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, August 7, 2013

I Feel a Burnout Coming On

I usually can't wait to get back to grooming after a vacation, and I felt that way after I got back from vacation a couple of weeks ago.

The first week back was very busy, but went fairly smooth.

This week....I have had it already, and it has nothing to do with the dogs or grooming them.

It is the pet owners.
They make me want to rip my hair out.

I am always telling my daughter and my husband to not let the two legged customers get to them.
To try to just ignore stupid ignorant comments.
To try to  just ignore the rudeness and whining when a customer can't get the appointment times they want.
To try to ignore the complaining about the cost of grooming their dogs.
To try not to let the customers get under their skin.

But, how can I expect my husband and my daughter to do that when I find it hard to practice what I preach myself.

We go out of our way to give excellent customer service.
We try very hard to work with our customer schedules to give them appointment times that they want.
We always shift things around to help out a customer that must have their dog back by a certain time.
We almost always have dogs finished when we say we are going to have them finished, and if we are running behind, we call the owner to let them know.
We wait on our customers right away, as soon as they walk in the door.
My husband usually answers the phone by the second ring.
We take the time to listen to our customers.
We do our best to give their dogs the exact cut they want.
We don't talk down to our customers, or give them a hard time for the bad condition of their dogs coat.
We educate our customers on how to take care of their pets coat.
We also take the time to answer any other questions that they may have about their pets, or steer them towards someone who can answer their questions.
We take care of every dog as if they were our own.

Does it sound like I am tooting my own horn?
Well, I guess maybe I am, but I believe in good customer service, because I'll tell you one thing, I don't see much good customer service anymore these days.

No matter how bad a day I might be having, I  always greet every customer with a smile.

Is it wrong of me to expect some of the same respect that I give my customers given back to us?

I don't think so.

I am getting tiered of dealing with all of the disrespect.

~Customers showing up anywhere from half and hour to and hour late for appointments with not even so much as a "I am so sorry I am late, can you still groom my dog."
Just drop the dog off and want to know when it will be done.

~Customers showing up with a pre-written check for the groom....and the amount being wrong. (short)

~Customers that ask you to move their appointment time, because it is too early for them.
You move the appointment back by two hours, even though you don't have an opening, THEN that same customer shows up half an hour late for the new appointment time. 

~Customers waiting to call and cancel an appointment for two dogs half an hour before they were supposed to be there.

~Customers that do not bother to return your call when you left them a message to see if they want to fill an appointment in a couple of days.
It leaves you hanging because you are not sure if they are planning on taking it, meanwhile you could be calling someone else on your waiting list.

~Customers who you call at 9:15 because they haven't shown yet, only to have them say; "I thought my appointment was for 9:30." No, our appointments have always been booked on the hour, and it is now 9:20 and you haven't even left your house yet to get here for the supposed 9:30 appointment!! AND we told you 9 when we gave you the reminder call yesterday.
(No, we didn't say that to the customer...that is what we wanted to say. We just told her, 'no, your appointment was for 9)

~Customers that come in with a new dog, wanting a simple short cut on their dogs, and telling you all of the wrong things that the last groomer did.
That same customer telling you that you will be their regular groomer if you do a good enough job.
Then when they pick the dog up, they grab the dog and go....you have no idea whether they liked the groom or not.
(I know after grooming for so many years, this should not bother me anymore, but it does. I would just like to know one way or another whether the groom was okay.)

~Customers that you tell them about something that you found on their dog, that you think should be seen by the Vet right away, and they just brush off your concerns.

~Customers that you do them a favor....and the check has still not shown up in the mail.....AND they will not answer their phone.

Everyone of the things that I listed above happened today!

Well, I guess that I should at least be grateful that all of the dogs were good today.

Sorry about the rants two days in a row.

I love my job.
I love grooming.
I love the dogs.

I resent pet owners making me feel burnt out.

I try really hard not to let some of the pet owners ruin it for me.
It is when the pet owners all seem to be at their worst at the same time that I have a hard time dealing with it.

I think that the grooming industry loses good groomers every year, not because of the dogs, but because of having to deal with pet owners who don't respect our profession, or how hard we work everyday to make their pets feel good.

So to every pet groomer out there that reads my blog, you are doing a great job!
Hang in there and concentrate on your furry customers.
Try hard not to let disrespectful people bring you down.
Even when they all seem to come in on the same day or week. :/

I am trying....

I think that I will go read some happy grooming stories now. ;)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I run a very small grooming business out of my home. I don't take more than three or four appts a day-which is a full day for me I might add. Each appt lasts at least two hours and I only work 9-5(most of the time). This has kept me from burning out and helps me maintain my sanity. I have worked in shops that work much longer hours and take in lots more dogs-split between several groomers. I hated it and love the quiet easy going atmosphere in my home I have created to work in. I understand about the inconsiderate owners-I get to deal with them too. I have just come to expect it and try and not let them get to me as much as I can. My pet peeves with them lately are people showing up with their dogs retractable leashes tearing through my house uncontrolled and owners who just can't take the extra time to take their dogs outside to go potty. I don't need any extra poop in my home-I already have three dogs of my own and have plenty! That's all I did yesterday was clean up dog poop from every dog dropped off-I was more than a little irritated to say the least! All I can really say is-take a breather when you need it and count to ten. Every day is a new start and maybe will be better than the one before it! :)

    1. Hi Kristin,
      I wish that I was able to groom out of my home. :)

  2. What things can I do to increase my education on Grooming. I am planning on attending some classes at a Colorado grooming school to hopefully gain extra knowledge. I have never been to a grooming school and gained all of my grooming experience on the job at different grooming shops over the years. All of the groomers did their grooming differently and I finally just took bits and pieces from what I was taught from each of them and developed my own style. Some of the things I do probably aren't right and can be better. I want to improve my skills and knowledge now that I have started my own business. My clients all seem very happy with my work and most always have set standing appts. But I can see a big difference when I look at my own work compared next to other groomers. Any tips or advice would be very welcomed and appreciated! :)

    1. Hi Kristin,
      Attending some classes is a good start. You can pick up a lot from watching other groomers. All groomers tend to develop their own styles. I am sure that not all groomers agree with some of the grooms that I have posted here.
      There are also a lot of great videos available. Jody Murphy has some great ones. Just Google her name and grooming videos. There is also a website that you can join about learning to groom dogs:


      I am not sure how costly it is.
      Those are a few things I could think of. Hope they help. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  3. Two things that may help (which we do at the store I work at); we don't accept checks (cash or card only) and we have a 15 minute grace period for late people. After which the customer needs to reschedule. Though I've made a few exceptions to the late rule I do try to stick to it. Dentists and doctors don't let you come late to appointments and still charge! I tend to be more lenient when they at least call ahead or if it's a slow day. It's hard not to feel walked all over by customers quite a lot, but I try to put my feet down on some issues. Just try to pick my battles. Just know you offer great customer service (though some people hardly deserve it at times)!

    1. Hi Marge,
      We take cash, check and charge, although I am seriously thinking of getting rid of the charge. Too costly for me. I was open 24 years before I started to take charges. I only started taking them for convenience for my customers. The fees are costing me too much. I rarely have any problems with checks.
      As for late customers...My business relies mainly on the full grooming and I can not afford to reschedule everyone who is late for and appointment. (some days half of them are late) Now if you show up 2 hours late I WILL reschedule. I try to pick my battles too! :)
      Lisa, MFF

  4. You are doing a fabulous job as well! I am so sorry about your day, that sounds so rough. I know we have all been there but it still doesn't make it better. I am constantly shocked by people even though it really shouldn't surprise me anymore but it always does.

    1. Thank you Holly,
      I am also constantly shocked. My daughter always asks me WHY I am shocked, and I always tell her that I am still hoping to see the good in people.....it just seems to get harder and harder the older I get. :/
      Lisa, MFF

  5. Thank you for making this blog. Ever since I have started reading this I have acted a WHOLE LOT different to my dog's groomers. I will groom my dog 2 times a day, just to make sure she is mat free and a PLEASURE to groom. I will warn them that she is skittish in the tub and prefers a hand held blowdryer. She loves the groomers place, and I make sure to tell the person at the counter to "please tell the groomer I said thank you". I will often come in just to chat and dish out compliments! I once had the lady at the desk get annoyed with me for calling her three times and apologizing for being 15 mins late. When my dog sitter missed my dog's appointment once, I said sorry and promptly set up a new appointment, in which I told the dog sitter to 'please get her there on time, i don't want to annoy the groomer and waste her time AGAIN on me". I prefer to pick up my dog on time and pay with cash on the spot. Whenever i'm not personally there to droop my dog off, I leave a detailed ( at least 1 whole paragraph) note explaining how I would like my dog to be groomed. My dog is a shih-tzu grown out to full coat, and when my groomer held her for the first time, he looked up incredulously and said, "Not one mat!" like he had never seen a long-haired dog being properly groomed at home. I am SHOCKED people still treat dog groomers like how they did in you're post. Just... wow. Thank you for helping me change my mindset on dog groomers! thankyouthankyouthankyou!

    1. THANK YOU Sanaa!!
      I understand owners that can not keep up with their dogs coats. (It is wonderful when they can, like you do) The whole reason that I am here is to help people keep their dogs well groomed. We as groomers just want our customers to respect us and what we do. Thank you for being one of the really good dog owners and customer. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  6. Thanks for that last part :) Motivated me to get through tomorrow(SATURDAY)
    I love reading your blog, and totally enjoy the way you write it, I always find myself laughing and then laughing some more because only a groomer would understand :)

    1. Hi VeganAngel,
      I hope that your Saturday went well. :) I am glad that you like my blog.
      Lisa, MFF

  7. I'm so sorry this happens to you! Ever since I read you're bog, i've tried to be extra-nice to my groomers, complete with a pleasant, well-trained, mat free long haired shih-tzu, a healthy portion of compliments, and thank-yous. I pay on the spot, with cash, and have only missed ONE appointment, and to be fair, that was the dog-sitters fault, not mine- I was a state away. Never been fore than 15 minutes late, and even then with a beforehand phone call. Detailed instructions on how to groom my dog, and if we cancel, it's AT LEAST a day before. And I have to say, it was you're insight that prompted me to act this way- and i'm shocked that you're customers still do this. Just believe you're doing great- this blog proves you are!

    1. Thanks again Sanaa,
      I finally got around to posting your earlier comment. I had a family emergency and have gotten behind in answering my comments. Sorry.
      Lisa, MFF