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, June 17, 2013

Grooming In The News

Why is it that the only time we see anything about pet grooming in the news it is bad news.

In the last few days I have seen at least two bad grooming stories.

The first one is about a grooming shop that gave two pet owners the wrong dogs back after the grooming.

Now, I have to say, in my opinion, in this particular story I blame both the owners and the grooming shop.

It always blows my mind how some owners don't even know their own dogs.
There have been many times when I have walked out into my lobby with a dog and there are a number of customers being waited on at the same time. 
I will come out of the grooming room with a dog and have at least one or two of those owners think that the dog I am holding is theirs.
I even had one customer actually get upset because I walked past her to hand another customer their dog.
That customer was so sure that I was handing her dog to someone else, she started getting angry until my daughter walked out with her dog.

Did the dogs look alike?
Well, the one I was holding was  just a little larger than hers, and had white, curly hair.
Her dog had light creme color hair that was straighter, and a longer nose.
I guess they looked a little alike....not.

Now, the owners in these stories were handed the dogs and the owners walked out of the shop and took those dogs home.
They could not tell that they didn't have the right dog right there in the lobby as soon as the groomer brought the dog out?

Sad to say, this actually happened at the grooming school that I went to.
I had graduated from the school and was working there as a groomer that groomed the dogs that the students could not get to, or finish.
This grooming school also did boarding on the side.
The receptionist and the kennel helper were responsible for the boarding dogs.
Each morning they would bring the boarding dogs that were going home that day in the grooming room to be groomed.

One day I started to groom a little black poodle.
I took the boarding name collar off of the dog and the dogs own collar off.
I was reading the dogs I.D. tags and noticed that the name on the dogs collar did not match the name on the boarding collar.
I called the receptionist back and we started to investigate.
I don't exactly recall how we determined that two of the dogs got mixed up, it was a long time ago.

I main problem was that one of the dogs, the one that was due to be picked up that day, had gone home the day before with the owner of the dog that was still at the shop.

Got that?
The wrong dog went home with the wrong owner.

I was freaking out.
The owner of the school was not in at the time.
I called her to tell her what happened and expected her to rush over and take care of the problem.

She told me to take care of it!!!

She told me to call the owner that picked up the other dog and tell her that she had the wrong dog, and that she needed to bring that dog back and get hers.

How would you have liked making that phone call?

It was not easy...in more ways than one.

I had to convince the pet owner that she had the wrong dog.
"Are you sure? He came right home and ate and drink out of his bowl, and he has been playing with his toys and bone in the back yard."

After I convinced her that she had the wrong black dog, (her dog was a long legged, charcoal color miniature Poodle, the one she took home was a shiny, coal black wavy coated, short legged Cock-a-poo) we had another problem.
She did not drive and no one was home to bring the dog back.
I didn't drive either at the time, nether did the kennel help, and the receptionists car was bring tuned up. (someone had dropped her off at work that morning)

No one had a car!
No one could go pick the dog up.

Did I mention that I was freaking out?
On top of being pissed as sh*t at the owner of the school for putting this mistake on my shoulders.

Thankfully the pet owner was able to get her grandson to bring the dog back over.
We switched the dogs and everybody was happy, but make no mistake, that episode has stuck with me all of these years.

I must say, I have not ever mixed up a dog.
Even on days that we have four or five Bichons in in one day, we still know who is who.
Every dog has a name tag on the kennel.
Every dog is assigned a kennel and they only go in that kennel.
No kennel hoping.
I will go out of my way to make sure that this does not ever happen in my shop.

Oh, one other thing about this story and the video.
Did you notice how the pet owner that walked in the grooming shop door just dumped the wrong dog that she had on the floor instead of handing it to its rightful owner?
The article also said that one of the owners noticed that the dog was not her dog immediately when she got home.
Immediately when she got home?!
How about when the dog was handed to her?

(shaking head)

The second story in the news is much more disturbing and sad.

How in the world do you lose a dog and not know how?
How can you possibly think you are not responsible when the pet was left in your care?
How do you not call the owner right away so that everyone can be out looking for that poor dog?

I work hard everyday to get my customers to respect me and the job that I do.
Our industry does not need stories like these.
Why can't the news show all the good things that dog groomers do.
Like the groomers who volunteer to groom shelter dogs to help them get new homes.
Or the groomers that pack up everything and go to places that have been hit by disasters and help pet owners with their dogs, and dogs that have lost their homes, or been separated from their owners.

Groomers are good people.
I just wish that we would see more good grooming stories.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. That happened to one of my customers. She used to get her dog groomed at her vets office. She noticed right away when she went to pick it up that it was the wrong dog, but hers had already gone home with someone else.The worst part was that her dog was supposed to get bloodwork done while it was there and they tested the wrong dog.

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Wow, it is one thing to hand a customer the wrong dog, but it really blows me away that the customer does not notice and takes the wrong dog home. :/
      Lisa, MFF

  2. There was recently a story in Calgary,AB about a groomer abusing dogs. Theres video...

    Heres hoping that link works. Its really horrifying and hard to watch.
    As a groomer I cant imagine why she would feel the need to treat dogs in this way.

    1. Hi Wendy,
      I saw that video and had to turn it off. It really bothered me. If a groomer has gotten to that point where they can not control their temper, they need to take a break from grooming, or stop grooming all together. Very sad.
      Lisa, MFF

  3. Debbie's tidy dog is kind of close to where I live and I thought about working there. Now that this story happened, I think I'll find somewhere else to work. Hahahaha.

    1. Hi Katelyn,
      Sounds like you dodged a bullet. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  4. I worked at a vet clinic here in Casper WY and was witness to the wrong dog situation. A lady came into our clinic and told me upon arriving that she wanted us to prove to her and the groomer that she had been given the wrong dog. I thought she was crazy because I had never heard of such a thing. She had adopted a Yorkie, taken it to the groomer and was convinced that she had been sent home with the wrong dog. She had been trying to clear it up with the groomer for a whole month-but that groomer refused to believe that anything like that had happened and wouldn't help or listen to her. So she came to the vet and wanted her dogs records-she had had her dogs teeth cleaned and a few of them pulled after adopting him. The dog she had been given back by the grooming shop and presented to us still had all of its teeth. We then scanned it for a microchip. The dog she brought in had a chip, but the dog she had adopted had never received one. They definitely were different dogs and it was very obvious that she had been sent home with the wrong dog. We tracked down the other dogs owner using the microchip information and contacted them to see if they could bring the other Yorkie to our clinic. Apparently that dogs owner was an elderly lady who was in the hospital. Her family had brought the dog into the groomer and didn't know the dog well enough to realize that they had been given the wrong one when they picked it up. The poor dogs were mixed up for a month before the situation was corrected. This unusual story actually ended up on the news-it was kind of funny on one hand-but something that never should have happened to begin with. I would have been furious if I had been either of those dog owners!

    1. Hi Kristin,

      Wow, thanks for the story. Kudos for that owner going the extra mile to prove that she did not have the right dog. I am with you, I would be furious too.

      Lisa, MFF

  5. You know I was talking to the woman that trained me, and one of my questions was have you ever mixed up a dog? She got really quiet and then said well the owners didn't even notice. I said what??! In all fairness they were 2 black labs very similar in weight and size. Both were male. It was the second owner picking up the his dog he could tell right away. He said to my boss that's not my lab. She said yes he is, and he said no he isn't. Well she freaked out trying to figure out where his dog went. Found out they had sent him home with the other owners about 2 hours before! Well she gets on the phone calls and tells them what had happen. The owners that brought the wrong dog home laughs and then said well that answers a lot. Because they said, "Well that's good because he wasn't coming when called and was going crazy in the house the backyard, and acting really excited." They had thought their dog was losing it. They came back and made the switch. Both owners laugh about it. Good thing because my boss thought she was going to die. Thanks Ruth

    1. Thank goodness both owners found it amusing. No harm, no foul.

  6. Just found your blog some good stuff on here :)

    I read this story and laughed, I recall only one incident in my history of a dog mix up. I had my assistant checking dogs out that day and I thought it was an easy task, we have tags on all the collars/leashes and kennels. Anyway I see a lady come through the door with a dog I had just groomed and she says to me " Hi, I seem to have been given the wrong leash" and I look at her and then the dog and had to hold back a laugh. I replied no actually you have the right leash but the wrong dog.

    It was hilarious to me that she thought she had the wrong leash! The dogs were the same color black and white shit tsu's but completely different size and cuts!

    She was good humored about it and all turned out fine :)