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.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It Has Been A Day!!

Sometimes it is just better not to get out of bed at all.

Today was one of those days.

I didn't feel a 100% percent when I woke up this morning.
I ended up leaving the house later than I should, but I thought that I was still okay, because there is no traffic into work on Saturday mornings, so we actually get there 10 to 15 minutes sooner than during the weekdays.

Well, I thought too soon.
I needed gas, so I had to stop for that.
There goes about 10 minutes.

Then, a quarter of the way to work I ran into a backup.
A backup on Saturday morning.
They were doing road work, and that wasn't all.
When they finally let our side of traffic go, they were detouring us.
Not that big of a deal, but it was going to add another 5 or so minutes to the drive.

So, I take a side road to get back on track.
The only problem is, once I reach our usual road into work, there are 3 Mack work trucks turning onto the road in front of me.
They were from the road work that I had just been detoured from.
I followed them half of my way into work.
They were going a least 10 miles under the speed limit.
Add 10 more minutes to my commute.

I remember thinking, while I was following behind those trucks, that I hoped this was not a bad omen for the day.

Why the heck did I have to think that?
I have a really bad habit of things popping into my head and then coming true. :/

If I had only known what was ahead, I would have turned around, gone back home, and climbed under the covers.

We were close to 10 minutes late for work.
Why is it that all of your customer show up on time for their appointments only when you are running late?

My first dog of the day was a 16 year old Cocker in for a simple clipdown.
I have groomed this dog 3 other times, with no problems.
He was scheduled as my first dog of the day so that I could get him done and back home as soon as possible.
After taking him from his owner, I placed him in a kennel to settle for a few minutes because he was really shaking.
I got the tub and some warm shampoo ready for the Cocker, and then went to get him out of the kennel.
He was patiently waiting and had stopped shaking.

I put him in the tub and started to soap him up with the warm shampoo.
I noticed that he had some dry poop on his rear, but when I went to check it out, he got a little upset and pulled away, so I figured that I would let the warm soap soften it up before I tried to get it off.
He was a little antsy and moving around the tub a lot, but nothing unusual for an elderly dog.
I let him move around and just followed him, continuing to soap him up.

I got him all soaped up and let my hand slide down over his rear to see if the crusty poop had soften up when.....he started to do that old dog scream.
That scream that some older dogs will do when you try to dry them with the big dryer.
He was screaming and flinging his legs all around.

Crap, crap, crap..........

I grabbed him up out of the tub.
Let me tell you it is no easy feat to hold onto a soapy dog while it is squirming in your arms and screaming.
I held him tight to my chest and walked out of the grooming room into the Self-Serve.
Thankfully we didn't have any Self-Serve customers at the time.

It did the trick.
The change in scenery made him stop screaming and squirming.

Now this dog does have a history of seizures, but he had not ever had one with me before.
This was also not a real epileptic seizure.
It was an old dog freakout seizure type, but not truly a seizure, for lack of a better description.

I headed back to the tub.
My goal was to rinse the soap off and get this dog back home immediately.
He was now quite and settled in my arms.
I took him back into the bathing room and started to put him in the tub again.
Before his feet even touched the tub he went into a full blown epileptic seizure.

He went stiff and his body started to jerk.
My mind was racing.
I told my husband to call the owner.
I let the Cocker lay down in the tub, rubbing and talking to him.
I was praying.
What to do? What to do?

On top of the seizure, he was also shivering....I made a split second decision.

I started to rinse him off as quickly as I could while still rubbing and talking to him.
I  felt had to get that soap off of him.
I felt like it was taking an eternity for the seizure to stop, and for me to finish rinsing.

I was also thinking, 'am I doing the right thing?!'

Next, three things happened simultaneously.
I finished rinsing him.
His seizure stopped.
His owner walked in the door.

Once the seizure stopped, the Cocker was very weak and panting, but seemed himself.
I put towels down for him, and put him on them to help soak some of the water off of him.
I also wrapped him up with a towel.
I was still worried about him because he still could not stand.
Thankfully, by the time I finished  toweling him off, he stood up.

I wrapped him in another towel and took him, towel and all up to his owner.
His owner understood and agreed with my decision not to try to dry him anymore, or do any more grooming.

I felt so bad sending that dog out of my shop wet.
But, at the same time I was glad he was back with his owner.

I still had a full day of grooming ahead of me.

It took me till noon to finally ask my husband to call and check on the dog.
I was so afraid to hear bad news.
His owner said that he was doing just fine. :)

The rest of the day went on smoothly....until.....

I was grooming a Jack Russel Terrier.
You must always be on alert with her because she is a jumper.
If she thought for a second that she could jump out of the tub, or off of the table, she wouldn't waste a second doing so.
I was concentrating on grooming her and keeping her on the table when she suddenly stiffened and started a shrill whimpering.


That was all I could think.

I crabbed onto the dog and took a good look at her.
She was still stiff.
She was still doing this weird shrill whimper, but she was also doing something else....

....she was staring.

AT HIM!!!!!!


My husband had let our shop cat into the grooming room.
The cat was sitting on my daughters grooming table watching the Jack Russel.
Mean while the Jack Russel wanted him in a bad way.

I called my husband to get the cat out of the room.
The Jack Russel immediately relaxed, and me?
I was ready to take up drinking.
Too bad I don't like alcohol.

So I finished my grooms without anymore problems.
We were waiting for the last couple of dogs to be picked up.
One was another elderly, blind dog.

I was taking two of my dogs out to the bathroom when the owner of the elderly dog came to pick-up.
My husband waited on her.
I watched the owner and her Grandson walk the elderly dog out of the shop and to their car.
The Grandmother got into the car leaving the grandson to get the elderly dog into the car.

The dog walked past the car door and the boy yanked her backwards with the leash.
Non too gently I might add.
I could hear the boy yelling at the dog to get in the car instead of just picking her up and putting her in.
The dog struggled and tumbled back out to the ground before finally getting in.
I couldn't help.
I was across the parking lot and had two of my dogs with me.

I was not happy when I walked back in the shop.
I spend so much extra time taking care of my customers dogs, especially the elderly ones, only to have the dogs own owners miss handle it.
I told my husband that that owner better not call back to say that her dog was hurt after what I saw in the parking lot!

So, that was the end of my grooming day....or so I thought.

Now, I have a feeling that I may have over reacted to this particular event, but that was the mood I was in.

I got a notification that someone had commented on one of my grooming videos on YouTube.
So I read the comment.
It was not an out and out mean comment, but it was an accusing comment.
Enough so that I felt I needed to defend myself.
Although I think I may have gone overboard since it took me four reply's to say all that I wanted to say.
Actually, knowing me, I could have said a lot more. :/

The comment left on this video just proves to me that people see only what they want to see.
If you would like to check out what I am talking about, here is a link:

My reply's are to a comment left by silvike. 
As groomers, do you think that I over reacted?

Probably.....it has been a very long day.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I clicked on the link but it didn't take me to the site you are referring to. Can you provide another link? Thanks, Kathy

    1. Thank you Kathy!
      I guess that was just the topping on the day. lol Oh well, a new and better day ahead. It should work right now. :)
      Thanks again,

    2. hi Lisa,
      you are one of the most caring groomers!! and in the video you didnt do anything harmful at all. that is ridiculous for that person to write that. there is another groomer i know that has her own business and has been grooming years and years and im too far away now to see her anymore. she was always gentle and the best groomer ever and she posted a first one video on the internet and got these kind of comments how she was abusing the dog and then she never posted again what a loss for the you tube people that could learn so much from her. they insulted her and said she was abusive i was so upset to read those because i have never known such a giving caring animal lover lady than her. i love her she owns the dog house grooming salon i think its on you tube under thedoghouse and she grooms a bichon. she is a great person and groomer and the comments were unbelievable.

    3. Hi Shelley,
      Sometimes I think that people only see what they want to see. Other times I think that some people just like to be mean. It is a shame.

  2. I just commented on the video because comments like that really irk me too. I am sorry for your day, I feel your pain and I am sorry you have to listen to comments like that on your videos. You should change the settings to not allow people to comment on them. But, hopefully my comments will help that person realize the truth of what is going on in your video. People need to stop blaming the groomer and start blaming themselves.

    1. Thanks littlemonsterbc,

      Most comments are nice. Thankfully! I have seen videos were people have been horribly mean to the person making the video. It is really a shame. If it ever got bad I would disable the comments.
      Oh, thank you for your comment on the video. :)


  3. I really don't think your comments were overboard. I think you explained the situation without being snarky about it, which I would have been tempted to do. Some people just truly have no idea what it is like to be a dog groomer. I wonder how that person would have accomplished trimming that dog's eyes?

    Anyway, sorry about your bad day, I hope this week treats you better!

  4. That was an excellent groom! You did everything right, you took the time to get him used to both the clippers and the scissors. The person who commented on your video has obviously never seen how horrific it is for those poor dogs who go in for their first groom to a "power groomer" who's main goal is to get the groom done as quickly as possible so they can bust out 20 dogs in a day! She has also never seen how those dogs will be scarred for life! At least you know that this puppy is in good hands and although everything was new to him/her, nothing bad happened to her and the next time will go 100% smoother, and you will be able to scoop his/her eyes in 20 seconds, instead of a life long horrifying 20 minutes for the rest of his/her life every time he goes to the groomer!! Tomorrow will be a better day!

    1. Hi Monica,
      Thank you.
      The puppies first groom is so important. A Shih-tzu puppy, especially can take every ounce of patience that you have in your body to scissor around their eyes. They can give you 10 heart attacks in ten minutes.
      The funny thing is, I hear customers in my Self-Serve get pissed off with their dogs all of the time, and that is just because the dog shook and got them wet. Should I go back and tell them that they are abusing their dog? (shaking head)
      People really shouldn't judge something unless they have done it themselves and know what is involved, and what they are talking about.


  5. Lisa, stumbled on your blog and I've been reading the archives and really enjoying your stories! I'm not a groomer but an owner looking for better ways to keep my pups up. I have a pit mix that is my absolute baby girl, a miniature schnauzer that is my baby boy, and an English bulldog miniature schnauzer mix that is my OTHER baby boy (half brother to my full schnauzer.)

    Noel, the pit mix (I know, I know, so many people are afraid of pits or pit mixes, and honestly it's like blaming a border collie without enough exercise for being excitable when someone blames them for being territorial, or mishandled leading to aggression. Be aware, know what you're getting into, and you have a sweet, kissy dog. Ok soap box moment over...) is getting older and her skin is getting more oily. She's short haired but she's got some undercoat, especially around her neck and shoulders. Normally, it wasn't a problem, a little brushing knocked it right out, and if not, a bath. Anymore, the oils in her coat are causing it to stick and be harder to remove.

    She's never been to a groomer (there's never been a need, when I could take care of her just fine at home,) and I hesitate to start her on it now, especially since she's mildly epileptic. There wouldn't be any blame on the groomer in my mind if she did seize but I already know that her seizures are worse when she's stressed, so why put the dog or the groomer through that?

    Is there anything I can do at home to help get rid of the undercoat without access to an HV dryer? It itches and I know she feels better when it's gone, but she's not a huge fan of the brush to start with and she gets tired of being brushed long before she runs out of undercoat most of the time. Maybe I'm using the wrong brush, I don't know. Any recommendations?

    I've recently started using a blow dryer on her, and she's not a huge fan but she'll be good for me with it with lots of breaks... it does help, but it still seems like the undercoat builds up faster than I can keep up.

    1. Hi Farmgirl,

      A good de-shedding shampoo and conditioner could help remove the undercoat.
      Soap him up really good and use the sprayer up against the skin to help loosen up the hair away from the skin as you rinse. After you rinse the shampoo off, rub the conditioner into the part of the body were the undercoat is thick, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse again. Let the power of the sprayer help push out some of that undercoat. You could also use a rubber curry brush while the hair is still soapy, or while the conditioner is soaking. The rubber curry will help pull out some of that undercoat. Your dog may like that better than the brush. I like Best Shot Shampoo and Conditioner for removing undercoat. A Furminator is also great for removing undercoat on a short haired dog.

      Here is a link for Best Shot Shampoo:

      Here is a link for the Furminator:

      Hope this helps. Sorry for taking so long to answer your question.


  6. I thought your vid was wonderful. I was actually wondering if you could make a post about the difference between carding and handstripping? I've asked so many groomers, but they are really confusing me. At first I understood carding as a method of undercoat removal, and handstripping was like "recycling" a coat, but someone else said handstripping was removing undercoat, like off of a brussels. You've always been great at clarifying things so I just had to ask :)

    1. Thanks Tong Chen,

      I would have to say that what you first understood is right. Handstripping is like plucking out, or off the dead top coat to leave a new beautiful, fresh coat that is underneath. I used to handstrip my terrier mix. Her nice black coat would grow out to a grayish wiry coat. When I was able to part that top coat and see a shorter black coat underneath, I knew that it was time to handstrip (pluck) that top coat. It was a long and tedious job that I would spread out over two days, because my fingers would get sore. If you get the coat at just the right time, it does not hurt the dog. When I was finished with handstripping my terrier, all that gray coat was gone and a new, beautiful, short, velvety, ebony black coat was left.
      I compare carding to using the furminator. It is removing the undercoat and leaving the top coat behind.
      I hope that this description helped. Sorry to take so long to answer your question. I still have 30 comments to go. :/


  7. I think everyone likes to pretend to be an expert behind the anonymity of youtube comments. I saw nothing that the commenter was talking about... Sure the puppy looked a little nervous, but that's to be expected and you're handling it with calm skill and grace. I am just starting grooming and enjoy watching your videos and reading your blog. :-)


    1. Thanks Jill!

      Congratulations on starting your grooming career. :)


  8. The statesboro groomerApril 28, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    I have a comment about the video and the story. One I have had this day and my grooming assitant was helping with the first old dog when it had a seizure and he thought he had killed the dog when he was just holding it. After he got done screaming like a girl and the dog jumped up and was ok again I had to luagh this was also a bipolar dog happy and loving one minute kujo the next. For the video that dog was way old for a first groom and that is a nightmare I hold them from the back where you aren't having to hold the bottom of there face and I love the way people think dog sit dog be still stand up when you want them to hop on the table for you when they way 200lbs and hold their feet out and still for you to cut their nail and then paint them. Dogs also love having there anal glands done and having large scissors help to eyes b/c you would love all those things to. I also love when people say oh he loves being groomed he is just ticklish on his feet and then he tries to rip youe face off when you touch his feet. The joys of being a groomer and caring for dogs and they wonder why we don't like people.

    1. Hi,
      I am glad that the dog was okay, as for your assistant, he may never be right again. lol
      Your right, they think that their dogs are angels.....or they think that we hang them from the ceiling by their toe nails. We can't win. :)
      Lisa, MFF