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, March 18, 2013

Monday Makeover....Kind Of....

This past week was very mentally draining.

I hate weeks like that.

One thing after another.

All small.

Nothing earth shattering.

Just mentally draining. :/

There are some changes coming to my shop.

I will talk more about that in tomorrows post....

On to Mondays Makeover.

I mentioned in my post title that this was 'kind of' a makeover.

This dog was a very hard groom in more ways then one.
This was a new customer.
A one year old Bichon/Poo/Maltese mix.
It has only been professionally groomed once before....6 months ago.
The owner was asked not to bring him back to Petsmart.
So, she waited 6 months to find another groomer.

Now to be fair to the owner, this is her first dog.
She is very protective of him, and she knows that she spoils him to death.
She has also been attempting to groom him herself.
For being a first time dog owner, with a dog that has a high maintenance coat, she didn't do all that bad.

Needless to say, he was very overgrown.

He had some matting, but his owner had been cutting out any mats that she found.

I forgot to take a picture before the bath.

This is him after the bath and HV dry.

I had not fluffed him up yet.

He was very friendly, and had so far been very good for the bath and blow dry.

As you can see, he had many, many lengths all over him.

His owner did not want a lot of hair off of him.

She wanted to keep him long.

She did not want me to make him look even all over, because I would have had to clip him to the shortest length that he had on body.

Some of the areas that the owner had cut out mats were as short as a #4 or #5 blade.

I did warn the owner that if I only took an inch or so off of her dog, the cut would look very choppy because of all the different lengths and deep cutouts.

She understood and said that that was okay has long as he was not too short.

This turned out to be much harder to do then I thought it would be.

At first I just kind of stood there, staring at the dog thinking; "where do I start?"

Do I use a comb attachment?
Do I hand scissor the entire coat?

I decided to hand scissor the entire body and legs.
That also turned out to be very difficult for me.


It was all I could do to scissor to a long length and not try to match up the really short spots.
It was driving me crazy.
It also turned out that my little furry friend here tended to have temper tantrums.
I don't know how else to describe it.
If he thought that I was working on his back leg too long, he had no problem swing around and going after my hand.
If you told him 'no' he just got more pissed off at you.

I found that the best thing to do with him was ignore the behavior.
Yes, I ignored his bad behavior.
Mainly, because trying to correct him only pissed him off more, and it made me stop what I was doing.

Stopping what I was doing, even for a second to say 'no', or 'excuse me' was exactly what he wanted me to do...stop working.
So every time he swung around, I would take one hand and push his face (and teeth) away and continue combing, brushing, or scissoring.
He was more noise and show than anything else.

By this time I knew that, even though his owner had been grooming him at home, she was most likely stopping every time he didn't like something that she was doing.
So, naturally he expected me to stop also.
His owner admitted that that was what she would do.

I know that this owner could be really good at keeping her dog in good shape between grooms, if she learned not to let him get away with the bad behavior.
I am also pretty sure that this dog could be a really good groom if he was on a regular schedule so that he could learn how to accept the grooming.
When he didn't mind what you were doing, he was an angle and stood on the table like a pro.
Sadly, he was so unpredictable, that it made the groom very draining.

But...I got him done....if you want to call it that.

 I did take more than an inch off of some areas that were really long.

It was so hard to leave him uneven.

Even though his owner said that she understood that he would be uneven, I was afraid she would not be happy when she saw his coat looking like Swiss cheese.

It is one thing to try to describe to an owner how a cut will look, it is another thing once they actually see it.

The owner wanted the beard, ears, and tail left long.

She also wanted me to leave the top of the head long enough so that it would  have nice long curls when the hair got wet.

The owner was very happy.
Thankfully, she understood and did not mind the uneven coat.

The owner made another appointment for 6 weeks, and we are going to get this little guy on a regular schedule so that he can learn to tolerate being professionally groomed, without having a temper tantrum.
I know that he can do it.
He was so good when he wanted to be. :)

I still can't stand that he went out the door with such an uneven cut. :/

I'll get over it...
When he comes in the next time and goes out with a better cut. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I've also had a ton of those dogs that get away with anything they want lately - that's how I got that nasty bruise on my arm, from a Husky who thought I would stop if he threw a big enough fit. Yesterday I did a Maltese who had been groomed by his owner for 4 years, then a less-experienced coworker of mine for a year. Nobody has EVER been able to shave his front legs - but I was able to do it simply because I didn't give up.

    And sending that dog out looking like Swiss Cheese would have made me INSANE.

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I like to teach the owners how to take care of their dogs coat between groomings, but sometimes I actually wonder if it is not always the best thing. I do believe that some owners ruin their dogs for grooming. What can you do? (shrug)
      Lisa, MFF

  2. On the other hand some of my best dogs came to me after being groomed by their owners for years. You would think that all dogs who were groomed at home would be spoiled little brats. I love being surprised by dogs sometimes.

    1. Hi Peggan,
      It does keep the job interesting. :)

  3. I think he looks great :) I had to send a chow mutt out like that once, because his coat was so damaged from constant shave downs, but the owner loved it. Some owners are so weird!

  4. can u tell me how you are hanging the brushes on the peg board thats awesome but i cant figure it out how you do that and where to get those hooks and peg boards i tried looking and couldnt find in my area. also i wanted to know from your experience if i wanted to try a double k would you recommend diluting it and by how much and if i should go with the oatmella or desert almond or dynamic duo first .if it was you which is your favorite i want one that smells real good. ive never tried them but you talk about them and your grooms always look so amazing so i want to really do everything you do. i think you are the correct way. so when you get that call you can say that people always say you are the most correct because you have an eye for making the dog look great that others dont have yet and are trying to acquire through trial and error that since you have so much experience your dogs look so amazing because its probably second nature for you to look at a dog and know what will look good on them like a fashion designer or fashion consultant you know how to dress the dogs in their most flattering grooms based on their body structure and hair type. i know this comment strayed here from the other blog entry sorry. sincerely from one of your most admiring fans shelley :)

    1. Hi Shelly,
      I got the pegboard from my local hardware store. If you can't find it ask someone in your local hardware store. It was around the wood and paneling section in my store. The hooks are made just for pegboard. There are many different hooks. I use the ones with a loop to hold my brushes.
      The DoubleK shampoos come in a Gallon jug that is concentrate, so yes, you do want to dilute it. The gallon for each shampoo tells you the dilution rate. If you just want to try one first, I like the Oatmella.

      Thank you Shelly, for all your nice compliments. They are very much appreciated, but believe me, there are many other groomers out there that are just as good as me and better. I am still learning all the time myself. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  5. i think she looked happy healthy, clean, and snuggly and and her owner was happy. you are the best!!