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, October 5, 2014

About Time

It has taken me forever to put these pictures together of the Rescue Round-up at Hershey last month.
There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day lately.

Anyway, there were three Rescue Round-up competitions this year.
The main competition on Sunday morning was an 'invitational', meaning that groomers who had already placed in previous Rescue Round-up competitions were invited back to compete.
A competition of winners.

There were openings for this competition, so Groom Expo had two smaller Rescue Round-up competitions leading up to the 'Invitational'.
The winners from those two smaller competitions would also compete in the 'Invitational'.

Got that??

Well, it doesn't matter.

Just have fun looking at the pictures.

I made a collage of each groomer.
They are before pictures and pictures all during the competition.
Unfortunately I don't have pictures of each finished dog, just close to finished.

Why not any finished pictures?

I asked my son the same thing, because he was the one in charge of taking pictures since both Jess and I were competing. 
He said that he did not get any finished pictures because it got too crowded up close to the stage, and they were asking for pictures to be taken after the Judging.

Even though he did not get finished pictures, I think that you will be able to see the beautiful work that these groomers did to help these dogs find new forever homes.

The competition starts with all of the groomers picking numbers and the matching those numbers up with a rescue dog.

This was the little lady whose number that I picked.

She was very filthy and matted.

She was also very sweet.

This was the little guy that my daughter got to groom.

He was a very young dog, but acted like a very old man.

His skin was in awful shape, and he was also filthy and full of fleas.

I was one of the first three groomers to get the dog in the tub.

Normally I would have soaped and rinsed this dog at least three times to get her as squeaky clean as I could, but we had a 10 minute time limit, because other groomers needed to get to the tubs.

I scrubbed her the best I could with one bath.

I mixed a whitening shampoo and a medicated shampoo that I had brought just for the competition.

 She wasn't what I would consider bad for the bath, but she was all over that tub.

Pacing back and forth, back and forth.

The dryer scared her a little at first, but she took to it pretty fast.

I was able to blow a lot of the matting out of her legs, but her body was very tightly matted.

I got the mat far enough away from her body to get a #4F under the mat.

Jessica said that her dog was very good in the tub.

I think that he was so happy to get those fleas off of him.

She also said that her dog was a little scared of the drier.

Sadly, it was the only time that he showed any emotion other than sadness.

After being bathed and dried, we were back up on stage with our dogs.

Now I had to decide exactly what I was going to do with this little lady.

Jessica's dog had so many different lengths going on with his coat.

He had ripped so much of his hair out from chewing and scratching that he even had several bald spots.

I was able to brush out the small amount of mats that were still left in my little girls legs, but the hair on her body had to be clipped off with a #4F blade.

Her face had already been shaved by someone else, but it needed to be shaped up and neatened.

 Jessica didn't even bother plugging her clippers in.

She decided to completely hand scissor her dog to try and even up all of the different lengths.

Someone had also shaved her dogs face before the competition.

This is my dogs before and (almost) after.  :)

This is Jessica's dog before and (almost) after.

Now on to the other great groomers.

Professional Groomer Sue Watson

Professional Groomer Taryn Beattie

Professional Groomer
 Eric Chassey

Professional Groomer
 Megan Arend

Professional Groomer 
Hyuk Hwan Kwon

 Professional Groomer Kaitlynn Gove

Professional Groomer 
Nicole Kallish

Professional Groomer
 Lisa Leady

Professional Groomer 
Yoshiko Winner

Professional Groomer
 Angela Menard

Third place winner 

Professional Groomer
 Jeannie Traviss

 Second place winner

Professional Groomer 
Stephanie Stempfer

First place winner

Professional Groomer
 Anne Francis

All of the groomers did beautiful work.

Now on to getting the Creative grooming picture together.
Hopefully I will have them ready before the next Groom Expo. lol

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...