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.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hello???

 Heelllooooo?!



Anyone still there?



Hello?


I know that I have been away for awhile, but I hope everyone hasn't given up on me.  :)

I was getting a little discouraged with my blog. 

I started this blog to help show what the real world of pet grooming was like, and also to maybe help other groomers along the way by showing how I groomed.
One other reason I started to write this blog, was to vent about customers when I needed to.
I was always careful to not use any customer names, but one of my customers  saw a picture of her dog in a post that I wrote and took offense to something I said.
I lost that customer and her two dogs.
I really liked both of the dogs, especially one of them that I had been grooming for years.
It really upset me to lose that customer, on several different levels.

After that I got away from telling stories or talking about customers.
I stuck more to actual grooming.
As my daughter told me, my blog got boring.

I also felt like I was running out of 'grooming' related stuff to talk about.
You can only talk about how to shave a poodle foot so many times before it just gets redundant.
I also really missed telling some of the customer stories.

My daughter came to me the other night and asked why I had not written a new post in the last couple of weeks.
I shrugged my shoulders and said; "I don't know...I don't know what to write about anymore...most of our dogs are regulars, so there are no shocking before and afters...and I have already written about most grooming procedures. It has also been too busy lately to stop and take pictures."

Her response....."MOM! Start telling the customers stories again!"

So, I thought about it.
She is right.
The grooming procedures are a big part of grooming obviously, but the dogs and pet owners are just as big a part of grooming.

I truly think that it helps other groomers to see that they are not the only ones dealing with good, bad, crazy, or insane customers.

I also thought, that if I am going to tell stories about some of my customer situations, I should also tell about how I dealt with that customer, or situation in hopes that it may also help a fellow groomer.

I had been reading a lot of Facebook grooming groups.
'Had' being the operative word.
There are so many angry groomers out there.
I have not left any groups yet, but I have stopped reading a lot of them.
It was actually depressing to read a lot of them.
If the groomers were not attacking their customers in their posts, they were attacking each other.
So sad.

Yes, believe me, I know that there are pet customers out there that need someone to smack them up side the head, but I honestly think that some groomers bring bad customer situations on themselves with their attitudes and the way they deal with situations.
That is just my personal opinion.

I still skim through some of the posts that show up on my newsfeed, and some days that is definitely more than enough.

Anyway, I will be getting back to blogging again.
There are always customer stories to tell.


Like, the very long time customer that came in to pick up his dog, only to send the dog back into the grooming room asking to take the dogs ears short 'like we always do'.
 There was only one problem.... the ear hair on this particular dogs ears was over 8 inches long, because the owner never wanted us to trim them....NEVER EVER!!

How did we deal with this request?

We double checked to make sure he wanted the ears shorter.
I even asked my husband if he was sure it was the right dog with the right owner.
We all stared at each other in disbelief for a minute or two.
I asked my husband a second time; "Are you sure he said trim them short?"
"YES! He said that he wanted us to trim the ears short like we always do because he likes them that way!" my husband insisted.
"That's the problem," I said, "we never trim this dogs ears, because THAT IS the way he has always liked them!"
Then my daughter trimmed about two inches off of the ears and the owner went home with his dog with shorter ears.

I have to admit....I was waiting for a call back later, or the next day asking why we trimmed the ears.....

I could also talk about the number of people that have been calling lately swearing that they have been coming to us for grooming, only we have no record of them in our computer system.....every customer gets put into the system, even if they only ever made one appointment and canceled it, or no-showed. 
I don't know....maybe they think insisting that we have groomed their dog before will make us squeeze them in for an appointment.
Ummm...Nope!

Or, I could talk about the customer that complains about the price of her dogs groom just about every time she comes in.
The complaint this time was that she thought the price should be less because I was hand scissoring the coat down to 2 inches instead of the 4 inches that is left in the winter.
"No....hand scissoring is hand scissoring, and the same amount of work no matter how much shorter I take the coat," said with a smile.
 
Don't buy the high maintenance dog if you don't want to pay to groom it.
I have gotten to the point in my career that you either pay for the work I do on your pet, or find another groomer that you can bargain with.
Then you get what you paid for.

When a customer complains about a grooming price, I remind myself that my work is worth every penny that I charge.
I do what the owner wants. (within reason)
I treat the dog with love and respect.
I do a very good job.
I also remind myself that I didn't twist their arm to come to me for grooming.
Don't ever let a customer make you feel like your work is not worth what you are charging.
There are people out there that just love to haggle a price.
Stand your ground.

Then there is the customer that you call because they have not shown up for their appointment.
Us: "Hi, we were calling to see if someone is on there way with 'Muffin' for her grooming appointment."
Customer: "My  dogs appointment is for Thursday, June 12th!"
Us: "Yes, today is Thursday June 12th," said respectfully.

How we dealt with this matter.....either let the customer still come over with the understanding that the dog may take longer, because it will be late for its appointment, or reschedule if the owner is unable to bring the dog in.

Oh....then bang my head against the wall....

Last but not least...
The customer that came in to pick up two freshly groomed dogs during a summer down pour.
You know, that kind of torrential, hard down pour that soaks you to your underwear within seconds.
Instead of waiting 5 or 10 minutes for the summer shower to pass or slow down, I watch out the shop window as the said owner of the two freshly groomed dogs walks outside (with the dogs in his arms) and sets them down on the ground to walk them, through rain drops bigger than they are, to the car.

My response?......Cry!

Did I mention that this was all just in the last couple of weeks?



43 comments:

  1. Love.your blog, don't stop :)
    This business is fickle, some customers are sluggish picking up their dog, others can't seem to leave them for any length of time. Some need to be educated, and about things we aren't experts in. Today a customer wanted me to check her dogs anal glands. I said last time they were 'hard to express and thick' sorry for being graphic!! Lol. She said the Vet had no problem doing it...........(screaming in my head, I am not a vet!). All in a days work

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carolyn,
      Thanks!
      As for that customer...I know, it is like they are saying "whats wrong with you?" They can drive you crazy sometimes. :)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  2. Lol Lisa.... Glad to see you back! I love to read the customer stories, to not feel like I'm the only one with crazy clients...to nodu head in agreement and laugh out loud , cuz its all so true! Keep blogging, " see ya" on Facebook and blessings..
    Lory

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  3. I am so sorry that you feel you are not getting enough feedback from us. Personally, I log in every day and am disappointed when you haven't posted as I look forward to what you have to tell us. I always assume it's because you are too busy. It didn't occur to me that you were disheartened. So I just want to say that I appreciate everything you have to tell us and learn a lot for which I am grateful. Thank you xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you,
      It was not so much being disheartened, it was more that I was afraid I was starting to repeat my posts. There are times that life gets really busy, but writing helps me relax, so I look forward to getting back to it. :)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  4. I'm not a groomer, but I enjoy reading your blogs.

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  5. Hi Lisa,

    It's good to see you writing again. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now and have always enjoyed the "how-to" posts. It's important for us newer groomers to know there's more than one way to shave a shih Tzu, so to speak. But, as we so often hear in this business, the people are harder to deal with than the dogs. When you've had a day with 10 kinds of crazy, it's important to know that it's not just you; that other groomers are dealing with it too and in as positive a way as possible. Thanks for doing that for us. Cheers, Tracy.

    BTW, your DIY posts are amazing as well. I shamelessly copied your backboard and it's been a lifesaver!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Tracy!
      If you like the backboard, wait till you see what I just did to mine. I'll be posting about it soon. lol
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  6. Christina CarranzaJune 14, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    I'm still here! I love reading your blog! It really helps me on "those" kind of days. It's my ruffherapy lol. And believe me, were having a downpour of the crazies right now. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RUFFHERAPY!!! BAHAHAHAH!

      Thanks Christina. Love that!

      Hope that downpour of crazies stops soon. :)
      Lisa,MFF

      Delete
  7. Ohhhhhhh Lisa, I'm so glad you're back! I've missed your posts! Glad that it was simply a little blog fatigue & nothing more concerning (which is what I thought it may have been.) Welcome back. Your efforts are appreciated.

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  8. I'm really glad to see a new post! I check your blog everyday to see if anything new is up :3 I love how real your blog is. Reading someone else go through to same struggles is almost calming to see. It is depressing to see everyone mad at each other and their customers, and very discouraging to myself. I've only been grooming for three years and at a corporate job. I am ashamed to say where I work when I've been to grooming conventions and on forums because "corporate groomers" are always looked down apon. :c I love my job and I just want to get better at it, please do not judge me on where I start or where I work. When I come to your blog it's so inspiring to see a real person who loves their job, shares their work/techniques, and isn't furious about every customer who doesn't bow to your work. I hope you keep this blog alive for a long time :3 Thank you so much for all the photos you've posted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you InuCalluna!
      It does not matter if you are a 'corporate groomer' as long as you work to be the best you can be.
      There is a groomer that works at the corporate store near my home that I like to watch when we go there to get dog food. There are 4 or 5 groomers there, but this one stands out. She is not pulling on her dogs, or brushing with harsh strokes, or tying the dogs neck up tight. Her work looks great. You can just see how much she cares for the dogs she is working on. Believe me, I have seen my share of bad groomers in the private sector also. Sorry that you are made to feel bad about working for a big box store. Let your work speak for itself. :)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  9. Lisa, I enjoy so much reading your posts, even if only to remind me that I am not the only one with "crazy" customers. (that's not entirely right, I also learn so much from your blog).

    So, enjoy your good customers, chuckle at your "crazy" ones and share funny stories with your readers! We do appreciate it.

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  10. Over the last few weeks, I have really enjoyed your blog and I thank you for writing it. I have a standard poodle and have taken him to groomers, cancelled appointments and even forgot some. I had no idea how this was perceived. I called, apologized, and rebooked etc. I cringed every time I shelled out the $80+ but I know have a better understanding of WHY its costs so much! And to be honest, I love reading your customer stories - it reminds me how to be a good human being and to up with the daily maintenance of my poodles coat. On top of that, I've recently picked up a set of clippers and started doing some basic things like trimming paws in between visits. Your blog is inspiring and I hope you keep writing. Many thanks and keep up the with the blog, please!

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  11. Lisa, I'm so glad you're back!
    Last week I groomed 2 black Alaskan Malamutes at the animal shelter. These had been outdoor dogs and the male had dread-locks of undercoat all over him, of course there was plenty of dried poop mixed in. I popped him right in the tub then to the HV, it was amazing the fur that flew away! He was the very first dog for me that fell asleep while being dried. It was soooo rewarding! He was adopted the NEXT DAY!!! Thank you for your awesome insight!
    -elizabeth, UT

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    Replies
    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      What a wonderful story! With a very happy ending. Would have loved to see before and after pictures. A picture of the dog sleeping would be great too!
      Thanks for reading my blog. :)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  12. Happy doodle ownerJune 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    I am so glad you are back! I keep visiting hoping for a new post. I'm a dog owner who has so enjoyed reading about life "on the other side of the table" as it were. And I hope that it has made me a better client for my groomer. I wanted to tell you that I just got a new dog, who lacks, um, well, manners. And socialization, and grooming experience... And he's a 60 lb. full grown labradoodle. I can hear you groan from here. I told my groomer all of this up front. I told her he hates crates and cages, I told her that he could bite, and that he desperately needs his nails trimmed but he won't let me touch his feet. We set an appointment for a day she doesn't have too many other dogs. She promised to go slow and only do what he would stand for (literally, I assume). That she wanted to teach him that the groomers was a happy place. Have you moved to Southern California while you weren't blogging, because it sure sounded like your words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Nope still on the east coast. lol
      Your groomer sounds like she will be great for your new dog. Good groomers are out there and it looks like you found one. Hope everything works out well. :)
      Thanks for reading my blog.
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  13. So happy you started blogging again. I really enjoy your posts about dogs, customers, rants, all of them really. Also, based on your dedication and attitude I feel you probably deserve more than every penny you charge. Wish I lived close enough to bring my dog to you. -Anna :)

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  14. I love your blogs. Iam a newbie groomer I run a home based business and your blogs have helped me so much. I find myself book marking some of your grooms . Please keep posting your stories they are great and funny I enjoy them so much.
    Vanessa from Brantford Ontario

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  15. I am a fellow groomer of 21 years. I found your blog several months ago and have been looking forward to your posts ever since. It's a bit therapeutic for me, hearing how you deal with difficult situations. I must say you seem to handle them all with the highest professionalism and grace!

    I especially enjoyed your post about that little stray piece of hair at the back of the ear that is always there mocking you after you think you've got a nice clean line. I had an "OK it's not just me" moment. Made me smile. Thank you for that! Please keep them (posts) coming, and remember just because no one is commenting does not mean we are not reading:)
    Best wishes and happy grooming!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Anne,
      Congratulations on 21 years in this crazy business!
      Thanks for reading.
      Lisa, MFF

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  16. I am not a groomer, I am a dog trainer by passion and trade. I have followed your blog for a couple years now and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it - I check in at least once a week to read your stories, read your tips and view the amazing grooms you do.

    I have recently done some "for fun" grooming on friends/family dogs and I have to thank you so much for your blog, it has helped me tremendously and the tips have gone a long way to ensure I am giving the pups the best groom possible.

    Please don't let the customers disuade you from blogging your stories - for every customer who doesn't like their story posted here, there are a hundred readers who truly appreciate the experience and outcome being shared. You just can't please everyone :)

    Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!
      The customer stories are what I missed writing about.
      Lisa, MFF

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  17. I LOVE your blog and have so missed your very regular almost daily posts - but I've presumed you were very busy and was grateful for what you did get to post in recent weeks!
    Please don't stop posting!

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    Replies
    1. I actually just discovered your blog 2 days ago while googling for information on grooming a matted doodle. I've of course spent way too much time looking at your different posts...i love it! And will be coming back to continue reading! ;)

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  18. I absoloutely love your blog. Keep up the good work x

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  19. I came across your page after googling how to do a Shih Tzu face. I'm a part time groomer based in the UK. Being a groomer can sometimes be quite lonely. We have the dogs to fuss yes but I work alone and sometimes you need advice or a second opinion but can't ask local groomers as they are my competition so I am so happy that I found your blog esp when yoy list which blades you use.
    Now when I groom I often think of you and what you've said and it either makes me smile or gives me that extra bit of confidence or reassurance when I get a mental block.
    So please please keep on blogging. We need you!! :-)

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  20. I'm so glad I recently re-discovered your blog. I came across it a while back and really needed to read this today.

    Especially the stand your ground part.

    Especially after all the crazy clients I've had these last couple of weeks.

    Like the ones who specifically ask for face/feet/fanny, then call back asking why she was charged $30 for no hair cut.

    Or the ones that you get specific instructions on how to groom their dogs at drop off, do it to a T, and they lie their you-know-what's off and say "I didn't say to do any of that."

    This last week has drove me crazy, and I really, really needed to read that and see it from someone else.
    So thank you very much for posting. It's greatly relieving to read.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Colleen,
      I hope that the week has gotten better for you.

      It would be so nice if we could just groom dogs all day and not have to deal with the pet owner at all! It is amazing how a pet owner will drop 50 or 60 bucks on a fancy dog bed, but act like paying someone to make their dog look good is highway robbery.

      Try posting a sign that lists everything that you do for a bath price and everything that you do for a full clip price. I always point out to people that their dog is getting everything the full cut dog got (except the full body clip)...massaging bath, special shampoos and conditioners, anals expressed, hand blow drying, complete brush out or de-shed, nails clipped, ears cleaned, feet trimmed, face trimmed, sanitary trim, ect.
      Sometimes when a customer can actually see a long list of the services you provided, it helps for them to see where their money is going.

      As for the specific instructions... try writting the instructions down in front of the owner, repeat them back to the owner and have the owner initial the instructions. It is harder to argue that you didn't ask for something when someone has proof that they initialed.

      Try to keep a smile on your face and remember that you love the job, because of the furry customers not the two legged customer.

      Good luck. Sending good vibes your way. :)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  21. Hi Lisa
    I have been working part time as a free lance groomer in the UK and I recently came across your blog. It's great! Informative, funny & pragmatic!
    I have a q for you if it isn't too cheeky - my other 'hat' is working as administrator for my husband's company (he is a ski instructor in the French alps). Like grooming, there is potentially a lot of interesting stuff to blog about but in the time I have been doing it I have not been able to raise anywhere near the same interest as you, despite tips from various seo companies.
    I wondered, since it isn't in any way in competition with your daily business, could you pass on a few tips how you raised the profile of your blog? Thanks, Babs checkout www.alpinelearningcurves.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara,

      You have a very nice website. Very informative. Some of the pictures are just breathtaking.

      I have to say that when I first started writing my blog I didn't really expect anyone to read it. Every once in awhile, when I would be on a grooming forum or grooming facebook page/group, and someone had asked a question that related to a post I had written, I would post a link to my blog to help with the posters question. That would bring traffic to my blog. Then one day someone pinned one of my post pictures to pinterest. I didn't even know what pinterest was at the time. lol I got a ton of hits from that. Other than that, I really haven't done anything else to bring people to my blog.
      Good luck! What a fun job it looks like your husband has. :)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  22. Love your blog, might give a break now and then , but I always come back to it. It's helped me no end and often good for a smile too! It's kept me going when I've been really down and helped me understand that even groomers with years of experience have similar problems to me. You don't know how many times I've wished my Trainer had been more like you - or even , please can I come and work with watch you work instead of taking a holiday , even though it would meaning crossing the Atlantic! So please don't give up.

    As to the customer you lost , I'm sure you were not rude or disrespectful , your posts are not like that . Why not send her a card and enclose all of this post , maybe if your customer saw how your posts help other Groomers, she would re-consider? regards Lesley

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  23. Thanks Lesley,
    I was so hurt by the loss of that customer. I really cared about her dogs. I also bent over backwards when grooming her dogs with all of her special instructions. After being her groomer for so long and taking such good care of her dogs, I was very hurt that she would stop coming to me over something so petty.
    I have thought about it many times and do not think that I could have her as a customer again even if she ever wanted to come back.
    Thanks for reading my blog. :)
    Lisa, MFF

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