Customer Service

Deck the Halls part 2

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The tree! It is a fixture at my shop and clients ask every year if I am going to put it up again. I have ALWAYS had toys or treats hanging from the tree, not ornaments. Safety first right?

I give a toy or a treat to every dog in December that gets groomed. I buy them all year, as I go through about 400-500 every year. Buying them as I find them helps eliminate the "OMG I just spent HOW MUCH?" feeling I would get if I bought them all at once. I try to spend $1 or less ON AVERAGE per toy, so its really not that bad. If I pay $2-3 for toys then the treat bags will "dilute it" to the $1 per pet I strive for. I also have some T-Shirts this year in small and medium sizes for dogs that don't like toys.

Treat bags contain a rawhide candy cane (I buy them in bulk) and pupcorn or bisquits that are corn and gluten free. My clients love them. Be careful buying rawhide treats that are NOT made in the USA. I might skip them if I could not find them made here with all the issues regarding Chinese treats in the recent news reports. The place I bought mine is showing "out of stock" so I cannot refer you to that site. I-pets.com has them available and they say they are: Made from 1st grade quality rawhide, no preservatives added, no harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process, FDA approved, high in protein, digestible. Imported from reputable manufacturers we have personally visited and approved! I know I have never had an issue with items purchased from them and many of their items, including ears, are Made in the USA. 

We redecorate the tree as needed, the closer to Christmas we get the more toys we have to rehang. I always eep back some toys for the weekly clients or bi-weekly on es that come the week of CHristmas for their holiday "do". 

I use LED lights and as we get low on toys I add treat bags and bows. NOTHING that can be damaged by a dog.

I decorate under the tree as well and use packaged boxes or plastic decorations in case a dog has an "accident". WOuld not want my Santas to get christened, so we keep them to the back. 

My gift tree is a gesture of thanks for their my clients continuing patronage that I feel more than pays me back every year in tips and gratitude. 

I love doing it and my clients love that we do it! 

Next up the Bow Board!

 


Deck the Halls 2011

Well, Tis the Season to begin decorating the grooming shop for Christmas! I love Christmas. I love Santas and I love making my clients smile! This time of year I can roll it all up into one nice celebration and keep the decorations at my shop.

I am going to do a short series on what we are doing to decorate the shop and show you how the individual touches are made.

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Today I made Christmas Card Frames for the main wall in the shop. It always bothered me that I had to decorate around the "normal" photos and plaques, and this year I was going to solve that problem by taking them all down. Add to it that I always hated that I had to throw away cards at the end of the season. There were always some fantastic cards! I tend to keep cards I like, but didn't have a way to display them. I was going to buy frames, but decided I would need 24-30 for the cards I have onhand right now, all different sizes and that my dear friends gets EXPENSIVE! I have made frames for posters in the past using wrapping paper (I even blogged about using calender pages framed with wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper), so I decided to do that for the cards I wanted to display.

I started out with cardstock that I wrapped using wrapping paper (I bought red and green in the same swirl pattern to use for this) and then centered on a piece of foil scrapbooking paper using doublesided tape. You can use glue or hot glue, but the tape was the easiet in my mind. Center a greeting card front, after cutting off the back, again, using doublesided tape, then hang on the wall. I used a thumbtack to hang them. SUPER easy, fast and reusable next year if stored flat and in a safe place.

You can use just wrapping paper instead of wrapping the cardstock, and you can cut the paper into whatever size you want. My OCD requires them to be the same size and shape. I have one in that photo above that needs to be redone because, even though I thought I could deal with it being sideways, I cannot and tomorrow morning it will be fixed! You can do them inside the scrapbooking paper or you can angle them the way I did to create a "star". The sky's the limit.

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Notice how crisp this looks? I cut the corners out then folded it in, taped and done!

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Before the card is put on.

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My cards before adding them to the wall.

Tomorrow I am going to add bows in between the card frames to tie it all together. I don;t need to do it but I am going to do it just to make me happy. I have already had two clients pick up dogs today that had their cards from last year on the wall. It was funny watching them get excited that I kept their card!

You can do one, a group, or like I did a wall full of cards. Much nicer than throwing them away at the end of the season. Some of the cards are works of art! It is a shame to lose that.

Use your imagination and enjoy!

Tomorrow I will show you the Christmas Tree this year. Its something to see~!


Cost table for Calculating bandana costs

Price/yard

Size

1.99

2.99

4.99

6.99

8.99

9.99

12.99

Small

.07

.11

.19

.27

.35

.39

.50

Medium

.15

.23

.38

.55

.70

.78

1.01

Large

.31

.47

.77

1.09

1.40

1.56

2.02

Scrunchies

.14

.20

.34

.50

.62

.70

.90



The table above is a rough cost estimate based on the bandanas being cut the way I showed you in my previous article. If you cut them again, as shown at the bottom of the article, you can halve the prices listed above and reduce your cost even further.

In the overall scheme of retail, the cost of a $1.00 bandana on a $45 or $50 groom (or greater) is negligible. Most retail outlets have cost of the item and then have to mark it up, so on a $40 item they are making roughly $16 whereas we are a service oriented business and the total profit per item will be much higher, even with the addition of a bandana.

I think shampoo ends up costing about .20-.50 for an ounce of concentrate (based on $25 and $50 a gallon pricing) so when you add up consumables, we are at well under $2.00 on most small dogs, including an expensive bandana.

It is my opinion that eliminating bandanas because you are trying to save money, or cutting corners and using cheaper fabric that does not hold up well, is not helping you save money. It will cost you in the long run because it reflects on your image.

In a service industry like ours, image is as important as the quality of the work you offer. A bad image will cause you to lose clients and lost clients means lost money.


Fatquarters DO Work for Bandannas!

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I have to admit it. If you had asked me a week ago I would have said, no the pieces of fabric are too small to cut out bandannas, but I found some at our local Walmart, that was on clearance and me, being the fabric addict that I am, had to have it (I justified it in my head that I would use the FQs for scrunchies if I had to). Usually I would not have bothered since the fabric yardage is so small on each piece, but it was on such a good sale price I couldn't help myself.

Many of you are probably asking yourself, What the he## is a Fatquarter? A Fatquarter is a quilters term used to describe a piece of fabric cut into 22 inch by 18 inches, or 9 inches by 45 inches. The fabric measurement will vary depending on the person cutting it. The ones that Walmart sells are 18 by 22. So you are getting a piece of fabric equal to 1/4 yard, but only one thickness instead of two if you bought the fabric off the bolt. The package had 7 pieces in it, so I got 1.75 yards of assorted prints that co-ordinate pretty well.

As is my custom, when I got it home, I laid it out on top of my dishwasher to cut it and found that fabric cut into fatquarters will make bandannas that are in between a large and a small with no problems at all! There is not much difference, maybe 1.5 inches, between what I cut out and the normal sizes. DEFINITELY usable! If you are mobile or a very small grooming business, this is a terriffic option for you as you can get a great variety and a smaller number of bandannas from each print, reducing duplication. My shop averages 120-150 dogs a week, so it would mean a print would be gone in a day, but if you like a lot of variety and have a smaller volume Fatquarters are IDEAL for you! 

Also, because the size is so universal for small and medium dogs, if you do a lot of ogs that are under 12 or 15 pounds, using this size instead of cutting small and mediums will make life less confusing and make storage easier as well. No more getting disappointed that you do not have that print in the right size. 

Places like Walmart, Joann's and Michael's sell Fatquarters and some come in bigger bundles than what I found. Look online and you will find thousands of suppliers with an endless variety avaialable. Just remember to check the size of the FQs in the bundle or box. Sometimes they are 9 inches by 45 and that makes it a bit harder to use (even though it can be done). I was told by a diswtrict anager at our "old" Walamrtm that even if your Walmart does not carry fabric, if it has a craft section, chances are they have Fatquarters. 

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Fat Quarter boxes  has a huge collection of fatquarters in boxes or bundles and every theme you can imagine! The boxes are easy to store and in a Mobile I can see them being easy to have onhand to cut as needed.

Folding it the same way I always fold fabric, I was able to get 4 bandannas that are perfect sized for most shihtzu and smaller type dogs and one collar cover out of each piece of fabric. I could have cut it differently and had fewer pieces, but also had some leftover material, and I despise leftover material.

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Notice it is folded into 4 triangles and the strip left is for scrunchies.

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While I was looking at the Fatquarters, I also found "Jelly Rolls". These are strips of fabric already cut into 2.5 inch by 45 inch strips. For most collar covers this is perfect. It is almost exactly what I cut my strips into (I usually do 3 inches, but this works great!). You fold each strip in half making a 22.5 inch piece and cut making two pieces for small and medium dogs. You can leave the strip in one piece or cut it to 36 inches for larger dogs. You fold the fabric right sides together and stitch the edge. Turn right side out and there ya go.

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If you have a need for 14 inch (at the top) bandannas, there is also a "Layer cake" you can buy that is precut 10 inch squares. These are just under the size I use for small bandanas and will fit Yorkies, Maltese and some Shihtzu as well, especially if you use a rubber band or bandanna securing accessory. GIves you less to cut and absolutely no waste. The really cool part is that I found most of the LayerCake stacks are cut with pinking shears already saving you a step if you use pinking shears. I am all about saving time and making my job easier!

A lot of websites that cater to quilters even have "Fabric of the month" type shipments where you can, without worrying about shopping for fabric, have a new collection of FQs, Jelly Rolls and/or Layer Cakes, delivered right to your home on automatic shipment. PERFECT for those of us that are busy busy busy!

So, there you have it. Easy, timesaving ways to utilize fabric choices we generally overlook. 

 

 

 


New Accessory Idea


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Every once in a great while my husband comes up with an idea that wows me. It happens very rarely, but in this case it not only wowed me, but I feel like I should share this idea with you. 

We generally speaking use rubber bands to secure bandannas for safety sake. They are plain and according to my hubby "boring". Sometimes we use bows, but for boys that is not really "ok" with many clients. Chuck asked me "could we dress it up somehow, maybe with  flower or a button instead of using a bow?" and I said "Of COURSE we can!" You can see above what they look like when finished and placed onto a bandanna.

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These are super easy to make and very affordable as well. First you need supplies. Above you can see the ponytail holders, terry pony o's, elastic cord, craft buttons, needles and crochet hooks. You will also possibly need thread and a hot glue gun to make these, depending on what type of buttons you buy.

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You will find different styles of button backs. Drop shanks, flat and then typical buttons with holes in them for sewing them to fabric or in this case terry loops. 

The drop shanks I use with the small ponytail holders and #8 crochet hook to use to pull it through the hole, then I loop it around and pull it tight. Finished. SO easy! You can also use the elastic cord to make your own ponytail holders and tie them after you thread the button shank. This is especially valuable if the shanks are too small for regular pony tail holders to fit through.

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The flat back buttons can be hot glued to the terry loops using a low heat glue gun with no issue at all. They will hold just fine if you make sure to apply the glue well. The photo below shows you how to use a paper flower to make this type of accessory.

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Now, after you have them made, to use them is really easy. The terry loops stretch enough to wrap around the bandanna two or three times,  which will hold them in place. The smaller pony tail holders will not stretch enough to do that, but they do loop around the decorative button like a loop buttonhole. 

You can make them for regular use, boy or girl type buttons are available at craft stores everywhere, and you can do them for special occasions or holidays as well. 

Not every dog is a candidate for these obviously, as they are more expensive than a regular rubber band, and they DO present a remote possibility of a choking hazard, so dogs that are destructive, or have small children at home may not be smart choices for these, but it is another decorative touch you can use to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

 


The Customer is ALWAYS Right?

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I have heard for my entire life the old adage "The customer is always right". I have to say that when I first started out in grooming I felt like they were and would bend over backwards to accommodate them, gave away grooms when people complained, stayed as late as I had to for them and came in early when asked. 

I think, however, as I have gotten older and a bit more wise, I have learned that more often than not, "The customer is right PART of the time" makes more sense.

Don't get me wrong! I love my clients (most of them anyway) and am appreciative for their business. They are what feeds me and keeps my household running. They are what allows me to care for my pack as well as indulge my grandchildren. Without them I could not feed my shoe habit either! 

I will not let a client walk all over me. Not in the slightest. If they do they are corrected or fired. 

Clients that do not know what they want, clients that get upset when you shave their pelted dog and proclaim "He wasn't matted!" even as they look at the pelt you saved to show them, clients that are unreasonable in their demands. These are the people that I say are right only SOMETIMES.

I had a client that up until recently I had put up with the nonsense from. I like her dog, who is a small, thin coated Yorkie with a simple, FFTT and trim the legs a bit, groom. Mom however was one that knew everything (she is a nurse you know and her husband is a doctor) and even though she would ask questions and we would offer answers, she always rebuffed everything we said and her way was the right way. She changes grooms with the way the wind is blowing, and she thinks nothing of going elsewhere with her dog and then bringing her to us to fix.

The morning that she got fired, or quit depending on your point of view, she came in with her dog who really didn't need anything done to her and then proceeded to say "well you know what to do" and "The girl who works here said it was a puppy cut" over and over, while gripping the dog tightly in her arms, refusing to give her to me or anyone else until we established the haircut she wanted.We then decided that all she wanted was for to be tidied up and we settled on a pick up time. She said on her way out the door "I wish I had brought the picture of what I wanted" and I replied that it would help if she had. She left. Finally. The 3 clients waiting behind her were aggravated and so was I.

We bathe and dry the pup and she is placed in a cage in the main room until it is her turn to be finished. I look up and see her car in the parking lot and her dog sees it as wel and is getting upset. She comes to the door, opens it wide enough to stick her head in and starts mouthing words. Now I have a dog on my table that will not stay for me to go into the other room, so I said "I can't hear you" and she says in a real voice, "Is my dog in here" to which I replied, "Yes that is her barking". "I didn't want to upset her, but I wanted to bring this picture". My bather had come out of the other room, so I said "Kayser, can you get that picture from her and ut it on my desk so I can look at it when I get a chance?" She gave it to him and left, repeating she was trying not to upset her dog. 

She got to her car and we are all just dumbfounded looking at each other like, REALLY did this just happen? when she came back in demanding her dog because WE upset her and she couldn't leave her with us. She then said, as I was explaining that I was sorry for her pup being upset but she would calm down once she was gone, she said to me "WELL You didn't have to be such an Effing Bit##" and I was stunned. She then took her dog and said again, "You are ALWAYS an Effing Bit##". 

I was always as polite to her as I could be, trying to explain that I needed more information than she was offering and I DID tell her that we don't use the term p uppy cut at all, but I was nice about it. When she returned, she caused her dog the stress not me, and we did what she asked. We gave her her dog and photo.

There are some people you cannot make happy regardless of what you do. She is one of them. If we cut her dog the way she asked it was too short or too long, or cost too much.

These types of clients are not right. They are NOT the type of client you wish to see or deal with and the nice thing for me is I don't have to deal with them. I am my own boss. 

Clients who manipulate you into doing something that you do not feel is the right thing to do, clients that lie about things that go wrong, clients that always have a complaint even when the dog was groomed to perfection and to their specifications.....these clients are never right.

A client that swears at or harasses a groomer is never right.

 A client that blames the groomer for their own mistakes or negligence, is never right.

A client that gives instructions which you follow to a T, then says "that is not what I asked for" is never right.

A client that accuses you of not doing something you did or doing something you didn't is never right.

Clients who have little or no respect for you, your time, your other clients or staff are never right.

Clients who belittle the "other groomer" are likely to do it to you and they are never right.

Clients who have no clue what they want and yet get upset when you do "whatever you think is best" are never right. 

Clients that argue with you about things that are not your fault, or policies clearly stated to the client in advance are never right.

Clients who want you to do anything that is dangerous or harmful to their pet are never right.

Clients that want you to adjust your policies or hours "just this once" are never right and will expect you to do it everytime if you ever give in.

There are times in this industry that you have to (or want to) kiss butt and suck up to clients, but when they are belittling you and causing you stress they are not the clients you want. 

I am not saying you should be mean, rude or bitc##y, simply direct. Tell the client that this is not acceptable behavior. You cannot read minds. Your time is important. You need the to follow the rules like everyone else.

If you are firm, stick to your guns and are polite, most will adjust and become good clients. The ones that don't need to go elsewhere. So that they can learn the grass is not always greener, and the groomer is not always nicer.

Life is too short. There are other clients to replace the rude ones. Make your salon a happier place. Remember that the customer is NOT always right! It will make you feel better.

In my next entry I will discuss some tings you can do that will make your customer service skills improve and every client feel special. And right. 


What NOT to Wear

We all know that you never get a chance to make a first impression twice, and it is also true that impressions you make with clients last forever. A client that walks into a salon and sees the help looking like a ragtag bunch with dirty clothes, holey jeans, scrubs covered in hair, holes in jackets, or pants sagging is going to think to themselve, "Man they could at least try to look professional!" or even, "If they cannot take care if themselves, how can they make my dog pretty?". 

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Most of the time I am wearing what looks like street clothes when clients come in the door and they are all the time telling me that "shes dirty, dont get your clothes dirty!" to which I laugh and say "this is work clothes so its ok!".

The shirt to the left is one that I made myself out of a satin in a zebra print. The mandarin collar is flattering and protects the neck and chest from hair getting into the skin.

The proper clothing, including long sleeves, are critically important to keeping hair splinters from getting into your skin and possibly getting infected.

I expect my staff to dress appropriatley as well.They don't always do it though.100_0183

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I had these two items of clothing on people that work in my shop this past week and I had to step in and say, "CHANGE please!" Saggy sweat pants and torn jackets do NOT belong in my shop.

I love the idea of uniforms for staff and do not mind supplying jackets and pants if needed. They do not all have to match but they DO need to be clean and maintained. If it rips, tell me and I can fix it or replace it. If its dirty then wash it. Simple? You would think. Not always true though.

I require a grooming jacket or tops that shed hair (I will cover this in a minute) on everyone that works in here, even my husband wears them when bathing dogs. I prefer nylon pants as well, but am OK with jeans provided they are hole free and fit well. NO SAGGING ALLOWED! I do not mind shorts as long as they are a nice length, but tank tops I frown on because they can be considered less than professional, especially on men. I find the guys that work here all like the "skater" shorts and the girls are usually worried about getting scratched so they wear jeans or pants.

I am not a huge fan of zippered smocks because they are boring and bland. They make everyone look big, and never fit well. I tend to buy tops at stroes that have fun clothes. I can find them at Cato, Ross, TJ Maxx, and many more places for under $25 each. I shop by feel. If it is shiny, satiny or silky, chances are it will repel hair. That allows you to have some style and actually feel pretty when you are working.

Aprons are another way to keep regular clothes looking great while you work and the hair to a minimum. Many of the beauty suplly houses sell fancy or more stylish aprons that the grooming providers have. Wimex has many aprons in all colors and many styles. I have four or five in different styles and colors to keep my clothes clean. The_frill_purrfect_700px This apron is another cute style available. I googled "hair stylist aprons" and found a huge selection of unique, stylish things to wear. I do not reccomend the shoes however for every day grooming wear. Might be hard to walk in across a floor with hair on it!

 I love to wear skirts, and can usually wear a simple jersey knit skirt with a top to work in with no problem. When it gets hairy I blow it off with the HV dryer, but there are also aprons you can buy from Wimex Beauty ( Apron )that are skirt cover ups and that works amazingly well. I still feel practical and pretty as well as comfortable. 

 Jeans and scrubs are practical in many ways and no so practical in others. They are comfortable, easy to find and wear well, lasting a long time. They also stay wet, collect hair and hold odors. Nylon or satin does not collect hair, dries incredibly fast and because it dries quickly it doesn't smell either. 

Shoes should be closed toe and non slip. I know that people who work in shops love to wear flip flops and sandals, and so do I, but to keep it safe a proper shoe is critical. FEL-420-2T Also, a good shoe will make you more comfortable and cause less pain in the feet and legs at the end of a long day grooming. Crocs are great for some people but I cannot wear them. Sneakers are good support but get wet and that's it. I wear Alegria shoes in several styles to work in. they are great and cute to boot! I require my staff to have on good shoes and they can get in trouble if they don't have on shoes that fit the bill.

 Overall, a clean, neat appearance is important if you want to be treated as a professional and be respected by your client base. If you are charging a premium for your services it is CRITICAL that you dress the part of a person that is worthy of that price. Remember that the clients perspective is the most important one, and they WILL judge a book by its cover.

Dress for success and it will find you.


Free at Last

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I have had a policy in my salon for 14 years that a phone must be answered when it rings before the 4th ring, preferably the second. Recently however this has interfered with me being able to do my job the way I wanted to do it. There are times the phone will ring and I really want to throw it out the window. LITERALLY!

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A few weeks ago I decided that we were solidly booked on a Saturday and there was no way I could take any more dogs. My son said "Mama, it is OK to not answer the phone! Put a message on that says 'sorry we are full' and let the machine pick up!" See, I have this real emotional attachment to many of my clients. I have a really hard time saying "Sorry" to some of them as they have been loyal, dependable clients for 10 years or more!

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When we have 30 dogs in the door however, it is really hard to add any more without compromising quality. I had to do something, and my son, for all his talk, is no better at telling people no than I am, and my apprentice is getting to the point that she recognizes client's names on the caller ID and she has the same "illness" we have when it comes to telling people "Sorry, we have no room."

SO I have given myself permission to use my answering machine on days when we are open, not just on the weekends.

I state that we are busy, no appointments until XXX and ask them to leave a message and someone will return their call between 4 and 5:30pm. I also explain that we are not answering the phone to allow us to pay attention to the pets we are working on, and if their pet is currently in the shop, they will be ready at the appointed pick up time.

Today we let the machine pick up from 7:45am until noon. We had 10 calls to return at the end of the day. It meant I was able to help dry dogs without stressing about missing a call or stopping every five minutes to answer the phone, which means taking off my headphones, turning off my dryer, securing my dog, etc. etc..

Feel free to use your answering machine as a receptionist if you are truly too busy to answer the phone. Your clients that truly value your service will appreciate that you care enough about the pets to not answer the phone while working on their babies. New clients will be a bit harder to impress, but with luck they will think you are very busy and that will make them want to bring their puppies to you. If you are busy enough to use the machine however, you will not necessarily want new clients! Use this as a tool to help you do more work in your salon and relieve stress in your life to a degree as well.

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Service with a smile is still my motto, but in order to continue to offer that I have to make some changes, and this is one that makes me happy(er).

I feel like a free woman! Free at last to do what needs to be done without being tied to the telephone! Now if I can just get more people to leave a message.........


Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

I can advise a client until I am blue in the face on what I think will look good on their pet but ultimately it is the owner's decision and nothing I say can change that. When I am asked to do something that I think is going to be aesthetically not pleasing to my eye, I simply repeat out loud "I don't have to look at it once it leaves". That makes the task a bit easier to swallow most of the time.

Then we have times like today. A client brought in two old dogs, not in bad shape. Some mats, but not so bad that I had to peel the hair off or anything, but I knew what he wanted done. See, the first time he came in the door I left cute teddy faces and ears with a long fluffy tail. When he picked up he looked so very sad. His English is not very good and he had a hard time communicating what he wanted to me the first time. We finally worked it out, but it was not easy and it was frustrating for both of us since I wanted them to be cute and he just wanted them the way he was used to seeing them. We got lucky that first day that another client came in that could translate for him as he was picking up his dogs and I couldn't believe that he wanted me to do what I was being told, but when I did it his smile got huge and his eyes were actually weepy.

What did he want? He wanted all of the hair off. ALL OF IT! Ears, head, tail, face and body. All shaved off with a 7F. These guys were so cute to me before that haircut and so darn ugly afterwards, but they are not my dogs, and he loved it.

I do what my clients ask as long as it doesn't hurt them, and even though this is ugly to me it is not harmful to the dogs.

So I grin and bear it, accept the $20 tip he leaves every time and repeat often : "I don't have to look at it once it leaves". "I don't have to look at it once it leaves". "I don't have to look at it once it leaves".


My Secret Weapon

I have a trick I use to ensure that the dog on my table gets the same haircut it got last time, even if I have never groomed the dog before. The trick is really simple and when you realize it, you will probably think to yourself, "Now WHY didn't I think of that?" unless of course you know my secret as well!

If you find a spot, say a pad, a poodle foot or face, the area around the rectum, the tummy, or even under the eyes is generally speaking cut really short. Whatever length you take off those areas will tell you how much to take off the rest of the dog to ensure the same haircut they had before. Cut off an inch? Take off an inch all over. Take off a quarter inch? Then take off a quarter inch! This may not work as well with two or three inches of hair, but for those that are well maintained it is a remarkable trick to have in your arsenal.

Simply follow the same outline for the head and take off the same amount from the edges of the haircut. Same with the body, and the ears, tail, legs...if you take off the same amout that you take off those short areas you will have the same haircut the person likes every time. If they want the dog longer than last time, then you take off a bit less and if they want the dog shorter then you take off more.

NOW it is important that you do NOT change the shape. For example, if the head is round, stay with that shape. If it is "poodle on top and Teddy on the bottom" follow that shape. DO NOT change the way the dog looks, just simply take off length.

This is really helpful in shops with multiple groomers or if you are grooming a dog that usually goes somewhere else. Also, that new client from out of state? This technique will pretty much guarantee the same groom they had before.

You can mess up to a degree if they have had a mini groom done in between grooms, but if they have not had that done, it is a foolproof, easy way to get consistency in your grooms even if you change stylists.

I have to admit I am horrible about writing down instructions for a groom, but by utilizing this technique my staff and I can insure that the dogs will look the same everytime they are in the shop.