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.

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  ✂


  1. Wow! What a great groom!

    I hope the owner sees this and continues with the up-keep on this dog, he is very cute when groomed.

    1. Thank you!

      You would think that after a customer sees how nice their dog looks after a grooming that they would bring them in regularly. Sadly that is not always the case.
      Lisa, MFF

  2. Aww, what a great groom and a great save! That's one happy looking pup!

  3. That job would've given me a huge amount of satisfaction too!

  4. Wow, you did a great job with so much matting!

  5. I hope the poor little dog doesn't end up like that again, great job! And he can wag his tail!

    1. Thanks Carolyn!
      I just hope she comes again.....sooner!

  6. thank you so much for improving this little dog's quality of life. the picture at the end, he is like "who is that dog in that mirror". I cannot stand it when people get dogs like this and don't keep them maintained. I just want to take the dog away and tell them to get a flat coated dog that doesn't need grooming. I hope they rebooked.

    1. Hi Paisely,
      I think that this owner really cares for their dog, they just don't realize how the matting hurts their dog. They just see that the hair was 'shaved' off. I try so hard to get owners to realize that if they just bring them more often I can keep the dog in a longer cut.
      Lisa, MFF