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, September 26, 2014

The Second Competition

Saturday night was the Abstract Runway Competition.

I had planed on competing with my white Standard, but changed my mind at the last minute.
Jess offered up on of her Bichons for me to compete with.
Because her Bichon is so small I had to come up with a different design than I had originally planned.

I wanted to do something patriotic for my son.
Jess didn't want me to get too crazy with my design so I came up with something very simple.

We had planned on bathing 'Cooper' around 4pm, giving us plenty of time to do some more scissoring on the design and putting on the finishing touches.
The last couple of years I had always been rushing at the last minute, because putting on the rhinestones for the finishing touches had taken a lot longer than you would think.
I didn't want to be rushing again this year.

There was only one problem.
The bathing area was closed till 5:30 for a Rescue Round-up pre-competition.

I had also left some of my grooming supplies back in the Hotel room, so Jess prepped her dog while I went back to the Hotel.

I had just put this design on 'Cooper' a week earlier and his hair was already growing back, so I had to touch up the design before applying the rhinestones.

My design was very simple.

The design was a large star with fireworks shooting out of it.

Instead of using many different colors, like fireworks, I decided to stick with a red, white and blue theme.

I am sorry that I don't have better pictures of the finished work.
We took it down to the last second getting all of the rhinestones on....and I still had to very quickly change my clothes.
We forgot to take better pictures of 'Cooper' all finished.
Thank goodness it was dark outside.
I changed my clothes in the car, because I didn't  have any extra time to use the ladies room and then run my clothes back to the car.
Rush, rush, rush.
I can't even get away from rushing when I am away from work. lol

Because we were running so late, my son had a hard time getting pictures of some of the other dogs in the competition.
They were starting to line everyone up just as we walked up.

Here are some of the other dogs that he did get pictures of.

 I think that this one was inspired by Breakfast a Tiffany's.

 This abstract was done by Lori Craig.

I am afraid I don't remember who did this dog.

This dog was groomed by Adriane Pope.

This dog was groomed by Cindy Oliver.

She took 1st place.

Sorry that the pictures were not better.

Creative Grooming next. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THe First Competition

Well, here are the first set of pictures from Groom Expo.

The Salon Freestyle Competition.

You can groom any pure breed in a style something other than that breed style, or groom any mix breed in a breed style.
So, I took my little guy 'Peanut'.
The competition was scheduled for 8am Saturday morning.
We got to Hershey Thursday night.
Friday was our shopping day and a day for 'Peanut' to get acclimated to his new surroundings. 

Friday was crazy, busy and crowded at the trade show.
I don't think that I have ever seen it that crowded.
We got all of our shopping out of the way, mostly stocking up on shampoo.

Friday evening was spent getting 'Peanut' ready for the competition the next morning.

I bathed him down in the grooming area that Hershey has set up for the groomers who are competing.

'Peanut' is a Dachshund/Bichon mix.

His curls really show up when he is wet.

 'Cooper' was standing by wondering if he was going to get a bath too. :)

 I wasn't sure exactly what breed cut I was going to put 'Peanut' in, so he has been growing out for close to 9 months.

He has gotten to look forward to his daily brush outs.

So what should I do?

What breed cut?

I wanted to do something different, something that I had not ever done before.

I have to say, I was pretty nervous before this competition.
I was competing in the Open Level.
I would be competing along side Groom Team Members.
What the heck was I thinking when I signed up for the Open Level?
I was thinking that I have been grooming for 30 years and was not sure it would be right to compete in the Intermediate Level.
But....compete along side Groom Team Members.....I was insane!

 This was only half of the competitors.

The Salon Freestyle side.

The other side of the room was the Sporting Breed competitors.

'Peanut' was still a little on the nervous side, but he had settled down a lot.

We was also very comfortable on the grooming table.

 I have to admit, when the call came "Groomers start grooming!" I stood there for a second looking at 'Peanut' and thinking; 'where the heck do I start?'

Oh, I knew how I was going to cut him, it was just that he had sooo much hair on him.

So, I started at the top and clipped the top of his head first.

I groomed and groomed and groomed.

Can  you tell from the pictures what breed cut I decided to do?

I groomed him like a Cesky Terrier.

At least I tried to.

I had a hard time finding good grooming instructions for the breed cut, and pictures were not much of a help.

So many of the pictures showed different lines, some with skirts high, some low, some with the hair on the back shaved close and tight, other pictures showing the back left a little longer and wavy.

So I did my best.

 'Cooper' was chilling out and watching the competition.

This was one of the dogs being groomed next to me.

Isn't he just the cutest thing?

The Dandie Dinmont cut, what a good job!!

It was time for the Judging.

I wasn't sure how 'Peanut was going to react to someone else checking out his grooming.

He did pretty good letting the Judge fool with his face, but he was giving her 'the eye'.

He did good till the Judge picked up the last leg to comb it, then he gave a little growl.

Lisa Leady (the Judge) was very patient with him.

Now it was time to wait for the Judges results.

All of the dogs looked great.

Did I place?


But, I had a lot of fun and I was very happy with the cut on 'Peanut'.
I was also so happy that 'Peanut' did so well for his first time competing.

I must have done something right, because while walking around the trade show after the competition I had at least half a dozen groomers come up to me and ask if 'Peanut' was a Cesky Terrier.

I might even try again next time.

I can see things in these pictures that need fixing. :)

On to get the next set of pictures ready...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Back From Hershey

We are back from Hershey and had some much needed fun.
Not much rest, but a great time.

Because I competed in three different competitions and Jess competed with me in one of them, my youngest son took most of the pictures for me.
He did a great job, BUT when I got my camera back from him, he had taken over 900 pictures!!
It's going to take me a day or two to go through all of the pictures and get them ready for my blog.

So... stay tuned for how I did with my little guy 'Peanut' in the Salon Free Style Competition. 

Or, what I did with my daughters Bichon in the Abstract competition.

You might also be wondering how the grooming went with both of theses rescue dogs.....

......that Jess and I groomed in the Rescue Round-up competition.

 Oh.... and can you guess what this dog turned out to be in the Creative Grooming Competition?

There are many more.  :)

I will get many more pictures ready to post in the coming days and some stories to go along with them. :)

One more thing....

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone for their very kind comments to my last post.
I am humbled that so many people enjoy reading my ramblings.
Thank you for all of your well wishes.  :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hi Everyone!

Not sure if anyone is still checking in on my blog, I have been gone a while now.

The past two months have been a roller coaster ride, and just for the record, I hate roller coasters.

We buried my father this past Wednesday, and we said a tearful 'see you soon' to my 20 year old son yesterday as he left for 3 months of Boot Camp five months a head of schedule.

The last two months have been filled with dealing with many different people in respect to my fathers health and care.
EMT's, Nurses, Doctors, Technicians, Therapists, Supervisors, Social Workers, Shock Trauma Team, Administrators, and did I mentions Doctors and more Doctors?
Most of those professionals were just that, very professional, helpful, kind, and informative.....some were not.
Being a Professional, in a customer service based business, I found myself being very sensitive to the way my Father, my sister and myself were treated.

I have talked many times in my blog posts about how important I feel it is to respectfully talk to and educate our customers.
In my book no question is stupid.
The question may seem like common sense to the professional, but if the customer (or family member of the patient) asks a question, it is not common sense (or a stupid question) to the person asking the question.

There was nothing more degrading than to have a so called professional look at me as if I had just asked the dumbest question on earth, or answer my question in a tone of voice as if they were talking to an imbecile.
Sometimes I would ask a question that I was pretty sure I already knew the answer to, but I just wanted to be reassured that what I thought was right.
Sure, the answers were pretty common sense answers, but I just needed that professional to confirm the answer for me.

That is the way I deal with my customers.
No matter how stupid some of their questions may seem to me, I always answer them respectfully, as if they just asked me a very important question.
Of course I know more than my customers, I should, I am the professional.
I am there to help educate them, just as all of the professionals that I dealt with the past couple of months were supposed to be there to help educate me.

It saddens me to read some of the posts on grooming groups when a groomer will make fun of a customer who they felt asked a really stupid question, and the groomer responded in a rude and insulting way, and on top of that, the groomer felt justified to do so, because of how stupid they felt the question was.

After my experience of the last two months, I will always make sure that I answer every question my customers ask as respectfully as I can, and never make them feel stupid.

Okay, I am climbing down off of my soapbox now.
How's that for my first post back?
Sorry, had to get that off of my chest.

Trying to move on....

I am looking forward to getting back to writing again.
I am also looking forward to this coming weekend.
My daughter Jessica and I will both be going to Groom Expo in Hershey again.
We both need this break and we really enjoy the Expo.
I will be competing with my Dachshund/ Bichon in the Salon Freestyle, and my daughters Bichon in the Abstract Runway.
Most exciting of all...Jessica and I will be competing together in the Rescue Round-up Invitational.
We plan on having some much needed fun. :)