I don't know how to say this without sounding conceited, so I guess I will just say it....
Sometimes I actually wish that I did not groom as good as I do.
Oh boy, that sounded even worse typing it out. :p
Let's see if I can say this a different way.....Sometimes I wish that I could give a dog the haircut that I know the dogs owner deserves.
There that sounds better.
So, what exactly do I mean by that?
I mean, that there are times that pet owners bring me dogs that have not been groomed in a long time.
The poor dog is very over grown, and matted.
Almost without fail these owners do not want you to shave their dogs.
Some like to pretend that the dog isn't even matted.
Some like to turn it on the groomer and say that we are professionals and should know how to remove all the mats and keep the dog long.
In other words, pull out that magic wand, wave it over the dog and make their dog fluffy and mat free.
Now, here in lies my problem.
I very rarely ever have to 'shave' a dog. (shave to me is using a #7F, #10, or #15 on the body and legs)
No matter how matted a dog is I am usually able to get at least a #5F between the mats and skin.
Of course using a #4F or #5F is considered 'shaved' to some pet owners.
I always try to leave a matted coat as long as I can. (unless the pet owner does want the dog shave as short as possible)
So, where am I going with all of this rambling?
I had a dog in the other day.
He had last been in the beginning of November 2013.
He had another appointment scheduled for January.
Needless to say, the owner canceled that appointment saying that she would wait, because it was too cold for a haircut.
It was recommended to the owner to still bring the dog in and get a bath and tidy to help maintain the coat and clear out the eyes and private areas.
I owner refused and said that they would wait.
We knew that five and a half months was way too long for the dog to go between groomings.
What can you do?
We try to educate.
As we expected, the dog was pretty matted all over.
Yes, my brain was saying 'teach this owner a lesson and take the dog down very short'.
There was only one problem..... after feeling and examining the coat when the dog came in, I knew that after bathing and HV drying, all of that matting was going to loosen up enough to most likely get a #4F or #3/4 blade through the coat.
That would still be a short length for this owner, but most likely would not teach this owner to bring the dog in more often.
I know that there are groomers out there that would say I should just go ahead and shave the dog with a #10 to teach the owner not too wait so long between groomings.
The problem is, I don't think that that teaches pet owners anything but that the groomer shaved their dog naked, and they won't take the dog back again until they absolutely have to, i.e. dog matted again.
The other problem is.....I just can't bring myself to shave a dog naked when I know that I can save some of the coat and don't have to shave it.
Maybe it comes from all those years of not knowing how to say 'no' when pet owners begged me to demat their dogs, or leave them as long as possible.
I spent a long time finding ways to save faces, legs, ears, and tails.
As I guessed, the mats in this dogs coat loosened up quite a bit after the bath and HV dry.
I was able to get the 3/4 blade under most of the matting on the body.
The legs were a different story.
I did not want to use a shorter blade on the legs after I had been able to get the 3/4 blade through the body.
So I scissored the legs down to half of the hair off.
After the mats were cut in half, it took less than a minute to brush the leg out....
....run the 3/4 blade over the leg and scissor to finish.
(Before the bath)
The face was also pretty matted.
(after the bath)
The bath and HV dry also loosened up the matting on the head and face, but....
...it was still pretty matted.
So, I did the same with the head and face.
I scissored the face as though I was doing the finish work, cutting the mats in half.
Then I brushed the head and face out.
Again, this only took a minute or two.
It did help that his coat was very forgiving.
And, that he didn't mind being brushed.
So, he still gets his cute face that the owner likes....even after five and a half months.
I know he felt much better with all of those mats off.
I am glad that I was able to leave him on the longer side.
I'll just have to keep trying to educate the owner about grooming the dog in the winter months.