I have come to hate that word.
"Shave my dog."
"Don't shave my dog."
I can use a 5/8 blade, #3/4F blade, or a #4F blade on a dog and a pet owner will think that I 'shaved' their dog bald.
I can use a #7f, or #10 blade on a dog and the owner didn't think that I took the dog short enough.
It is like playing the lottery.
You never know when your interpretation of an owners grooming instructions will be right.
I came to the conclusion a long time ago that most customers don't really know what the word 'shaved' means to a groomer.
They don't realize just how short "shave him as short as you can" really is.
Oh, every once in awhile you will get a customer who does know how short 'shaved' really is, and they really do want their dog 'shaved', but that is not very often, at least not for me.
Most of the time when a customer says; "shave him as short as you can", and I tell them just how short I can shave their dog, they end up saying; "oh, I don't want him that short! Just take an inch off."
Today we had a customer come in who said he wanted his dog shaved short.
He knew the legs were in bad shape and matted.
It turned out that the legs were not in bad shape, and were very easily brushed out.
So, I am sure you are thinking; 'what's the problem?'
Yes, this owner said to 'shave' the dog, but the problem was, we had never 'shaved' this dog before.
This dog has always had a pattern and the legs have never been taken any shorter than a #5/8 cut.
I am usually pretty good at reading people and figuring out what they really mean when they say 'shave'.
Today I told my daughter to do the pattern as usual and to use a #3/4F blade on the legs.
(We had never taken the legs that short before.)
I had two reasons for this.
One, I already explained, we had never shaved the dog before.
The owner had always wanted a full pattern.
(yes, I know an owner could change their mind)
My second reason was, this dog is on the heavy side, and shaving this dog would have made it look awful.
Well, needless to say, the owner thought we left the legs too long.
We offered to take the dog back in and quickly 'shave' the legs shorter.
He said that he could live with the cut.
I still strongly believe that if we had taken this dog as short on the legs as we do on the dogs back, this owner would not have liked that cut either.
Come to think of it, we rarely cut the dog exactly right.
There is always something that we didn't quite get right the last time.
There is a 50/50 chance that when he comes in the next time, he decided that he liked what we did this time....or, he will remind us about how badly we messed up this time.
Nothing like having someone get upset at you because you left too much hair on their dog. :/
Thankfully, most of the time I get it right.....not today.
I'll do better tomorrow. :)
✂ Happy Grooming, MFF ✂