.....well... not really, but they do make me whine sometimes.
Now, you would think, after so many years of grooming, after trimming thousands of ears, that I would have some magic way to trim ears so they come out perfectly with the first snip every time.
Oh, I have tried different things over the years, and they have worked....on some dogs, but not all.
So, I do whatever works for the type of ears I am working on.
I had a little Shih-tzu in the other day whose owner wanted the long ears taken fairly short.
I thought that this would be a good dog to show the different ways that I have trimmed ears.
I will start by taking a little bit of hair off at a time, in different ways, and work my way up the ear.
The first way I will show is a tip that I read about from another groomer.
I was very eager to try this trick, because the groomer swore that it worked every time to get a nice even cut on the ear.
The tip was to twist the hair on the end of the ear and snip off the bottom.
Seemed simple enough, right?
(needless to say, make sure that the ear leather is not twisted)
So, I twist the hair from back to front.
I snip the end off.
Comb the ear out.
Lets try twisting from front to back.
Oh, this looks promising.
Wow, maybe it worked this time.
Lets comb the ear out.
Maybe it is just me.
Is it okay to start whining now?
Lets try another way.
Comb the ear, put the ear between two fingers and slide my fingers down to where I want to cut.
I cut nice and straight across the bottom...and let go of the ear.
Nope. (palm to forehead)
Have you ever noticed that it is always that little bit of hair at the back of the ear.
So, I have tried to flip over the ear and trim again to even it up.
But, that does not always work.
So, I try holding up the front of the ear, letting the back of the ear hair hang down and then try to even it up again.
But, that does not always work either.
(about now she is wondering why I keep sticking the camera in her face)
Goodie goodie, it seemed to have worked this time.
There is only one problem....I was supposed to take the ear shorter than this.
(bang my head on the table a couple of times)
Oh, there is one other problem.
She has two ears.
I have to go through that all over again.
So, I'll trim this ear the normal way I usually trim ears.
I'll slide my fingers down to where I want to trim.
I cut straight across.
Let go and comb.
There's the good ol' pain in my side.
That small amount of hair at the back of the ear that likes to drive me insane.
The best way that I have found to deal with that stinkin' little piece of uneven hair?
*Comb the ear.
*Lift the dogs chin so that the head is tilted back a little.
*Don't touch the ears with anything besides my scissors.
*Carefully snip off the offending hair.
A nice even ear.
Oh no, another problem.....
They are not even!
One is longer than the other!
I have to scissor that nice even ear again!
You know what?
I think that it IS time to cry.
Okay, let me see if they are even now.
Please hold your head up straight little one.
No, no, you tilted it too far.
Back the other way just a little.
Okay, now you are just playing with me.
Maybe I should stop making squeaky noises.
There you go.
They still need some work.
Just a little bit more.
Then I put her away to wait to be picked up.
Oh, and I pray, that when I go to get her out to give to her owner, that there will not be a long piece of hair mysteriously hanging off the back of one of her ears.
Every groomer out there know exactly what I am talking about.
Don't say that you don't.
Don't tell me that you haven't finished a dog, and then later walked past that same dog waiting in the kennel, and saw that stray, long piece of hair hanging off the the back of the ear, and you know darn well that it was not there when you put that dog away!!!!!
Oh, the fun of grooming.
Never a dull moment! :)