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.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Trimming Up A Long Haired Chihuahua

Today I had a long haired Chihuahua come in for her very first grooming.....she is 2 years old.

She was very shy and sweet when I took her from the owner, but I wasn't sure what to expect when I started grooming her.
Two years of her life gone by without ever seeing a groomer.
Was she going to freakout and become a little land shark?

She turned out to be a groomers dream to groom.
The water scared her a little at first, but she settled right down.
The HV dryer startled her a little at first, but she calmed down quickly and even let me dry her head with it. (on low speed)
She also stood like a statue for all of her trimming.

She was also an angel for her nails.

She did not move a muscle while I clipped and filed them.

They were so long, they were twisting her toes.

Her owner wanted her rear scissored short, because she had been peeing on herself and she did have a few small mats around her privates.

The owner also wanted her ears neatened but not taken too short because they are part of her personality.

I scissored all of her feathering tight and neat.

 She was so shy.

Just look at that face.

I spent a little longer grooming her than I needed to just because she was such a joy to groom. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Can I Save Anything?

This little one came in the other day for a grooming.

I was a little blown away to see the coat on the dog, because it was 8am and already in the upper 70's.

The dog also had a second coat of pelted matting under this winter coat.

I couldn't imagine that the owner thought her dog was cold.

(I gave up trying to figure out why people do the things they do a long time ago.)

The owner knew that the her dog had to be clipped very short because of the matting.
So, I really didn't have to try to save any of the coat.
Just clip her short to get all of the mats off.

But there was a problem.

The tail was a solid mat.

So were the ears.

Now, I could have easily shaved off the ears.
I actually like short, shaved ears on some dogs, but the thing was, only the end of the ear was badly matted.
When only part of the ear is matted, even if it a very large mat, I feel like I should try to at least save the part that is not matted.

As for the tail, I just can't seem to bring myself to shave a tail and make it look like a rats tail.
I always feel like I need to at least try to leave a little bit of hair on the tail.
Even if it is only a little brush at the end.

I washed the dog and worked the shampoo and conditioner into the ears and tail to see if I could loosen up some of the pelted mat.

The mat barely budged.

So, I started clipping the ear by shaving the inside of the ear.

I shaved down the inside of the ear with a #15 blade until I came to the end of the ear leather.

I made sure that I shaved all around the edges of the ears till I had the mat away from the ear leather.

 Now that I knew exactly where the ear leather was and ended, I was able to safely scissor off the bulk of the mat.

I split up what little mat was left and easily brushed out the rest of the ear.

As for the tail....I was really afraid that I was going to have to take a #7F. or #10 to it.

It was really tightly matted.

So tight that the dog couldn't even hold his tail up.

It was bone straight and I was pretty sure that that tail was the type of tail that curled over the back naturally when not so solidly matted.

So I carefully started to split the mat going length wise up the tail.

I worked slowly making sure that I knew where the tail bone was all of the time.

I split all of the way up the tail on one side.

Then I did another split on the other side of the tail.

Then I pulled as much of the mat that I could away from the tail.

I also used my fingers to wiggle into the mat to find the very tip of the tail so that I was sure where the tail ended before I started cutting some of the chunks of mats off.

This is what the tail looked like after I cut off the chunks of mat that I split.

 It looked like a another tail. :/

Then I brushed out what was left on the tail.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was still this much hair left on the tail.

The hair was obviously damaged from being matted, so I sprayed it with some finishing spray to help repair the damaged hair a little.


The tail can curl again like it was meat to.

And, it does not look like a rats tail. :)

So, we have cute short ears, and....

...a cute tail.

I am happy. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF  ✂

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"You Have Totally Lost It!"

That is what my daughter told me yesterday when she found me scissoring on little stuffed dogs.

Yes, you read that right....little stuffed dogs.

Little stuffed dogs that I bought to scissor.


Let me explain my madness.

I have always thought about buying one of the model dogs that they have for grooming and cutting it different lengths so that my customers, who need to actually see a length to visualize how long or short their dogs fur will be, would be able to see and touch something.

When I first started grooming, one of the places that I groomed at had a board with strips of fake fur, cut to different lengths, so that the customers could pick out a length that they would like left on their dog.
It may sound a little tacky, but it did work pretty good.
Especially for those customers that can't tell you exactly how long or short they want their dog.

I thought of scissoring a model dog down to a #7F on the body, a #5F on one leg, a 4F on another leg, about a 5/8 length on the third leg, and the last last leg long and full.

Well, I never got around to doing that, and apparently they no longer sell the model dogs.
Plus, they were pretty darn expensive.

So, I saw these little guys a Toy R Us this past weekend.

I liked that they had long fake fur that could be scissored.

So, I had an idea.

A crazy one, but I wanted to try it out.

So I bought five of these little stuffed dogs.

I started combing all of them (but one) out.

I used one of my small cat combs.

I had to be really gentle so as not to pull too much hair out.

I think they combed out pretty well.

Then I started to scissor with some cheap dollar store scissors.

They were brand new so they were nice and sharp.

Funny how I caught myself trying to hold these cheap household scissors the same way I hold my grooming scissors.

It was very awkward.

I had to hold them the way you would normally cut with household scissors.

This is a picture of the stuffed dog half scissored.

This is after I finished cutting the first stuffed dog.

I scissored it to resemble a long puppy cut.

This is to show customers a hand scissor cut.

 I am keeping one of the stuffed dogs un-groomed so that a customer can actually see the difference.

The next dog is scissored to about a #4F or 3/4 length.

I would use this dog to show a short but not shaved length.

I can pick up the hair on the stuffed dog to give the owner an idea of the length that will  be left on their dog.

 They can also see what half off would look like.

Then we have the smoothy.

The customer can see what the ears look like cut off.

They can see what the face looks like if it was cut very short and tight.

They can feel the legs to see how short a #7F, or #5F would be.

Of course, I would have to explain that their dogs legs would look a lot skinnier.

The owner can feel this leg and feel how close the hair will be cut to the skin.

This leg was scissored as close as I could get it and the clothe netting that the fake fur is weaved into is showing a little, so that I can show and tell the owner that the skin may show if their dog is clipped with a #7F blade.

At least this would give an owner some idea of how short and how different their dog would look with a smoothy clip.

This one is a little harder to see in the picture, but it is a lamb cut.

The customer will be able to see that the body is shorter than the legs.

So, there is my gang.

I still have to decide how I am going to display them.

Of course these guys are not self explanatory.
I will only use them as a visual aid.
I will still have to explain different things, like coat types and how their dog will actually look with a certain blade length, to the customer.
Between these guys and pictures, I would think that I should be able to get a very good idea about what a customer really wants....even the hard to understand customers.

So.....am I crazy?!

Maybe just a little bit. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Makeover #16.....My Own Dog

This was my little guy 'Peanut' when I brought him home as a puppy. 

He is Dachshund/Bichon mix.

This is 'Peanut' now, 4 years later.

I call him my little old man.

As you can see, I have let his ears and beard grow out long.

I have never taken any length off of his ears or beard, just neaten them up when I give him a hair cut.

I have always liked his long beard and ears.

But, lately they have been looking messy all of the time.

 Even right after you brush out his beard and ears, they still look wild.

So, I had been thinking lately of giving him a makeover.

I really like how cute he looked when he was a puppy.

Funny thing is, as much as I fuss about pet owners who won't let me trim up their dogs stringy ears, or messy beards,  I was acting just like my customers.

The only difference was, my dogs long ears and beard are always mat free. :)

What to do?

Should I just shorten the ears by half, or should I go all the way and clip all of the hair off his ears to try to recapture that puppy look?
Should I take half off of the beard, or scissor the face tight?

 Well, the first thing that I did was clip off the ears with a #7F blade.

I must say.... I am pathetic, because I stood there a few minutes running my fingers down his ears and talking myself into cutting the hair.

I know!

It's hair....it grows back.

That is why I finally cut the hair, because I do know that it grows back. lol

 So, here he is with his ears clipped. (don't mind the sad face. He always looks like that when I try to take a picture of him. Mr. Serious)

Do I like it?

Am I sorry that I clipped the ears short?

No, I don't like it. (although as I write this post, with him laying next to me, I am getting used to it)

Yes, I am kicking myself in the butt for not scissoring the ears short first to see what that looked like.

Next came the beard.

Short and tight to match the ears.

I do like the short face.

It does make him look younger, but I still liked that old man look.

It will grow back.

It will grow back.

It will grow back.

Happy Grooming, MFF