Ok guys, Please read this story, then come back and read on.
Here's my problem with this one, there are several factors involved in this story, the main one being that this is a 14yr old cat that has never been groomed. The second one being that the "owner looked down one day and noticed it was matted and decided to take it to the groomer".
You don't just "look down" one day and notice, oh yea, look at that, my cat has an inch and a half thick pelt on it's back, that as the groomer stated " could have been used as a splint"!
Also, the cat owners stated that it took the husband "45 minutes" to get the cat into the carrier.
I believe that this cat was hurt before it got to the groomer, and without prior knowlege of the injuries, the groomer was doing what she needed to do to handle this cat to not only complete the groom, but, also protect herself.
As a Certified Vet. Tech, I can most assuredly tell you that , with those types of injuries of course the cat would be angry and react out of suffering pain in the only manner it could....to bite....also, as the groomer had stated, as she got to the belly the cat got aggitated . So , therefore, it all makes sense, except one little thing. With those types of injuries, if already inflicted, why didn't the groomer notice that the pet wasn't moving its back legs?
It will be interesting to follow this story and see how this one pans out in court. I'll keep you updated, as I am going to follow this one .
I groom cats as well, everything from show cats to house pets, and have done a few rescues myself that just plain old needed my help.
I would not have personally done a 14yr old cat that had never been groomed, but then again, some of us stylist put ourselves in harms way to help an animal feel better. There is CERTAINLY NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!!!! That is a personal decision. I too have in the past gotten bit helping a scared neglected pet.
The issue with not doing this one for me would have been the age and stress factor for the pet.
At any rate, keep checking back to follow up on this story, and also, thank you to the groomer who posted this link on Pg.com!!
Happy Grooming! Kim
Three Days ago, An owner checks in with their poodle Lafayette, I am called out to recieve him and get instructions. He is a new client. As I come around the corner, smiling and introducing myself, The nicely dressed mid 60's woman says hello with a returning inviting smile and simoutaniously says. He bites.
I was taken aback for a second. But, quickly ( Hoping she didn't notice) recovered and thanked her for telling me up front. We then began to talk about his triggers as she knew them to be, and I was able to get through the groom, while not reinforcing fear by not pushing hot buttons but, instead, being careful, reassuring and gentle. I got an email today that said they can't stop looking at him. He has never looked like this before!...Thanking me again for my services.
NO one likes to do a biting dog. We all have to remember what we are in this field of work for. The love of dogs. Something happened somewhere along the path of these aggressive pets to instill fear into them about the grooming process. Maybe forced through the groom to fast, a quicked nail or ten...who knows....it could very well be, and in all probability is , something done unintentionally .
If we can work with these pets. We will feel so rewarded, and those grateful clients will speak our names for a lifetime.
I do believe that owners should be held liable though if they knowingly bring in an aggressive pet to be groomed. In my state I do not believe there is a law stating that they are liable.
Most instances we groomers can tell easily if it is from a past incident.
Tell me your opinion on this issue. Write a comment, I will make them available for all to read.
Happy Grooming! Kim
Hello fellow groomers. I hope this post finds you all doing well. I have a request of you all . I am doing research concerning the long term effects of our profession on our bodies .
I would like to have participants remain annonymous but to tell details of injuries, long term illnesses, skin problems, possible links to chemicals we have used in the past to terminal illnesses such as cancer.
These are hard issues to divulge and talk about, but folks, we need to. I have been doing this for 26 yrs this November. I know full well each and every morning the toll it has taken on "My" body. This we need to address and make changes in.
I have noticed that a lot of us are overwieght too, and yes, I am including myself in that catagory!
I want to figure out why....
Why is this such a majority in our industry? Is it because you sit all day? I don't think so. Some groomers do because it's most comfortable, but it has it's setbacks too....Is it because we don't eat properly, yes...It leads to deficiency in ability to fend off illness. Just one of the many side effects of obesity. With all the other potential health hazards we already face, especially our industry veterans, the last thing we need to do is be out of physical shape .
I will be taking emails until November 15th. I am planning to put up the numbers and percentages up in the December Blog. I need as many participants as possible to make the numbers more accurate. I need participants from all regions of the world.
Please include in your email how long approximately you have been grooming. If you have been grooming for more than five years, Did you stand and bend over a folding table? Did you work with poor equipment? What concessions physically did you make to make those situations work? Hoist dogs into household tubs built up on frames? Maybe you still do. I'm sure many of us do. I know I have in the past. I hope to hear from all of my grooming friends all over the world ! I know this information will be of great use in molding how we perform our jobs , how long we perform our jobs, as well as adding years to our lives. Thank you for your participation. Happy Grooming! Kim
It seems that a recent post of mine on facebook has gotten some interesting responses.
It was due to reading these responses that I thought this might be an interesting subject to touch base on
and get feedback.
How do YOU handle pricing your services on difficult pets to groom?
On Matted pets?
On Aggressive pets?
On Untrained unruly pets?
Do you charge by the hour? A certain dollar amount?...It will be interesting to see how things are handled in various regions of the country. I thank you in advance for your participation! Happy grooming :) Kim
To Hide or not to hide......no, we aren't talking about the credit card reciept from your last shopping spree from your spouse!
We are talking about the splay foot.........
A splay foot can be found on nearly any breed, and for most it is NOT correct.
Let's begin by defining just what a "splay foot" is..
Splay foot means that the toes on the foot are spread out and usually the toes are long and flat as well.
This is unattractive and can be caused by a variety of things, from just pure poor genetics to having been on soft ground too long. Even from the nails not being cared for properly.
Where this comes to play into our grooming is if we are shaving a foot, whether it's on a mixed breed, a schnauzer ( you know we ALL have those clients who request strange things!) or on a poodle...it is a fault that YES we DO want to hide!
So, if we have a cat like foot, a dog whose foot is well up on arched toes that are compactly put side by side, this is attractive, and we would want to show that off ....that being said, your clip line would be just above the wrist bone of the foot.....
But, if we have a Splay / hare foot........we would want to hide this fault....to do this, you would lower your clip line, depending on the severity of the fault. If it is extreme you would stop your clip line just behind where the toes meet the foot at the crease of each toe...you would also lower your bevel to your leg so that it hangs nearly over the foot . To create a lower bevel do not angle your scissors so much when trimming along the clip line......you will want them to be more flat leaned toward the toenails as opposed to leaning up and away from the toenails.
So the answer to the Question is YES.......Hide The splay or hare foot....your dogs will look better for it~ happy grooming! Till next time~ Kim
Ok, lets talk structure....it is after all the basis of all grooming....before you can pick up your scissors, and put anything other than a cookie cutter groom on a pet, you have to assess it's structure.........the best place to assess the structure isn't on your table, but instead, in the tub when the pet is wet.....in assessing the structure, you must have a basic idea of what the breed should be built like....this means studying the AKC book and the general appearance section for each breed you groom.
Once you have completed the structural assessment of the pet, and have an idea of the faults, you must then conceal them to give the illusion of correct structure. The process of correcting faults is detailed and tedious. It takes time. There again, I must stress , if you want to be the best in your area, not to over book yourself, so that you have the time to do the job to the best of your ability. It also takes time to master the techniques of corrective grooming. Trust me, that with dedication and perserverance, it will pay off in the end, because of the loyalty of the clients, and the walking billboard of perfection as an advertisement for new buisiness.......there will be points of frustration that will make you want to go back to your old habits. You just have to push yourself through it.
All sections of the pet must flow seamlessly into one another with concentration on balance and symmetry....How you ask?
I am going to tell you. You must put aside the intricacies of the breeds individually for a moment. Instead, you must familiarize yourself with "basic" structure. The terms associated with basic structure are important as well, so that when you get to the general appearance section of each breed, you will have the knowledge to decipher the terms they use, and the meaning, more importantly, the visual of the structure as it should be. It's all in angling your scissors.
What does a fiddle front look like? or a slightly crouped tailset? Harefoot? etc.....familiarize yourself with what they look like.....that is the first step in many to becomiing a world class groomer.......
I had such a hard time learning this, and reached many points of tearfulness. Times when I wanted to just stay where I was with my grooming skills, because it was easier to stay in that comfort zone. But, I would get that occasional glimmer of encouragement from an owner, or, just by looking at that dog, and seeing a better balance, or, a hidden flaw..and it was just enough to keep me going.
Making a cowhocked dog look as though it has a correct rear. Being successful in hiding a fiddle front on a shihtzu or Bichon...The hardest part was learning to connect them all to make a balanced dog.
I'm going to start with a simple fix for you to try.
A dog that is toed out in front. Meaning that the toes instead of facing forward, they point east and west. You will find this in varying degrees. In the show world you will hear it said " he is easty westy " .
In order to correct this fault, you must make it look as though the feet are forward facing. In order to do this, when trimming the outline of the foot, you will begin by trimming the hair the hangs over the pad in the back of the foot tightly so as no hair when combed down, hangs over the pad. Then, set the foot down, and let the dog stand naturally. Comb all of the coat outward from the center of the foot in a fan shape. Going along the outside of the foot, trim the hair with your scissors straight forward facing . Your scissors should be farther away at the back of the foot when creating this straight line. This will cause you to take the coat very tight to the outward facing toe. Then cut straight across the toe.
(this will seem box like but, it will all come together in the end) . On the inside of the foot, you will want to LEAVE more coat, it should be much fuller on the inside to compensate for where the foot "should" be, there again cutting in a straight line toward the back of the foot. So to recap , you will take the outside of the foot tightest at the outward facing toe, and leave the coat fuller to the inside of the foot. Once you have created your "box" outline on the foot, simply , "slightly" , round the corners and voila ! You have an illusion of a forward facing foot !...Try this technique, and I will be back in a week to give you another assignment to work on~ Happy Grooming!