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, January 27, 2013

Repair Groom and a Little Color Please

This little lady has been trying to get in to be groomed for a couple of months now.

But, between the owners work schedule (7 days a week) and the fact that we were booked up for the Holidays, this little girl was way past her normal grooming time.

So they did a little 'home grooming' on her till they could bring her to me.

 Her groom was going to be a matter of  finding the shortest area and matching the rest of her up.

The head.....why do owners always kill chop off the top of the head?


There was one other thing that the owner wanted also.

She did not know that she wanted it when she walked into my shop, but she saw my daughters dog.

Right now my daughters Bichon has purple ears.
As a matter of fact, all of Maryland is purple right now.

Our football team, 'The Ravens' are going to the Superbowl!
Everyone is wearing something purple to support the team.
When this Bichons owner saw my daughters Bichon, she wanted her dogs ears purple too!

I had used up all of my purple blow pens, so I had to use children's (non-toxic) sidewalk chalk.
The chalk is much lighter in color than the blow pens, which I think worked better for the owner.
I think that the darker color of the blow pens would have been too much for her.
I also like using side walk chalk when it is the first time that you are coloring a customers dog, because the chalk washes out quicker (in one to two washes) just in case the owner doesn't like it.

First, take the color of chalk that you want and put it in a cup of warm water to soak for at least 10 minutes.

You do not have to submerge the whole stick.

My chalk stick was just about all used up, so the whole thing is under water. :)

You don't have to use gloves....that is if you don't mind having purple fingers when you are done.

 Start putting the chalk on after the bath.

The color is a little darker if you apply the chalk to clean, dry ears.

This little lady does not like the dryer.

  So instead of drying her ears twice, once after the bath and again to dry the chalk, I decided to apply the chalk to her damp ears.

Simply take the chalk and rub in the direction that the hair grows.

Do this until you have covered as much of the hair as you can.

Do not rub too hard.

Color only the hair not the skin.

This is the ear after I finished with the chalk.

Next, blow dry the ear.

I also colored the tail to give some balance.

Now it is time to do the 'repair' groom.

Well, this is the best  finish picture that I could get.

The second that I take my hands off of her, she goes down.

Standing is not one of her favorite things.

She is already to show her 'purple pride'!

Oh, one other tip when using children's (non-toxic) sidewalk chalk.
Have some flexible hold hair spray on hand and give a little spritz to lock the dry chalk down.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I've been toying with the idea of coloring my own dogs (I'm not brave enough to try it on customers' dogs with no experience), but I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to buying an expensive product and/or living with a bad result for months and months until it grew out (one of my co-workers tried to color her Bichon like a Panda - but the black dye turned out moss green!!!). Anyway, I LOVE this idea for playing around with temporary color cheaply.

    I also had to fix a bad groom today - but it wasn't from an owner, it was from a groomer at another shop! I haven't checked the pics to see how they turned out, but it was pretty horrifying. And this lady was too upset to even complain to them and get her money back, she just came to us to fix it.

    Anyway, I will definitely be hitting up the toy aisle at Wal-Mart or some place like that soon!

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I think that you will have fun with the sidewalk chalk. Your guys will look cute with color. :)
      Lisa, MFF

    2. I'm thinking of trying the sidewalk chalk with a stencil, and I have a couple of questions. First: Do you think that will work?

      Second: If you use the wet chalk on a clean, dry dog, do you then blow dry the dog again to dry the chalk into the coat?

      I'm going to GroomFest in June and I am doing the day-long seminar on creative grooming; I'm so excited! In the meantime, my favorite NBA team is headed to the playoffs looking stronger than they have in years, and I am going to try to shave their logo onto one dog and dye it on the other. We'll see how it turns out!

    3. Hi Jennifer,
      I have never tried chalk with stencils. I am not sure if that would work. I have always used blowpens.
      Yes, I use a blow drier to dry the chalk.
      I will be interested to see how it works for you. You will love the creative class. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  2. Oh! I think I want to try that on my white puppies! =D

  3. I like the lavender color more than the shocking royal purple. Does the color bleed off after it's dry?

    1. Hi,
      The only problem that I have noticed was that when the dog shook its head and the ears flapped onto the head a few times, the head was also lavender. :/ That is why I mentioned using the flexible hair spray to set the chalk on the ears when dry.
      I have not ever had any problem with the color coming off on anything else.
      Lisa, MFF

  4. I have used chalk pastels, but it is such a small piece of chalk to use. I will definitely be trying the sidewalk chalk next time. The hairspray is a great idea too, because I have had chalk rub off on my furniture from one of my dogs before. It just wipes off easily, but I would hate for a client to have to deal with that.

    1. Hi,
      So far I have not had any problem with the sidewalk chalk rubbing off onto furniture.
      Lisa, MFF

  5. Hi ...I absolutely LOVE your blog and i have picked up so many tips that have helped me , Thank you for all the hard work you put in to it ,i for one sure do appreciate it .. I wanted to ask a couple of questions .... i have been looking for the blow pens , where do you find them at ? and do you think maybe one day you could do a piece on how you have found the best way to use them ? Also i use plastic slip on combs but find they are quite streaky sometimes leaving me with alot of scissoring (i dont mind but am not very fast at it ) so i was going to get a set of the wahl stainless steel combs you use to try ,, but what blade do you use under them ? with the plastic ones i use a #40 but read the stainless steel combs will chip the teeth on a #40 , didnt know if this was true or not .. Thank you once again for your wonderful blog .. Happy Grooming !Donna X

    1. Thank you Donna!

      Blow pens....they have become so hard to find now. You used to be able to go into just about any craft store and find them. Not anymore, at least in my area. I do know of one place that you can get some. From Dawn Omboy, Groomings Queen of Color. :) Here is a link to her store website:


      I will try to do that post for you, but it may be a little while. I need to buy some more blow pens myself.

      As for the stainless steel combs...there are a couple of different ones on the market. The first set that I bought a few years ago fit A-5 style blades. I tried to use them on #30 and #40 blades and yes, they raddled a lot and broke the teeth on the #40 blade. They ended up put away and never used again. The stainless steel clip combs that I use now and love, are the Wahl® Original Stainless Steel Attachment Combs that can only be used on the 5in1 detachable blades that you use on the Wahl® cordless clippers. (Bravura, and Chromado) IMO these clippers, combs and blades are well worth the investment.
      I hope this helps. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  6. When you chalk before the groom, is there no fear of the chalk being abrasive/damaging to your blades and scissors?

    I always use ear/gripping powder before the bath so that it can't intimidate my tools...

    1. That is a good question Moo,
      I have not noticed any problem with the chalk damaging my scissors. As for blades....I have always clipped first then applied the chalk on the body. The chalk does not seem to be as drying as ear powders are.
      Lisa, MFF