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, December 17, 2012

Tis the Season to be Grumpy.....

....falalalala lalalala...... 9 more days.

Well, actually 8 more days.

We don't work Christmas day right?
Our customers do know that, right?

How have all of you been doing?
Are you hanging in there?
Are your customers being naughty or nice?

I have to say that 90% of my customers are being nice.
So why...why do I let the naughty, grumpy customers bother me?

This last week was so busy.
I felt like the last week was never going to end.
It was not that the dogs I groomed were hard to do, or that I had too many to groom.
It was grumpy customers.
Some of them long time customers.

Maybe it is just me.
At my post-op appointment last Monday, my doctor asked me if I had been having mood swings since the surgery.
I didn't have any of the other symptoms that he mentioned either.
After all, he only removed one ovary.
I am not ready for the change of life just yet.

The one symptom that he did not mention was over sensitivity.
Because, I am telling you, I was over sensitive to things that my customers were doing this past week.
Or, maybe it is just because it is the Holidays.

I just don't know.
I usually just try to let things roll of my back.
I try very hard not the let what a customers says, or does bother me.
I don't want to let someone ruin my whole day for some stupid thing that they said, or did, and then walk away and never give it, or me a second thought.

So why am I being so sensitive?

Maybe I am not.
Maybe every groomer would be just as sensitive as me. 

Let me give you a few examples.
(descriptions of the dogs are very vague to keep from hurting anyone's feelings)

I could not help but feel a little depressed when half of the customers that I gave picture calendars to didn't even recognize their own dogs.
I have spent hours on those pictures and calendars.
I at least thought that they would recognize their dogs.
Was I being over sensitive that it hurt my feelings when customers didn't even recognize their own dogs?

Next was the Self-serve customer with the beautiful large dog.
The owners are a very nice couple that had bathed their dog in the Self-Serve before.
I happened to be walking past the lobby just as they came in the front door.
The dog is very sweet, but also extremely shy and timid.
I stopped to greet them only to be told that their dog did not want to come in, because I clipped his nails the last time that they were here.
Was I being over sensitive to be flabbergasted, that even when I am not the one bathing the dog, I still get blamed for the dog not wanting a bath?

Then came the long time customer...like over 20 years long time customer.
She dropped her dog off at 8 am.
She asked me what time we closed.
4 pm.
The same time that we have been closing for the last 5 or 6 years.
Gone are the days that I stay open till 7pm.
She got upset that I was not going to be open later.
She even called at 3 pm to see if we were still closing at 4pm.
So, was I being too sensitive, when I got very irritated, when she walked in at 4:10 to pick up her dog?

I will have to admit that I had a mixture of feelings about the next customer.

Another long time customer with a very sweet dog.
But, the dog is a big job.
He is a medium size dog, with an extremely thick double coat.
A double coat that takes forever to brush out, because the undercoat no longer blows out with the drier.
A dog that no longer stands for the grooming.
A dog that once you have brushed him out, and can finally get a comb through the coat, gets hand scissored all over.
The dog is a lot of work.
The owner has never tipped, so imagine my surprised when a family member came in to pick up the dog and handed me an envelope.
I knew the payment for the groom was in the envelope, but I could also feel something else inside.
It is Christmas, so forgive me if my first thought was a Christmas card with a Christmas tip inside.
After the owner left, I opened up the envelope.
I took out what was inside, and then through my head back and laughed.

The 'Christmas tip' was a check for the exact amount of the grooming, as usual, but there was a note attached.
A note telling me to hold the check until the next week.
 I laughed at my stupidity for thinking that this customer, who has never given a tip before, was giving one now.
Was I being a little over sensitive to also get a little irritated that she hadn't even asked if it was okay for us to hold the check?

Then there was another long time customer, that for the second time, sent her kids in to pick up the dogs, and gave them a pre-writen check with the wrong amount for the groom.
She now owes us $12.
The problem is, she never comes in.
The owner always has someone else drop off and pick up.
She has always been a good customer.
Yes, she was told about the amount being wrong on the check.
She still has not come by to pay the difference.
So, am I being over sensitive about a long time customer would do this?

We had to finish off the week with the customer who insisted on arguing that we were charging her a dollar more than we had before.
"No, your price went up a dollar at the beginning of the year, but has been the same price ever since," my husband explained.
"No, you went up a dollar from the last time, I am sure of it."
A dollar?
I know the economy stinks right now, but really?
A dollar?

Yes, I must be over sensitive. :/

There were a few more things, but I think I have rambled on enough.
I am still trying to keep that Holiday cheer.

One more week.
It is going to be another long one.

I am putting it out there in the cosmos right now....


All of my customers are going to come in full of Holiday cheer.
All of my customers are going to come in full of Holiday cheer.
All of my customers are going to come in full of Holiday cheer.
 All of my customers are going to come in full of Holi.........

Oh, sorry.
I thought if I said it enough it just might happen. :)

Hang in there, and have a great grooming week.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I'll have to remember to be nice when I drop my little guys off at our groomers this week for their christmas haircut!

  2. Oh you are most definitely NOT being oversensitive! Sometimes I wonder if people really listen to what comes out of their mouth or really think about how they treat other people. Oh well, such is life. I must say that the 'hold the check' was my personal favorite.

    1. Hi Dana and Holly,
      The 'hold the check' was my favorite too!
      Lisa, MFF

  3. Okay I won't be so sensitive either now if you don't get tips all the time. Man I feel like I bust my butt, and I do a really good job. I smile I look at them in the eyes "Do you like your groom?" I say. "Yes." I'm thinking they should give me a tip this time. They pay then they say I need the change back. sigh! What is up with that?!! I always tip my hair dresser, waiters. People have no problem not doing it. Their dogs aren't always the nicest or easiest dogs to work on, but I always think hey if I can make their dog nice I can hopefully get a tip. Then I don't. Sigh!!! You are not being overly sensitive I am convinced people just feel entitled. Their attitude is hey your lucky I come to you be grateful. Ugh! I do have to say when I do get the few that get to know me, and know how hard I try to make them and their dogs happy they always leave a tip. :) We just have to remember those customers, and those dogs. :)

    1. Hi Brent,
      Tipping....boy is that a hot topic. I will be blogging about that soon. lol
      I hope that your customers treated you good for the Holidays. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  4. I feel exactly as you do and I still have both ovaries :) What has made me feel a tiny bit better is to raise the price $1.98 on any customer who never tips during the year and also stiffs me now. One cheap, problematic-from-day-one owner complained about the price increase, so I told her if she's not happy then I'm not happy and I won't be doing her dog anymore. Extremely satisfying!

  5. I hope your customers were full of holiday cheer this week. As a retired teacher, I can relate to under appreciation. I now groom my own poodles but when we did go to a groomer I always tipped and gave a tip and gift at Christmas-you groomers certainly deserve it! Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you,
      I hope that you had a wonderful Holiday. :)

  6. I agree 100% with u, i dont think ur over sensitive.. i had emergency ovarie surgery to save mine (which i had to rescheduel a weeks worth of grooms for the fallowing week) which was fallowed by a week in the hospital(i had to rescheduel the week i already had, plus another few days) from complications.. i had about 4-8 long time clients who insisted on free grooms because of there inconvienence when i was working double as hard feeling terrible and was told no lifting or hard work for 4-6 weeks i ended up giving 3 free because they swore not bring groomed caused got spots ect. LOL I CALL IT CLIENT SENSITIVITY OR INSENSITIVITY :) they never seem to stop amazing me... I understand ur client with the envelop i believe it!!!! I have had similar i always get mad at my self for getting excited about a false assumption, just a client with a little empathy for a recovering groomer is all i had asked ... U can imagine with a horse farm and grooming salón that taking it easy would never happen, heck why not groom everyone free :/

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Oh, I can't tell you how mad that makes me that you groomed three dogs for free! NOT MAD AT YOU, mad at your customers. That was unbelievably insensitive of them! They could not have gone to another groomer in the mean time? Instead they were irresponsible owners that let their dogs get hot spots from the lack of them keeping their own dogs groomed while you were recovering.
      Thankfully, my customers were very understanding. Only one did not reschedule right away, and when she did finally call back, she expected me to schedule her right away (at Thanksgiving) because it was MY fault that her dog missed its regularly scheduled grooming. Yes, I squeezed her in.
      As for your three free customers, it's just my opinion, (and this is after the fact anyway) but I would have offered a small discount (10%) and a special Medicated bath that would help the hot spots, and explained to them that the rescheduled appointments were beyond your control. You still have bills to pay. (I have a feeling that those hot spots, or sores would have been there even if you had not rescheduled them)
      Sorry, can you tell that I am mad for you? lol
      Lisa, MFF

  7. Hi Lisa...I too finally made it through the holidays, but as usual, experienced all the ups and downs that go along with every single busy Christmas. I'm so busy year round now, that I hardly notice the additional work I have, and most of my customers were very generous this year...but...there were those handful of people who every year seem to take all the good, and throw it out the window. Nasty attitudes, no tips, and one lost customer because I couldn't manage to fit her in after the hurricane in October. She actually said that I seem to have been able to help "everyone but her"..Huh????? So disappointing, but it's over, and now we're on to a new year. Hoping for a better year emotionally than this was...Good luck Karen in NJ

    1. Hi Karen,
      So glad to hear from you! I was worried about you with the hurricane, but did not know where your shop was located. I am glad the you are well and that you had a good Holiday. :) Yes! 2013 WILL be a good year!!
      Lisa, MFF