if I came in their house and let my dogs pee on their Christmas tree?

This sounds terrible doesn't it?

I DO still like Christmas.....REALLY!

The extra busy days just make it hard to enjoy it as much as I used to.
Maybe I am just getting too old and turning into a Grinch.
I don't want to be a Grinch.

We went to a Christmas Tree Festival this past Sunday.
I wanted to do something to get into the Christmas spirit.
There were many beautiful and funny trees.

 This tree was like a winter wonderland.

This was a Preakness Tree for Maryland.

A beautiful Angel tree.

A clever Snowman Tree.

Even a Zombie Tree!

This was hilarious.

I love 'The Walking Dead' show.

So, did this big Christmas Tree Festival give me some Christmas Spirit?
Even though it was packed wall to wall with people?
Even though those same people did not have much Christmas spirit when you accidentally bumped into them?

I think that I actually met the 'Ice Queen'.
No, really...we were walking in opposite directions and did that awkward little dance that you do when each of you are trying to get past each other.
I laughed, and said that I was sorry, and she almost froze me to the ground with the icy look she gave me....Brrrrrrrr.

We only stayed a couple of hours.
If we had stayed any longer, I think that I would have lost what Christmas spirit I got from going to the place. :p

Four weeks.
Four weeks till Christmas.
Four weeks that are booked solid.
There is already a waiting list.

I'll get through it.
I always do.
I will try really hard to keep the Christmas spirit.

I have decided to make a bunch of large collar Christmas bows and I am going to attach little jiggle bells to them.
So as each dog goes out the door, I can hear the jingle bells and keep the Christmas spirit! :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I LOVE the idea of putting the jingle bells on the bows!

  2. Ugh, I completely understand not being thrilled about the holidays anymore. It was worse when I worked at a PetSomething and we were forced to listen to Christmas music all day everyday from Thanksgiving until Christmas. The customers are just as pushy at every place I've worked, though.

    My mom doesn't understand why I don't like Christmas anymore, but I think it's actually really hard to hold onto that spirit after a few years of working extra hours and dealing with cranky customers who in turn stress their dogs out and make them harder to groom.


    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Christmas music wouldn't be so bad if they just didn't play the same thing over, and over, and over again. A Christmas song here and there works just fine.
      I hope that your customers aren't too cranky this year. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  3. Happy Christmas to You!

    I found your blog a little while ago and just love reading all of what you write.

    How fabulous it is that you bother to share your professional life in this way and may I say I find the blog so helpful.

    I hope you won't mind but I'm not a professional groomer - I only groom my own dogs - a toy poodle and a yorkie. It makes me appreciate how very hard the work is and how very skilled the dog groomers are.

    I'm retired and grooming the dogs has become a consuming hobby. My dogs look good - my aim is for them to look fabulous but there's a long way for me to go to achieve that!

    Thank you again and thank you for your generous sharing! x

  4. I LOVE the zombie tree haha
    Dont think my mam would let it in the front door though!
    And I do feel your pain at working right up until Christmas day!
    Because grooming can be so slow here I have always maintained my previous job working part time in retail. Its a fantastic back up but it means working all Christmas Eve and possibly back in on the 27th!
    But so far I have only 4 dogs booked in for Christmas week but im sure to get a mad rush of phonecalls like every year! People do amaze me at how much they expect you to do for them. As if we dont have lives and families and plans too!
    BUT I have to say one good part about grooming close to Christmas is that I do tend to get nice tips :D:D
    I did decorate my grooming room last year but I have no lobby, just one giant room where all the magic happens! And all it took was one rough collie groom to make my mini Christmas tree look like it had been snowing! never again!

    1. Wow DJ,
      A double whammy, retail and grooming! I give you all the credit in the world.
      A Collie hair Christmas tree!! LOL, you had me just about rolling on the floor. I could just picture it. Instead of Christmas tinsel on the tree..Collie hair..what a visual! Hahaha.
      You made my day. :)
      Maybe a plastic, or ceramic Christmas tree that you could just blow the hair off with your blow dryer.
      I hope that you have a nice Christmas.
      Lisa, MFF

  5. This is my second holiday season working as a groomer. I am still horrified by how selfish and rude people can be! I have had people ask me if I had anything available on Thanksgiving morning this year. Do they think we live at work? The doggy daycare employees I work with LOVE hearing about the crazy calls I get. There were a few times when they answered grooming calls in the couple days before Thanksgiving this year and they were practically dancing when they came to give me the phone. I had to explain to one lady that there is no such thing as a "mini bath" for a Newfie.
    One thing I do really love about grooming during the holidays is making holiday bow ties and using holiday scented colognes and shampoos. I also have some extremely wide organza ribbon, and I like to make HUGE bows for the little tiny dogs that come in with harnesses. They look like little Christmas angels with wings! <3

    I have already told the other employees that I am going to stop taking calls for grooming a few days before the holiday this Christmas, and anyone that wants to make an appointment for after Christmas can leave a message.

    1. Hi,
      Yes, I have come to the conclusion that people DO think that we live at work and are available 24/7 to groom their dogs.

      'Mini' bath on a Newfie! lol Sure bring him in. I'll rinse down his rear, towel it off, and hand him back to you. How is that for a 'mini' bath?

      I can just picture those big bows on those small dogs. I am sure that they look like little Christmas presents.

      Good idea with the messages. After while it gets really tiring say 'no'.
      I hope that you have a nice Christmas.
      Lisa, MFF