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.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

One Really Crazy Day!

Today was one of those days that you just wanted to wake up in the middle of it and realize that you were only dreaming.

Lately I have been working on keeping a positive attitude.
I had found that since my Mother died I have been having a rough time keeping a happy attitude.
I have been working really hard at not letting anger take over from issues with my Step-Father.
Or, let the sadness of losing a wonderful Father-in-law so suddenly overwhelm me.

All of these things had built up into one unhappy person.
I do not want to be an unhappy person.
It effects me at work and at home.
The last thing I want is for it to effect me at work, working around dogs that pick up on all of your feelings.

So, I have been listening to an audiobook while drying dogs.
It is 'The Secret'.
I have been listening to comedians on the way to work, Bill Cosby, Robbin Williams, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGenres to name a few.
I have stopped reading some of the facebook grooming groups that are full of angry groomers ranting about dogs and their customers, or worst of all being nasty to each other.
I am only reading groups that have good stories and don't allow groomers to be nasty to each other.

I have been working to get back and keep a happy, positive attitude.
An attitude that will help me get through tough days....like today.
I have to say, I truly think that everything that I have been doing is helping, because I didn't lose it today.
I didn't get upset.
I didn't get angry.
I didn't let rudeness bother me.

If you want to hang around for a few more minutes to read my ramblings, I will tell you about my day.

It started out pretty good.
The first two Shih-tzus showed up on time.
My daughter had an elderly dog do in by 9am.

We were actually surprised when the owner of the elderly dog called for an appointment.
We were surprised because we had not heard from her in 7 months, and honestly thought that her 17 year old dog had passed away.
My daughter was a little worried about grooming her, and about what kind of condition the dog was going to be in after not being groomed in 7 months.

Jess was just finishing up her Shih-Tzu when the elderly dog showed up.
The dog was very overgrown, but surprisingly not too matted.
My son put the dog straight into the tub to start bathing her till my daughter could come take over.
The dog was in the tub less than two minutes when my son turned to say that the dog had gone limp.
He said it so calmly that my first thought was that the dog was just doing what some elderly dogs do in the tub, they relax so much from the warm water that they lay down.

No.....my sons next words were; "I need someone now! This is serious!"

For lack of a better description, the dog had passed out.
My son thought that the dog had died.
He had picked her up and she was limp as a noodle.
Before any CPR could have been started she came alert again.

My daughter wrapped her in a towel and put her on the grooming table.
By now the dog seemed to be fully alert and was standing on her own.
I had to search through all the over grown hair on her face to find her eyes.
I needed to see her eyes.
Her eyes were sunken and so white from the cataracts that had totally taken over.

Jess and I where drying the hair that had gotten wet from her short time in the tub, and my husband was on the phone calling the owner to come right back and pick her dog up.

The owner was not happy.

She wanted the dog groomed.
She told my husband that she had just woke the dog up right before she dropped it off, and that the dog probably fell over because she was not totally awake yet.

Seven months and now this dog had to have a grooming....right now.....really?!

I am ashamed to say that I actually thought about trying to groom the dog.
The poor thing did need a grooming.
Instead I stood my ground.
We told the owner that she needed to have the dog groomed at her Vet's.
I also offered to groom the dog at my Vet's office if we shared the same Vet.

The owner was not happy.
I didn't care....I was not going to have a dog pass away on my time.
I don't care if the owner told me that "it was okay if she passed while being groomed, she has to go sometime."

The owner did come right back.
I trimmed the hair away from the dogs eyes before she left.
The owner seemed to have come around to our way of thinking by the time she picked up her dog.
I do hope that she takes it to a Vet, with a groomer on staff, so that it can be supervised while being groomed.

I was happy that the dog was fine when it went home.
I was very proud of the way my daughter and son handled the situation.
I was happy that everything ended well.

Next was my rude customer and her rude friend.

This particular customer does not care what, or how she says things to you.
You have ignore most of what she says, or you would end up knocking her out.
I have no desire to knock a customer out no matter how much the may deserve it.

This customer is disabled.
So, when she drops off and picks up the dogs we go out to the car and get the dogs.
We do this for several of our customers.
The only problem is, we must be there the second this arrives.
She will peep the horn or ring the phone if we are not outside right away.

Well, today everyone was busy doing something when she pulled up.
My husband, who usually goes out to wait on her, was on the phone with another customer.
My daughter was grooming a dog.
My oldest son was bathing a dog.
My youngest son was watching my groom dog on my table while I was waiting on a customer in the lobby.

This particular day, my disabled customer had a friend with her.
My husband had gone to the door and motioned that he would be out after he got off of the phone.
Minutes later, as I was waiting on the customer in the lobby, the friend of my disabled customer opened my lobby door and stuck her head in, "Mrs. ----- is waiting for someone to come get her dogs."
I looked at the woman with her head stuck in my door, smiled and said, "My husband will be out the second he gets off of the phone."
At the same time I was thinking, 'Why in the world can't you bring the dogs in?'
She went back out to the car, I went back to talking to the other customer.

The customer in my lobby had two dogs, I was holding one while talking to her about her dogs.
My lobby door opened again and in came the disabled customers friend with one of the dogs.
She walked right past the customer I was talking to and shoved the dogs leash at me saying; "Here, I brought this one in, I'll go get the other so you don't have to come out."
Smiling, I ignored the leash that she was shoving at me and said; "I'll take her as soon as I finish waiting on this customer."

Now I have to stop here and say that I was not angry at this blatant display of rudeness.
I really meant my smile.
I was finding the whole situation hilarious.
I was not annoyed, or stressed, or angry.
I was disbelieving.
How can someone be so rude.
She didn't see me standing there holding a dog, talking to someone else?

So, the friend stood there and waited while I took the other customers dog back.
She waited while I went back and got the second dog of the other customer.
Then I came back into the lobby for the disabled customers dog.
The friend handed me the dog.
The dog had walked over to the lobby door.
The dog was on a retractable leash. (hate those leashes)
I walked to the door to get the dog only to have the 'friend' push past me to go out the door to get the other dog.
As she started to open the door the dog is ready to bolt.
I quickly reach and grab the dog just as the 'friend' opens the lobby door.

I will admit that annoyance was trying really hard to take over my happy attitude.
Once again I just shook my head, told the dog how rude I thought her owners friend was and then let it go.
It really felt good to let it go.
To laugh about it.
To actually feel good that I was able to laugh about the situation, laugh about the woman's rudeness, and not stew about it for the rest of the day.

Tap.   Tap.   Tap.

Still there?

I am almost done.

I promise. :)

My last situation of the day took a little more work to keep a good attitude.
This particular customer I have been grooming for for a while.
I like this customer.
She is a nice lady.

A little back story....
I normally groom both of this customers dogs.
The last time that her dogs were in was the day my husbands father passed.
Needless to say, it was a crazy day.
I got backed up with my grooms and my daughter groomed one of the dogs.

For the most part my daughter and I groom the same way, but as with any artist....yes grooming is and art.....there are small things each groomer does a little differently.
Also, even though we write down how we groom each dog, each time they come in there are little things that I do with a coat, or scissor on a coat that I don't always write down.
Especially on a dog the I solely groom.

Well, this owner seemed to notice that the dog was not scissored exactly the way it usually was.
So, a few weeks after the last groom she called, because she just could not let the 'horrible' groom go without calling to let us know about how displeased she was.

Fast forward to today.
When this customer came in to drop off, I made a point to be the one to wait on her.
Now, she had already called to let us know about the 'horrible' groom last time.
We had apologized.
Would she bring it up again?

You bet your sweet tushy she did.

I didn't even make it to the counter before she started telling me how she has always been pleased with the grooms, but the last time was horrible, so bad she just had to call to let us know.
That the groom had been so bad that she thought she was going to have to find another groomer, but she really liked and trusted us and did not want to do that.
She went on to tell me that the dog was so ashamed of her hair cut that she would go into her kennel and hide.
That the dog now had large clumps of hair coming out of her coat.
No, it was not because she was starting to blow her undercoat for summer, it was because of the 'horrible' last grooming.

What was the 'horrible' groom done on this customers dog?
A bath and trim.
Jess did not take the rear and chest as short as I normally do.

I am only describing a fraction of what the customer said to me.
I will admit that the thing that bothered me the most was the comment about not returning and finding another groomer.
Apparently the groom must be absolutely perfect each time, or I deserve to get the boot.
I am not allowed a bad day.

I understand wanting to get what you paid for.
I understand wanting to have your dog groomed a certain way.
But, after grooming a customers dogs for so long, you would hope that there would be a little bit understanding if one of the groomings was not up to par.

Well, I guess you could say that she came back.

So, did I keep a good attitude after talking to this customer?
Actually I did.
As I said before, I do like this lady.
She also has the incredible talent of being able to complain and compliment you all in the same sentence.
Every complaint was followed by a compliment, every compliment was followed by a complaint.

No, I did not get mad.
I did not get annoyed.
I also did not let her complaining bother me.
I did feel bad that I hadn't taken the extra few minutes to check the dog after my daughter was finished her.
If I had, I could have told her to go a little shorter with the trimming and the customer would have had nothing to complain about.

I am going to keep listening to the audiobook, and to the comedians.
I am going to keep the happy, good attitude.
It feels so much better than being upset, or angry, or annoyed, or unhappy.

If you are still with me....I ended my day by grooming one of my dogs and adding some Easter color to her.(she hates when I take her picture. lol)

Happy Easter everyone!!  :)


  1. Becoming negative is a cycle that is hard to break, but when you do it's so worth the effort. As a pessimist for many years that has to struggle sometimes to stay positive, I've found that making being positive a habit really works. There is often so much good that we don't see once we've tuned into negativity.

  2. Lol....ahhh....Lisa.....some days right? Good for you on the positive attitude. I am struggling with it right now. I'm going to try listening to some comedy in the morning instead of the news ( which is horrible most days). I always wonder what clients think when they threaten me with finding another groomer? Now I really want to keep you!!? Gimme a break...

    1. Hi big dog mom,
      It IS so hard to not let the customers bother you. I have really been working on smiling a lot and letting the stupid things that my customers do and say go. When something a customers says or does starts to bother me, I remind myself that they either already forgot what that said, or don't even realize what they said and did and they are going about their day as normal. SO, I am going to forget all about it too. I am NOT going to let them ruin my day. It was hard at first, but the more I manage to do it, the easier it gets. I love what I do. I refuse to let rude, inconsiderate customers mess that up. I do good work...if you like the way I groom, stay my customer....if you don't, find another groomer. That simple. There are thousands of dogs out there. I will replace the bad customer with a good one, and continue doing what I love. :)
      Hope things get better for you very soon!
      Lisa, MFF

  3. The Secret really is a great book. Another is "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff". I'm not sure if that has an audio form but it is a good read :).

    1. Thanks Tiny Kitty,
      I will be checking into that book. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  4. I love the died fur of this dog. That is such a creative idea. How were you able to get the colors to be striped? I would love to try doing this sometime.

    Eliza Lawrence | http://www.nwanimalhospital.com/professional-pet-grooming.html

    1. Hi Eliza,
      I used childrens blow pens. I started with the top color first, (the lightest color) and colored a third of the ear. Then I picked the next color and colored the next third of the ear, overlapping the first color slightly. Last I colored the bottom of the ear, again overlapping the second color.
      I hope that makes sense. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  5. You poor thing! People suck, there i said it for you ;) I would have died myself if an elderly dog passed out on me! And the others.... my husband is disabled and theres no excuse for her being that impatient or her friend acting that way! He will do as much as he possibly can (and sometimes more than he should!) to AVOID having to have someone (other than me) help him. And if for some reason I am not with him (which happens, like, NEVER), he will wait patiently until someone CAN help him. No reason for the friend not to be able to bring in the dogs herself! RUDE RUDE RUDE!

    and the last one... I love LOVE our groomer. She helped our rescue schanuzer the day he showed up, made him feel better, and loves him (almost!) as much as we do! Coincidentally he's there right now (lol!). The last time he was groomed it was a little uneven on the face. I didn't say anything. I figured HE wasn't cooperating! I didn't blame her, nor think it was her fault! I didnt say anything THEN, i didn't say anything today (or any of the other times in between that ive seen or spoken to her- we got a new puppy so i took her there to meet her last weekend!)

    Now, i dont care for the owner of the place, but I rarely have to see him, and i dont let him groom my dog (he would do fine, i just dont like his personality, and (did i mention) i LOVE my groomer! Been meaning to ask if she does it on her days off ;)

  6. First off I want to give you my condolences.I am very sorry for the loss in your family. It sounds like they were well loved. I'm glad you are still blogging. You make me smile, and I missed you.

    I had for the first time a customer really upset me. I had a 7 month old Yorkie puppy come in. Need I explain how wiggly the dog was? Doing her face? Ya I'm just glad she left with both eyes and tipped ears! So when I talked to the owner I told him "That his puppy had a hard time today and that there was somethings he could do at home that could really help his puppy and make sure we can groom her the way they would like." He then said, "This is the 3rd time she had been groomed and no one has told him that his dog was a problem." Ummm that wasn't what I said. I then said, "No I didn't say his dog was a problem just that she had a hard time sitting still." Then before I could finish what I was saying he interrupted me and said, "Well no one said she was ever was a problem and that I did something to his dog!"
    Needless to say I was so shocked I smiled and said again, "No not a problem just some training at home and it could be easier for this dog." He rolled his eyes at me and walked out.
    He didn't let me show or talk about the few very simple things he could do to help his dog with her life of grooming, and implied I abused his dog!!!!!
    Yup folks I got into this business just so I can hurt dogs and make every groom as horrible as possible. (I don't get paid enough for that)
    Oh well I had a great lab give me kisses after that.

    Take care and ton't of love your way

    1. Hi Ruth,
      So sorry about the Yorkie owner. You just can not talk to some people. They pick out bits and pieces of a conversation and only hear part of what you are saying. Or, they take offense at nothing when you are only trying to help. The customers who ask; "your not going to hurt him are you?" are the ones that you just want to stare at and say, "really?!?"
      Thank you for your condolences.
      Lisa, MFF

  7. Hi! I just started reading your blog today and I LOVE it and hope you keep it up forever, please don't stop :) you're an amazing person and everything you write is wonderful. Reading about you trying to stay positive and not let awful people affect you was really inspiring for me and helped me feel better about what I've been going through.. I feel like I was meant to read this! I hope you're doing well and I look forward to reading everything you write! :) someone suggested you should write a book- I'd buy that!