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Pause For the Cause
Chapter 1 Personal Introduction
Chapter 2 Grooming at a glance
Chapter 3 Grooming and Stress
chapter 4 My puppies First groom
Chapter 5 Finding the Right Groomer
Chapter 6 Spread the news
First before I let you know who I am, turn around and pat your four
legged friend on the head and thank him/her for bringing you this
book. That was not always an easy task. You are an extraordinary
pet parent and have taught your k-9 friend well. Any pet that can
fetch this book and bring it to you is a friend of mine.
That’s just the start we have so much more in store for you and your
furry friend. I am a Master
Groomer “Pet Stylist”. I have accumulated over 25 years of
experience in handling pets. Working in many different environments
and seeing many thousands of different techniques when it comes to
handling your pet. I am 38 years old, know you’re not wrong, you
don’t need your glasses; you read it right, 25 years grooming
experience I have under my wings. So when you do the math that means
I started working at the young age of 13. Animals always filled that
need for love and compassion that was missing in my household when I
was young, it was not before long that I realized that this was my
calling and I was going to make a difference for the pets, give them
a voice were they had none. I started as a bather and allowed my
talents to guide me from there. I have a warm and mystical passion
for the care of pets and the proper treatment when pet parents like
yourself leave your four legged child in the care of a groomer, or a
facility that offers the grooming service.
Grooming at a glance
Well, I feel much better things are always less stressful when we
introduce ourselves. Whew, now that’s over. Let’s take a deep
breath and get into the real reason why you’re reading this. You love
your pet. Young or old, big or small, long hair or short hair at
some point in your pet parent relationship you will need to have your
pet groomed. Most breeds need regular grooming. Regular grooming is
normally every 4-8 weeks depending on the breed and the type of hair
cut your requesting your groomer to give. We will get into breed
specifics later on in the book. See chapter 5
This Chapter is grooming at a glance so let’s take a sneak peak;
picture yourself just for a brief moment at the most recent shop you
went to. Good Job. Can you see your groomer?
Recall your conversation with that establishment and your pets
grooming. Today I am so sure and confident that the conversation was
a few minutes long and you the responsible pet parent are remembering
leaving unsure if your doing the right thing and leaving your furry
four legged child with this person who has the phone ringing, dogs
barking, dryers blowing, people waiting, and the stress level is at a
all time high, you, your pet, everyone feels it. Let’s call your dog
Precious. OK so Precious is shaking and scared and your scared and
Precious does just what your asking her to do, shake and carry on
because she is picking up on your energy, she knows that you are not
sure about this place and the stress level that your feeling is going
straight through the leash right into your dog. That’s why Precious
cry’s to come home with you right before you walk out that door.
Thank you for walking out by the way. They really are ok; in the end
there dog instinct comes
into play and it’s normally in the grooming shop. That reminds me
did she forget to tell you that Precious almost took her hand off
when she went to trim the nails. That’s right your couch potato is a
dog. Sorry but I am going to talk from the heart because I know that
what comes from the heart reaches the heart and my goal as a well
trained professional is to allow you the knowledge that many have
kept from you for years. Why? Good question let me answer that for
you, groomers are afraid of losing your business. There is a
grooming shop around the corner that would love to have if they think
you feel that your pet is not being treated well, so instead of
taking the high road and being honest with you and educating you and
taking that extra minute to explain that Precious needs some
discipline in the way of handling her feet because she needs her
nails trimmed every 6-8 weeks. Groomers will exclude you from that
knowledge in order to keep the business. I however will not. I will
send someone on there way faster than the clock strikes midnight.
This is a hard, dirty career path and one that is challenging and
rewarding in the same breath. When there is a client who does not
want to believe the things I share about there pet I feel very bad.
I have such a challenge because there are years and years of the
grooming field not sharing the behavioral issues with the parents of
the pet because of owner denial. Many groomers are inadequate to
speak in terms that the pet client understands, everything about
grooming is about listening. The Groomer must listen to the pet
there working on, for distress or discomfort. The equipment makes
noise – for instance the brush when brushing your long haired breed,
makes a gnarly sound and you can tell when you’re working through the
matt’s and knots or when you are making no headway on the pet’s
coat. Your local groomer should be able to teach you how to listen
to the brush.
I guess I could go on and on about grooming at a glance. There is
never enough time to share all that grooming is about. Many books
have been written and many more are to come, I do believe that there
is just one that will come from a place of genuine concern for your
pets groom and the groomer you build a rapport with. Pet grooming
should be fun and rewarding for everyone involved. Your pet is
clean, you’re happy, the neighbor sees your pet is clean and want the
same thing for his pet and everyone howls happily ever after. OK OK
so that’s not true, no one will howl. I hope that grooming at a
glace has been a enlightening read and that you’re excited and eager
to continue to learn how to make pet ownership fun in all areas of
your pet’s life. Like us we need to see the Doctor, the Dentist, and
all those other great things we get to do as adults, let’s be
grateful we have a furry warm loving and compassionate friend to care
for and give a good home and owning a pet should be a pleasure and
never a burden.
Grooming and Stress
No, Precious not yet I am not ready to get up. As the clock strikes
you open a tired eye, wishing it was not so. Its time you must wake
up and face the day. The kids are up the dog is up and the sun is
shinning today. There are so many things to do. I have to make
breakfast, get the kids to school, take the dog to the groomer, then
go to work. Where will I find the time for all this? The energy
starts to run high and everyone is scrambling to make there
appointments this morning. Precious knows that something is
different this morning the movement in the house is faced paced and
she hears her name said a multitude of times unsure what is
happening. Great finally the kids are in school. I am ready for work
and I start to leave for the day when I realize I have not gotten
precious to the groomer. I run back into the house, the dog is
barking and everything this morning is not routine I am stressed and
of course my poor little precious is too. I grab the leash, grab the
dog and we speed off down the road to the local groomer. Precious is
panting and whining and she does not understand why I grabbed her so
quickly and abruptly but we’re here now so that does not matter. Oh
I forgot to walk her. Oh well the groomer can do that. After all
they just play with the dogs all day they will have time, certainty
more then I do.
We open the door and Precious bolts back out through the door
refusing to come into this place. A young girl walks up and says
good morning, how can I help you? You let her know that this is
precious and she has an 8am grooming appointment. Precious is
shaking and panting and you pick her up and clench her close to your
chest keeping your pampered pet safe and letting her know she is ok.
Precious now clings even harder to you and holds on for dear life
because once again you as the pet parent are feeding her negative
signs from your own fear.
Stress surrounds the conversation that you engage in with the
groomer. Let’s call the groomer Nancy. Nancy tells you that your
fluffy friend is going to be short today that she is matted and you
agree and walk away, fluffy is now left alone without you and scared,
only because she has had a rough morning and has not once been told
what was going to happen. I know I know sounds crazy, you ask
yourself what did you say? Did you say to tell my dog what is going
to happen. Yes I did. Communication with your pet and taking
leadership is a must. They somehow do understand what you’re saying
and they pick up on your tension or peaceful easy feelings just like
a young child would.
Precious sits in her cage patiently waiting for her pet stylist to
approach her and start her beautiful groom. Nancy reaches into the
cage and pulls her out with love and kindness. Precious is still
shaking and scared. Nancy gently places all 4 feet on her grooming
table and secures her little grooming client in a noose getting ready
to start her groom. Nancy grabs this clipper turns it on and starts
to explain that we are going to trim the pads of your feet now
Precious. Within seconds precious is confused, angry and her defense
mechanism comes out. She starts to pull and fight for the shaving of
her pads, snarling with all teeth out warning the groomer to not do
anything more to the feet. Nancy knows that she can’t push the dog
or she will loose control she must remain in a leadership position
gaining trust of Precious.
Let’s start at the base of her skull applying pressure as we clip
this coat of precious. She seems to enjoy this, her skin is starting
to breath and she feels safe once again. Its magic she is shorter
and now is ready for her bath. We will call precious a Poodle mix.
She has black hair. Nancy and precious head to the back room were the
dryers are on and the room is filled with cages and dogs and other
groomers bathing there dog. Precious has a small face making her
fear of water even more real to her, because her family has bathed
her at home without restraint allowing her to do as she wished
causing water to get into her noise. That’s a scary feeling when we
can’t breathe. When water gets into there nostrils that is what
happens. Nancy lathers her up and scrubs and once again approaching
the feet Precious protects her right to not be touched. Nancy
reaches down into her bag of tricks and manages to get her washed and
Look out, thinks precious here comes this great big white thing looks
like a towel. Nancy starts to massage the water off of Precious and
precious does not understand why we are doing this, once again acting
out in animal behavior that is not acceptable for the grooming
process causing stress to herself and Nancy. The phone rings and
it’s the owner of precious wanting to know if she is done yet,
however it’s only been about 1 hour. Nancy explains that the
grooming process takes between 3-4 hours that we work on them in
stages. Now back to what we were doing. OH wait the phone is
ringing again, and it’s a new client who needs about 30 minutes to
schedule there groom only to tell you she will call back later.
Precious is in her cage with a no heater dryer blowing a cool breeze
at her removing the moisture from her coat and allowing her to dry in
a safe manner. Nancy knows that heat dryers cause severe
consequences when left on a pet for to long. The door bell sounds
and it’s the next grooming appointment.
Nancy squirms in her own skin wishing this was just a dream. What
she sees in front of her is a large lump of hair with legs. “Good Morning Nancy proclaims to the owner of Ruckus. The owner can’t here Nancy because Ruckus is barking and panting and having trouble walking in his own fur. He is a mess. Nancy goes over the groom with Ruckus’s mom explaining that he will be short, as Nancy reaches down to feel this lumpy matted fur on Ruckus, he decided that he was going to protect his manly hood and attack Nancy’s hand. Ruckus Ruckus shouts his pet parent, oh my I have never seen you behave this way before, you’re such a good dog. Nancy ignores this statement and continues to explain the grooming charges and how she is going to groom Ruckus today. Every one agrees and is on the same page Nancy will contact his mother if something else comes up. With consent form in hand Nancy gets ready to groom Ruckus, and Precious continues to be patient and watch this Dog Ruckus get started with grooming, there are sounds coming out of him that many have never heard before and he has turned into a very aggressive and hard to handle Schnauzer. That breed is hard headed to start with; once again that is why leadership is so important when owning a dog. On a side note I want to express that when you do not neuter your male four legged child, there are many more behavioral issues then we you do neuter your friend. Ruckus earns him self the muzzle so that he can remain safe and Nancy can have all of her fingers at the end of the day.
Precious starts to bark she is anxious watching Ruckus pull his legs and make this sound that only a monster can make, but its true this is all coming from a Schnauzer and he is a miniature one not a standard one. Precious paces her kennel back and fourth barking trying to explain to Ruckus that its ok, Nancy is helping you not hurting you, let her get all those mats of your fur.
After some time of working with Ruckus he is ready for his bath. He seems to enjoy this although the muzzle is still on because Nancy has not won his confidence and he is insecure with in himself plus in general he is terrier. After towel drying Ruckus he is placed in a secure crate to finish drying.
What ever Happened to Precious you ask, well, let me tell you. Now is the time to get her back on the table, and finish her. She is feeling so soft. She is standing very still on the table, almost as if she was ashamed of Ruckus and his behavior that she did not want to make her self embarrassed, so the rest of the groom went well, however the finish is the part that Nancy becomes a Artist at, she pulls out her equipment and goes over the whole dog making sure that there are no hairs that were missed that everything is nice and clean and even. It takes Nancy about 20 min to finish making sure everything is as good as it can be, and Precious stopped and stood still making Nancy enjoy working with Precious and will have a great report to tell her mom when she comes to get her soon.
No as far as Ruckus goes, Nancy finishes him to the best of her ability and calls it done.
What you have learned in this chapter is that grooming is a very stressful situation for all involved and that a good groomer is in touch with the stress not only the patient/client has but the owner, the groomer him/herself and every thing that happens in the grooming shop is at high energy, it has to be or groomers would go out of business.
Well, why don’t you go grab a cup of coffee or what ever it is you like to drink? I hope your engaged in what your reading and I do hope that you can make a difference in the grooming of your pet. Walking them before grooming, telling them what there going to do today. I know we already talked about how silly that is, Just trust me try it. Just once tell your pet you’re going to the groomer today and maybe it will make a difference. I believe that it does.
Nancy is able to deal with all this because her main priority is making sure that the pet that is left with her is treated like a four legged child. Her manner in dealing with them is the same.
Grooming is something that all pets will need at some point in there life. Please as a responsible pet owner reading this book always get your puppy started as soon as possible, They all need there nails trimmed, they all need there ears cleaned and the sooner you start the happier, healthier and more fun spirited your pet will be, adjusting to whatever anyone needs to do to them through out there life to make them comfortable. Handling a dog is like handling a dog, OK what I mean by that. Well I mean that all dogs have teeth and all dogs bite. Get up get up , I did not mean to make you fall out of your chair, I know , you know your pet and you cant imagine him/her biting for anything there so dossal at home and you can do anything to them that you want to. Remember the last time you were brushing your dog and they got wiggly and may have groaned or showed you there pretty pearly white, you stopped, so then that means that you have not been able to do anything to your dog, it means that you enforced that behavior allowing your dog to lead the pack. He/she tells you what to do, and you’re failing as a leader in your dogs mind.
This is also the time that you can get a trainer for your pet, someone with leadership knowledge. The trainer is the Alpha dog, teaching you how to do the same, there is no such thing as a bad dog, only owners who do not know the difference between leadership and discipline for that pet, letting them get away with everything is like letting your child grow up getting away with everything and one day you have a teenager filled with hormones and anger issues and no discipline, it’s the same principal when it comes to raising a dog. Just as we want a well rounded child, we want the same for our pets. It starts with owner responsibility and dedication to do what is right no matter what we are feeling like, once we have a pet we have a financial obligation and a duty to serve for many years to come. You are your pets advocate. Take charge!
Finding the right groomer!
Every corner you turn there is a Dog grooming shop. There is so much competition were do you go to ensure a safe, healthy and professional trim on your four legged child. Well that’s a excellent question. It all starts with the phone. When you call a grooming shop someone should answer the phone in a happy strong filled energy tone, because the grooming shop is high energy. The person answering should be able to answer your questions and explain what the groom will be and how much approximately the groom should cost.
Let’s talk about how Nancy approaches a new client on the phone. On the inside Nancy is feeling rushed its 12 noon and her 9 O’clock groom is leaving in 30 minutes and he is not finished. The phone rings and it’s a new client talking about her chow chow who does not like people and is difficult to groom. Nancy inquires about his comment about the chow being difficult to groom.
The man on the other end of the phone is desperate for getting his chow groomed; after all it’s only been 4 years. Ok, I know that sounds sort of rude. Nancy just kept help but to think to her self how it could be 4 years before you would call the groomer. I hope the importance of regular grooming in the previous chapter has made an impact. Not only that many grooming shops will not groom the breed the chow chow, because of there temperament and stubbornness.
Nancy talks further about the issues that Willy has that is the name of the Chow Chow. She encourages the owner of Willy to drop in any day of the week and please bring Willy so she can evaluate the situation and see if Willy will let her groom him.
When ever you are making a grooming appointment you should always see the place your leaving your pet at, remember they can’t talk, so we have to be there voice of reason. If a groomer cant show you around there shop and explain to you how the process works, because there too busy or they cant risk bringing you back into there shop to see, I would then be skeptical. All owners have the right to understand what goes on with there pet at the groomer.
Grooming is already stressful to the dog and to the client and Nancy is affected by the stress of everyone else and the art of grooming in general.
When contacting a professional prospect make sure that you have that feeling inside your gut that this groomer, knows there stuff, they were polite, educated, they new the breed of dog that I have, they thanked me for calling and they were convincing that they are the groomer for my pet.
Always remember that if once you get there, it smells, or its disorganized or the dogs are all going crazy with barking or running loose, your first intention is normally the right one. Take a look at your groomer, is she bright and awake. Is her/his spirit happy and loving and do they seem kind. Groomers need patience and if its had to display them to the pet owner, its just that much harder to display them to the pet there grooming, Its true a groomer Like Nancy has to use scissors and sharp moving objects on a pet that dances around on the grooming table or bites and fights for the clipping,. So make sure that the potential new groomer has the time to talk to you and secures you with their professionalism and knowledge of grooming your pet. A groomer that is fast on the phone and does not take that time to explain the procedure and answer your questions is not somewhere I would take my child. Chances are there going to be fasted paced with the groom too, not focusing on the best possible session. Rather just wanting to get the job done. There are those groomers who were born for this and then there are those groomers that are trained for this, Find one that was a born Dog groomer and you will have found a friend for life. There will at least be a lasting working relationship with you and your pet’s groomer for many years to come. Why not do the research to have the best possible.
How to communicate with your groomer?
Nancy pulls out the ruler and shows Clancy’s caretaker how long that length would be. Owners think that if they walk in and show a groomer with there fingers the length they think there looking for its almost impossible to recreate that length. Dog grooming is a art and there are only so many tools that a artist has and there is only so much time per groom that is humanly possible. We can’t ask these dogs to stand still for over hours. We as groomers get the dogs in and out as fast as possible.
There is a different language for explanations for grooming a pet. There is no such thing as a puppy cut. A puppy cut is just that a introduction to a pups first groom, same as you read in a previous chapter.
Ask your groomer the name of the cuts, the name and number of the blades that she/he uses because then anywhere you go you will be armed with knowledge and you will be able to communicate your needs better.
Pet parents walk in all the time and say go as short as you can. That’s not what they mean, normally that means to leave it about a 1″ long or so.
Many mistakes are made when client owner have no communication. Please remember this is your groom that your paying for and you have ever right to get what you want as a consumer with in reason. The groomer has a obligation to make sure that you understand what is happening. If for some reason the groomer and yourself cant come to a agreement, the groomer will explain again to the best of their ability to have you understand what must happen in order to get the groom your looking for, if there continues to be a lack of understanding on what you as the pet parent is looking for. The groomer will have you sign a wavier explaining everything that was discussed and then there can be no mistakes.
Learn to ask questions. Seek others opinions from different Shops till you find one that seems to be were you need to go for all you’re grooming needs. Please remember that groomers are people too and their job is a dirty, nasty , filthy, back breaking profession, that a person has chosen in order to help innocent animals and to help them have a healthy long lasting life and to keep up there hygiene,. The groomer is normally the first person to detect something going on with the dog. Like an ear infection, or a lump, but of course they can just refer you to the vet.
Never be afraid to ask anything, remember this is your child with fur. A competent groomer will take the time to explain what you’re asking and take the time to educate you for the benefit of everyone involved, most of all the grooming aclient.
The end results to finding the right groomer is a happy bouncing thrilled to look there best pet who is grateful. You will have a pet that is a pleasure to love and kiss and hug. Our furry friends get into the beds with us and they love to snuggle.
Spread the news.
When you start looking for a groomer one who takes that time with you to teach you the process of grooming and you’re happy with them, spread the news. Tell all your friends who are pet parents. We want every pet out there to experience the pleasure of grooming with out the nightmares that can follow.
Sometimes thing go wrong and Nancy will be sure to tell you what happened that day. Stay with the same groomer and make sure that your always honest with them about how your feeling with there services.
Tell everyone how excited that you are that you found a professional groomer who knows the trade and art of pet grooming.
Wait, don’t leave the shop yet, schedule your next appointment so that you are on a regular schedule for grooming. The busiest time of the year for groomers are the holidays and everyone is calling around to get there pets groomed, so if you don’t have a schedule you may not get in for the holiday.
It has been a pleasure spending this time with you. Know that you’re equipped with education and knowledge of the grooming industry, please use it wisely and take that oath to be your pet’s best friend. They would never let anything happen to us, so let’s return the favor by finding the experts in the field and sticking with it. Your pet is worth it so go that extra mile; ask that extra question spend that extra time.
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