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April 2014

One Proud Mama


There are times when you are impressed with the adult your child became. Right now I am that proud mama. On Saturday, April 26th at the University Of New Hampshire in Durham, my daughter, Jessica Pollard, along with her friend Amanda Kane, shaved their heads as part of a fundraiser for the St. Baldricks Foundation.


In the 1950s, almost all kids diagnosed with cancer died. Today, thanks to organizations such as St. Baldricks and caring individuals, about 85% of kids with common cancers will live. But there is still need for more research if children with other types of cancer are to survive. It is estimated that one in 300 children will develop cancer.


It was the frat boys of Sigma Phi Epsilon who organized this fundraiser. They raised over $11,000.  Hard to call them boys, when they are truly men, 40 of which are bald as well. I imagine each of these men also has a proud mama. Jessica and Amanda alone raised over $3,200.  The local paper covered the event, and you can read the article online.


The inspiration for Jessica’s head shaving is the incredible Miss Sidney Christensen.  Sidney was born with a rare spinal tumor. One of only 12 ever recorded. She had surgery when she was 9 days old to remove it. It was followed shortly by chemotherapy. Doctors did not think she would ever walk, but the incredible Miss Sidney Christensen now runs and dances. You can read more about Sidney on her St. Baldricks Honorary page.  Sidney is recovering from her last surgery and has been pronounced CANCER FREE.


Of course, the head shaving was recorded.

The "Shaving."


Both Amanda and Jessica donated their hair to Children With Hair Loss. They make and provide wigs at no cost to children with cancer.


My hat is off, although Jessica’s hat may be on at the moment, to all the participants.  You all rock!


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Spring Safety Tips 2014


After this past winter, I am very excited to present SPRING SAFETY TIPS!!! 




Poisonous snakebites are extremely painful. Keep a muzzle handy. The bite may not be immediately noticeable due to hair coverage. Signs include redness and swelling at the site, nervousness, weakness, disorientation, excessive salivating, vomiting, respiratory distress, and seizures. In the case of respiratory distress, remove the muzzle. Since the symptoms of snakebite and anaphylactic shock are so similar, check for possible wound sites. Pay particular attention to areas where they are licking. When we become overwrought our bodies give off specific pheromones. Your pets, in turn, becomes more excited and stressed. As their heart beats faster, the poison works that much quicker. Remaining calm helps. Remove all collars and clothing (from your pet, not you!) as body swelling may occur. Call you veterinarian FIRST and then transport ASAP.


There are two ways to treat a poisonous snakebite. The first is with anti-venin. Many vets do not stock this as it is very expensive and has an expiration date. The second is to treat it as an allergic reaction with antibiotics, steroids, fluid replacement, and pain relief. The sooner it is treated, the better the chance of recovery. If you live in an area with poisonous snakes, keep a constricting band in you pet first aid kit. Additionally, discussing options with your vet before snakebite is a good idea.


Treat nonpoisonous snakebites as wounds. Inform your vet, as they may want to prescribe a round of antibiotics.


A poisonous snakebite has two clear fang marks. A nonpoisonous snakebite has two semicircles of teeth marks. 




Though coyotes hunt mainly from dusk to dawn, females will hunt during the day to feed hungry pups. Do not think your 90lb. golden is safe. They hunt in packs and are highly intelligent, aggressive, and fast. Leash walk your pet and keep cats indoor during peak hunting times. I walk my dogs with an air horn. Most hardware stores carry them and are small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. The loud noise tends to scare them off if they are not rabid.




Bats, raccoons, skunks, and other animals are out in full force. If bitten, your pet will need veterinarian treatment as well as receive a rabies booster. If your pet is not current, they will be quarantined. You can rinse wounds with a surgical scrub. You can find it in the first aid supplies aisle of most stores.




You have a short window to de-skunk your pet. Their spray is oil based. The longer you wait, the more is absorbed into your pet’s skin. Have your de-skunking ready. My kit contains a plastic bucket, scrubber, small box of baking soda, small bottle of hydrogen peroxide, eyewash, and a small bottle of pet degreasing shampoo. It works better on a dry coat. I rinse the eyes both before and after the bath. Combine the rest of the ingredients with warm water, scrub and rinse will. Throw away any cloth collars, as they are not salvageable.




Insect, bee and spider bites can cause your pet to go into anaphylactic shock. This is life threatening. Do not use tweezers to remove bee stingers, as this will squeeze more venom into your pet’s body. Use a credit card instead. Place the card under the stinger to lift it up and then flick it out.


Symptoms include pain, redness and swelling at site, unconsciousness, seizures, excessive salivation, vomiting, and respiratory distress. This is very similar to snakebite. Keeping calm helps your pet to stay calm. It is a good idea to investigate whenever your pet is licking at an area, as it may be the first sign of a bite. Your pet first aid kit should contain an antihistamine dosed for your pet by your veterinarian. If you suspect anaphylactic shock, contact your veterinarian for instructions prior to your arrival at their office.




They spread disease and severe illnesses. Every year there seems to be another new tick borne disease. Use a preventative. I, personally, do not use topical spot on products. I feel that the cons far outweigh the pros. In it’s place I use essential oil based products. The biggest drawback is they need daily application. Aromapaws, Aromadog, and Pet Naturals of Vermont make repellants I have used with success. 




Know which plants, bulbs, and shrubs are hazardous to your pets. The ASPCA’s website;, has a comprehensive list of poisonous plantings. Many commercially prepared types of mulch are treated with chemicals that are toxic and cocoa mulches contain cocoa, AKA chocolate. Store fertilizers and pesticides in their original containers and away from your pets. Keep pets away from treated areas, as they will absorb toxins through the skin or pads. In addition, they may lick their paws and ingest the poison.




Poison Controls number is 888-426-4435 and their website is Pet Poison Helplines number is 1-800-213-6680 and their website is This is not a free service, but will be the best money ever spent as minutes matter in poisonings. Both hotlines are staffed with pharmacology-trained veterinarians. What are free are the refrigerator magnets from their websites and Pet Poison Helpline has an app for the smart phones.  


Frontline is fatal for rabbits. As with any product, use it in its intended manner. The label must indicate it is safe for your pet.


Keep holiday candy out of reach. Chocolate contains Theobromine. It affects the heart and circulatory systems. Even small amounts are dangerous. Pets cannot process Theobromine and it builds up in their bodies. Sugar free candies contain xylitol. It is fatal. Wrappers can cause intestinal obstructions and know where you hide the Easter Eggs. You don’t want your pet to eat a rotten one.




Spring storms bring thunder and lightning. It can be fearful for some pets causing them to run off. Make sure your pet is well identified. A well-identified pet has a better chance of returning home. Thundershirts,; is a snug fitting jacket that helps alleviate anxiety during storms. Herbal remedies, from Bach’s and Alaskan Essences; may offer some relief.


We are transitioning from cold to heat related injuries. A pet can suffer a heatstroke in a parked car when the temperature exceeds 78 degrees in as little as 15 minutes. A pet suffering from heatstroke needs immediate attention. Cool them off gradually with lukewarm water. DO NOT USE COLD WATER OR ICE, as it will create a thermal barrier. This thermal barrier will hinder your pets’ ability to cool down. Call your veterinarian ASAP for instructions.




As nicer weather comes our way, thoughts of dog parks, hiking and other travel destinations come to mind. Are you prepared to travel with your pet? A good resource guide is Let’s Go Fido by yours truly. Visit my website at for details on how to order this invaluable guide.




Do you know where your after hours emergency pet hospital is? Is their phone number handy? Calling them before you leave gives them time to prepare for your arrival as well as give you any life saving instructions. Make a practice run, so you will know exactly where they are. It is not a good idea to try to locate them in a state of panic.


Is your pet first aid kit and hiking kit stocked with what you need? Here is a link to my article at Groomer To Groomer magazine detailing my personal pet first aid kits.

Antifreeze leaks can happen any time of the year. They clean up easily with soap and water. Antifreeze is fatal.


Trust me, Its here, so take a few minutes to Spring-proof your pets’ life. They will thank you for it.

Auction to benefit the GEAF

The Groomer's Emergency Assistanace Fund is holding an auction. Some of the best in our industry have graciously offered their time and expertise to a lucky bidder. I know I look up to all of these wonderful speakers. The bidding will continue until April 8th.

You must bid on the auction page.  Auctions For Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund. 

1. Suesan Watson's grooming career stretches over 40 years and she has received many class and group placings, including “Wahl 2003 Groomer of the Year” and three “Cardinal Crystal American Groomer of the Year” awards. She was also one of the top five competitors on ”Groom Team USA” for five years.
Winner can either travel to Suesan in Hoffman Estates, IL or pay her travel expenses to come to you. She would help the winner with whatever they wanted to work on, everyday grooming, faces, feet, how to change things up overall or competing skills. $250 day value.
Minimum bid $125.

2.Spend a half day with award winning GroomTeam USA member Veronica Frosch! Veronica has garnered many placements as well as multiple Best in Show and Best All Around wins. She won the Cardinal Crystal Achievement Award for Groomer of the year in 2008 and helped bring home the gold in the world team competitions in 2009 and 2013. 
Veronica will work with winner on anything pet grooming, competition poodles any division, technical (scissoring) any division, other breeds beginner and intermediate. $250 value, non-transferable and expires one year from date of auction. Winning bidder can travel to her in Coon Rapids, MN, or she will travel to you providing winner pays expenses for all travel, food and hotel.
Minimum bid $125.

3.Mackensie Murphy is a second generation groomer, basically raised under a grooming table. After growing up at trade shows and watching the contests, she started grooming on her own at the age of 18. In the past 9 years she's worked for, and studied under a handful of our industry's best. Mackensie began grooming competitively in 2011, where she moved up very quickly. She has been awarded multiple best in shows, best all around groomer, and a 3 time winner of the prestigious Liz Paul memorial best scissored poodle award. Mackensie is currently ranked # 3 on GroomteamUSA and is determined to make the next traveling team.
A one day (6 hour) lesson is valued at $500. Mackensie is willing to travel if fees are paid however, it would be easier scheduling wise if the winner comes to her. Mackensie is in Syracuse, NY. She will do anything on competitive grooming, hand scissoring, poodle, American cocker, bedlington, or any other every day sort of grooming. Minimum bid $250.

4. Kendra Otto graduated from The Great Lakes Academy of Professional Pet Styling in 1997. She ranked in the top 10 in the country for 4 consecutive years as well as the Number 1 pet stylist in the state of IL for those 4 years. She has placed at every major grooming competition around the country and won multiple Best in Show/Best All Around Groomer awards; her other awards consist of: multiple Creative Styling awards, Artistic Innovation award, she was invited to participate in the Superzoo Jackpot Contest in Las Vegas where she placed 6th out of 20 in a class of 50. She was the recipient of the prestigious Liz Paul Scissoring Award, the Will Stone Memorial Award for kindness to animals.
Kendra was also the first recipient of the Groomie Spirit Award, a nominee for 2009 Cardinal Crystal American Groomer of the Year; the 2011 and 2012 Cardinal Crystal Congeniality Award.

Kendra is an International Pet Styling Consultant for the Andis Company teaching seminars and blogging tips for pet stylists. She is also a published author in Grooming Industry Magazines, she teaches seminars worldwide, she is also published via video through the website and Andis home grooming tools YouTube videos. She is an International Judges Association certified judge and a United Show Managers Alliance certified judge, She is a certified pet stylist through National Dog Groomers Association of America, the International Professional Groomers Association and will continue on to become a master and certifier for them. She served as the secretary and is currently a board member for GroomTeam USA. She has appeared several times as a guest on the radio show called “Ask the Pet Vet” for WTMJ in Milwaukee, WI. She is also a host for Barkleigh Productions’ a live Ustream of grooming competitions throughout the USA.
I will donate one 5 hour day of training, the buyer has to join Kendra at her location in Chicago, IL. There is a one year expiration date and Kendra is open to what ever the buyer wants to learn; competition training, pet grooming, specialty breed work. Value set at $400.00. Minimum bid $200.
5. Scott Wasserman is a multiple Best In Show and Best All Around Groomer winner. He was the Intergroom International Groomer of the Year in 2001 and two time Best In Show winner at the U.S. Pet Pro Classic. Scott is a member of GroomTeam USA winning gold medals in England and Italy.
Full day of private is valued at $600. Scott can do anything requested. Lesson can be at the salon in Valparaiso IN or the winner pays travel expenses. Minimum bid $300
6.Lindsey Dicken is a National Certified Master Groomer. She has been grooming for 9 years, and has been grooming competitively for 7. Prior to becoming a pet stylist, Lindsey was active in preparing and exhibiting draft horses. Since beginning her dog grooming career, Lindsey has competed all over the world and won multiple Best All Around Groomer awards, Best Scissored Poodle award, World Champion Poodle Groomer, and Intergrooms American Groomer of the Year. She received the Lynn Carver Memorial Award for Best All Around Pet Stylist multiple years and the Cardinal Crystal American Groomer of the Year in 2012 and 2013. Lindsey has won several Best In Shows, most notably wins at Intergroom 2009, 2010, & 2013 with a Bichon Frise. Lindsey also won the Barkleigh Award for Competitive Groomer of the Year 2012 & 2013. She has qualified for GroomTeam USA's Top Ten Stylists every year she was eligible, reaching #6 her very first year. She was #1 ranked groomer in the nation for 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, & 2013, had the honor of traveling to Germany in 2009 to compete in the World Team Grooming Championship. She helped GroomTeam bring home the gold for the USA, winning the gold medal with a Bichon Frise. In 2011, GroomTeam USA traveled to Belgium, and Lindsey helped her team earn the Silver medal, competing with a miniature poodle in English Saddle trim. Most recently, she traveled with the team to Spain, and again won the gold, defeating 15 other countries. Lindsey is best known for her work on Bichins and Poodles, however she has also excelled in competition with Kerry Blue Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaton Terriers, Clumber Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, Gordon Setters, and mixed breeds. In addition to competing in grooming contests, Lindsey also shows her Bichons, miniature poodles, and Soft Coated Wheaton Terriers in AKC conformation shows.
Value is $400, and Lindsey prefers the winning bidder to travel to her in Altamonte Springs, FL, but can travel providing flight and hotel expenses are covered.
Minimum bid $200. 
7. Sue Zecco is a Certified Master Groomer with the National Dog Groomers Association of America and International Pet Groomers Association. With over 35 years experience, Sue has achieved quite a bit in her career. Sue is a multiple grooming contest winner, with many Best In Show and Best All Around Groomer awards to her credit. Her favorite accomplishments include winning Intergrooms International Groomer of the Year with BIS judge the late Serafino Ripamonte, and the Oster Invitationals Grand Champion. She has been a GroomTeam USA member since 1996, and was the first GroomTeam member to earn over 100 points in one years time. She also competed on two World Team Championships in England and Canada, helping the USA bring home both Gold and Silver medals. She was also the coordinator of the team that went to Barcelona, Spain. Sue is the very proud recipient of 6 Cardinal Crystal Achievement Awards, which include American Groomer, Judge, and Congeniality. After retiring from the competition ring, Sue and Jay Scruggs teamed up to do one day seminars throughout the country called Super Styling Sessions. From these one day seminars stemmed the beginning of their very popular DVD series, also called Super Styling Sessions. They now have over 30 in their ever growing library. Sue and her husband Ray own and operate the Pampered Pet Grooming Shop in Paxton, MA. They also breed Champion Standard Poodles under the Dreamcatcher prefix.
Private lesson has a value of $500. Winning bidder has the choice of traveling to Sue in Massachusetts or she will travel to winner with expenses covered.
Minimum bid $250.
8. Lisa Leady was a member of Groom Team USA from 2001-2007. She ended her grooming competition career as the number 2 groomer in the country. Lisa has won numerous judge of the year awards. She has traveled all over the world judging grooming contests and given private lessons to groomers who not only wanted help with competition grooming, but to improve their everyday craft.
Winner of this auction will receive one full day of private lessons. ($500.00 value) Lisa must be the one to travel and those expenses are the responsibility of the winner of auction.
Minimum bid $250.
9. Heather Roozee ("Rozay") is a top 5 ranked member of Groom Team USA. She has been grooming for over 14 years, and competing since 2005. She has achieved numerous placements and wins wit many different breeds. She specializes in poodles and terrier, especiallyhandstripped terriers. Most recently, she won Best in Show at All American, HH Backer, and Dallas Pet Pro Classic in 2013. She also won with poodles at Backer and Dallas. Heather has owned and operated "A Groomery" in DeKalb, IL since 2003. Heather has also joined the AKC conformation ring by conditioning and handling her first show dog, an Airedale Terrier, to his championship. Heather can help you improve your skills, whether for the contest ring or pet styles.
Winning bidder can either come to me in DeKalb, IL, or pay my expenses to come to them. I estimate the value of a full day hands on to be $300.
Minimum bid $150.
10. Jonathan David has had a very diverse career in the dog world. From a young age, he began in the show ring breeding and exhibiting multiple breeds. A graduate of the Nash Academy of Animal Arts, Jonathan had a very successful five year grooming competition career. Jonathan has been the recipient of multiple scissoring awards, multiple Best All Around Groomer awards and Best In Show earning him a position on Groomteam USA in 2008 and 2009. Desiring to take his career further, Jonathan was a contestant on Animal Planets “Groomer Has It” Season 1 and has been featured as a grooming expert on multiple Animal Planet television shows including “Dogs 101”, “Cats 101” and “America’s Cutest Dog.” Jonathan has also been featured as a pet expert on many American television programs including ABC’s “The View” and before moving to Florida he owned and operated a very successful mobile grooming business in NYC boasting a long list of celebrity clientele. Currently, Jonathan lives in south Florida where he owns and operates the Lap Of Luxury Dog Spa, breeds and exibits Biewer Terriers and serves as a board member of multiple dog clubs. Recently Jonathan has moved into yet another phase of his career conducting grooming seminars, judging competitions and he is an award winning national speaker.
Winner will need to travel to Jonathan in Fort Lauderdale, FL for their lesson. A full day lesson is a $500 value. It will be multiple breeds and coat types throughout the day, 9-5. If there is a specific breed request, Jonathan will try to get one, but no guarantee. Lesson will also include seeing how to run a board to accommodate 30+ dogs each day as well as the retail sales and customer service. Minimum bid $250.
11. Irina "Pina" Pinkusevich immigrated from The Ukraine in 1989 with her parents at the age of 18. She realized her passion as a Pet Stylist while working part-time as a bather. Looking to improve her skills & expand her horizons, Irina entered the world of Competitive Grooming in 2006. In her competitive career Irina has won multiple BIS & Best All Around Groomer awards. She is a two time recipient of the Lynne Carver Award for the most Best All Around Groomer wins in 2008 & 2010. Irina was also honored to win the Liz Paul Memorial Award for the most Best in Show wins in 2010 & 2012. She is the winner of the Winner’s Circle Jackpot 2011 where she won $32,500 for grooming Lucas, her champion American Cocker Spaniel. She was Top Groomer of the Year 2008 & 2010. She was awarded Show Groomer of the Year 2012 by Andis presented by Dogs in Review at Westminster Kennel Club. She has been a member of GroomTeam USA from 2008 through 2012. She competed in the World Championships on GroomTeam USA in 2009, 2011, & 2013 helping the U.S. team bring home a Silver & two Golds. Most recently Pina has expanded her career to include International Competition Judge & Seminar Speaker.
Winning bidder will need to travel to Pina in Fort Lauderdale, FL for their lesson. Pina will work with winner on whatever they wish. Lesson value is valued at $500.
Minimum bid $250.
12. Lori Craig, Owner of Doggie Styles in Moore Oklahoma, has been grooming 19 years. She is known for her creative grooming and is President of the Creative Groomers Association. She instructs on the art of creative grooming, both in the states and internationally. Lori's work has been seen on the cover of Groomer to Groomer, TLC 's Extreme poodles, and various other television morning shows. She loves to teach and show the art of creative grooming to others. 

For winning bid, Student will need to come to Moore Oklahoma at Lori's shop, or give notice of plans to attend a class Lori will be teaching at. Winner will also need to supply their own dog, and able to supply their own travel and hotel, We will cover Airbrushing, Color work, Salon Creative and much more. Value at $250 a day.
Minimum bid $125
13. Nicole Kallish, Owner of Sarasota Grooming Company, attended The Academy of Dog Grooming Arts and then successfully ran her mobile grooming business for 6 years in Illinois then Florida. Nicole has worked her way up the ranks in the ring earning many 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placements in entry and intermediate levels, including Best Groomed Dog. She received her first “group” placement at the All American Grooming Show in 2011. Nicole won the title of “Rising Star of the Year” at Intergroom in New Jersey in 2013 and has moved on to the “open” or “expert” level. Nicole was also a Barkleigh Honors nominee for "Up and Coming Groomer of the Year" in 2011 and 2012 and a nominee for the Cardinal Crystal Achievement Awards “Mobile Groomer of the Year” 2011 and 2012. Nicole continues to compete at several grooming shows each year and has recently started writing for industry publications as well as speaking at trade shows.
Nicole will spend a full day with you and can work on any type of pet trim, bathing, drying and prepping, and regularly competes with Bichons, Poodles in a lamb or German trim, Golden Retrievers, English Cockers, Springer Spaniels and mix breeds. She is currently expanding to hand stripping and can help you with the basics. Valued at $400. Nicole prefers winner to come to her in Sarasota, FL, but is willing to travel if expenses are paid.
Minimum bid $200.
Bidding has already begun and will continue until April 8th.