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, January 27, 2014

Not My Best Groom.....

....BUT I did my best. :)

I am taking a break from working on my business taxes to talk about a Shih-tzu that I groomed the other day.
(I have so many numbers spinning in my head I can't see straight.)

Anyway, I have a long time Shih-tzu customer that is a very sweet dog, but I truly feel that he is mentally challenged.
This particular Shih-tzu, even though he is now around 12 years old, has always acted like a young puppy, but yet not a puppy.
The only difference is that he truly does not seem to understand what you want him to do.
It is very hard to explain.
He is non stop motion at all times.
Worst of all he is what I call a bobble-head.

Just imagine one of those bobble-heads, whose head bobbles up and down and sideways constantly, as you try to scissor the head and face.
He is not jerking away from the scissors, or pulling away from your hold.
His head is just in a constant state of movement while grooming.
I had to use my sports setting on my camera to get a picture that would not be blurry.

I am sharing this little man with everyone because I am very proud of him.

This is him before his groom.

You may not be able to tell, but he had both of his eyes removed about 8 weeks ago.

He had severe glaucoma in both eyes.

Medicine was not longer helping control the pressure and pain.

Although, because of his happy nature, you would not have known that he was in pain.

The only signs that he showed that he was in pain, was that he would shake his head a lot and walk into walls a lot, both of which he has stopped doing since his surgery.
The only two choices the owners had left, were to put him to sleep, or remove both eyes.

His owners were so worried about him losing both of his eyes, but I told them that I thought he would handle it well, because of his happy disposition.
I am so happy that he proved me right.

He is still a very happy, sweet dog.
He is still constant motion.
He is still a bobble-head.
He is NO  LONGER in any pain!!

His owner did want me to leave hair in front of his eye socks so that it would not look obvious that he had no eyes.

 Lets just say...I did my best.

As I said before, he is my little bobble head.

Up, down, up, down, left, right, up, left, down, right, up.....that is all while you are trying to scissor a nice round face and head.

Oh, and God forbid someone walks into the groom room while I am scissoring his head.

Even though he can not see, he could still hear his toy Poodle friend yap like crazy every time someone walked into the grooming room.

 So, I think he still looks cute, even without his eyes and the less than great job I did scissoring his head.

AND, he sure does look happy to me.

Oh, one other thing, for anyone reading my blog that is not a groomer.

I am not choking him in the pictures.
 I am holding him back from walking right off of the edge of my table.

For some unknown reason, blind dogs love to walk all over the grooming table as though there were no edge to the table at all and nothing to worry about.
It always amazes me how blind dogs will so confidently walk forward without a care in the world, as though they can see just fine. 

If only we humans could take changes in our lives in stride like our furry friends. :)

If only I could take doing my taxes in stride.....


  1. You did a wonderful job on this little sweetheart... Bless your heart! :-)

  2. Clock-coma? Do you mean glaucoma? He's a cutie!

  3. There is a shih-tzu mix at my work that comes in and she has no eyes as well, little Ava is her name. She lost her eyes one at a time, both by injury from another dog i think? I don't know the whole story but she doesn't let it hinder her none.

  4. Oh the dreaded bobble-head! Great job as always -
    p.s. It's "glaucoma"

    1. Thank you Alyson,
      I had it right the first time, but spell check told me I was wrong...I knew better than to rely on spell check. Thank you, I have fixed it now. :)

  5. Awww, He looks cute! And they do adjust very well to having their eyes out. I had to have my 7 month old toy poodle's eye taken out due to a congenital deformity called a Dermoid. She still hasn't figured out that she is missing and eye, lol. Now I am just trying to figure out how to do a good poodle face on the side that is all sunken in.

  6. I found your blog, and its very interesting as I'm a pet owner, not a groomer. I have a grooming related question though. My dog is old (14 year old westie), and without getting into to much detail about a situation I that recently happened, I lost my groomer. My dog recently had some fainting spells after a bath at home, and I told her about it as a warning, not to be alarmed, and she didn't seem willing to keep grooming (or asked for charge way more)

    I thought maybe I could trim him up at home, because its not so much how he looks anymore, its about being clean and comfortable. He has arthritis and heart problems, and I don't want him to uncomfortable standing and/or laying a in kennel at a groomers. She was a mobile groomer which was why it was nice, and fast.

    Could you give me and advice on clipping a face with clippers? I don't have thinning shears or anything, actually I don't know what to do. Should find another groomer, when is a dog to old for grooming? What would you do with client like me? Ack, I'm a mess!


    1. Hi Dee,
      For my senior dogs customers I usually book them as my first dog of the morning, groom them as quickly as I can (without rushing and stressing them) and call the owner 20 minutes before I plan to be finished so that they are at my shop to pick up their dog the second he/she is done. Most of the the I have them back to their owner in an hour to an hour and a half.
      For a couple of my customers whose dogs had heart issues, I groomed their dog at my Vets office so that my Vet was right there in case anything happened.
      You could try calling your Vet or other Vets to see if one of them has a resident professional groomer. (not a Vet Tech that can clip) Ask if they would do an express groom on your Westie. There are groomers out there that groom one dog at a time, even in a shop environment. Although, because of your Westies heart issues, and the fact that he has fainted before, I would feel better if he were groomed by a groomer that works out of a Veterinarian office.
      Good luck, I know that there are groomers out there that will work with you, it just may take some calling around to find the right one.
      Lisa, MFF

  7. Sorry I forgot to mention that. My vet has no in-house groomer. I explained to ladies at my vet, what had happened, they gave me a card of a person who used to groom at the office but no longer does. She has her own shop.

    However I did arrange for the techs give him a bath, clip his nails, and wash his ears, but that's as far as it went (no hair trimming) I still don't know if I should call the groomer they recommended me, they said she has experience with older dogs though. I went ahead and trimmed the hair on his pads, and sani. areas, so at least that's okay now, he just really fluffy! My poor old man puppy.

    I thank you for your advice, it was really helpful.

    1. Hi Dee,
      I would call the groomer that your Vet recommended and at least talk to her and see how she feels about grooming him. She may have a policy like I do, to get senior dog in and out as soon as possible. She may even be willing to groom your dog at your Vet's office if she once worked there.
      I would also suggest a clip that may be shorter than you are used to, (not sure how short you usually take him) so that he does not have to be professional groomed as often, but at the same time you can maintain the coat between groomings.
      Good Luck,