Don’t pick a job, Pick a boss



This is incredibly true.


And ESPECIALLY if you are your own boss!!!


If you distrust your private self, if you discredit your professional self, if you doubt or devalue your career talent and unique skill...

Others will as well.

Trust your ability and trust it to guide you.

Don’t. Let. Your. Opportunity. Become. A. Restraint.

Grooming Mindfully

Listening to Mary Oquendo’s Women Petpreneurs podcast with Barb Hoover- great interview!

Podcast here:


Barb is another woman at the forefront of Mindful Grooming, and creating the best possible experience for the pets that come to her for care. 


Be sure to check out her Grooming the Difficult Dog book, and keep an eye out for the up-and-coming 2nd edition!

(My blog review which contains an ordering link!)


And another great blog listing more common canine diseases and ailments that can affect the grooming process:




Women Petpreneurs Podcast!


Did you know that our industry has a new podcast available for our listening pleasure?

Each episode Mary Oquendo invites a hard working woman from our vast array of pet care professions who works for the betterment of our industry as a whole, to share their stories and insight.

 If you like listening to lighthearted conversations from women who have been there and done that and who might be able to help you out, I encourage you to find this podcast online and have a listen! 

 Here is the episode where Mary interviewed yours truly:

Cat Hair!



Did you know that cats have a different type of hair than dogs? 

While dogs have an imbricate (smooth) hair shaft like humans, cats actually have a spinuous or barbed hair shaft similar to that of a rose stem. This is why cat hair is so good at catching on things and why cats can groom so efficiently with their barbed tongues against the rough hair cuticle.

Yeast Issues




I try to talk about yeast at each Certified Canine Esthetician Class. As groomers we see a LOT of skin symptoms in the salon that can be attributed to yeast proliferation or overgrowth. 

There are currently ~1,500 documented strains of yeast, which is a fungus. 

It resides on every surface and helps to create a naturally balanced ecosystem by maintaining beneficial bacteria levels and helping to synthesize pathogens and surface bacteria that become overpopulated.


With pet’s, topical and systemic yeast overgrowth happens for a variety of reasons. From poor diet and nutrition to over vetting compromising the immune system, to underlying medical & genetic issue. 

The skin & coat and systemic symptoms can have common threads, but also be quite varying.

Yeast (being misdiagnosed) as allergies is one of the most common medical diagnoses that I deal with in my area as well as a general opinion of most of the groomers that attend my program. 

From there without a support system of veterinarian opinion to help you address the issues that you continue to see at each grooming visit, it can be incredibly hard to really turn things around for the long term.


But as groomers we have an immeasurable value of often being at the forefront of discovering these issues and therefor creating intervention & positive change.

At any rate, with each event visit we can undeniably create a positive change and give relief for the pet that sees us.

Below is an article that describes this aspect more.

An excerpt from this great article:


“Yeast organisms have a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with Staph bacteria on the skin.  More bacteria on the skin = more yeast on the skin.  Staphylococcus bacteria and Malassezia yeast produce mutually beneficial growth factors and alterations in their microenvironment.  It is common for dogs with a yeast overgrowth to also have a bacterial infection. Yeast produce proteins and glycoproteins that allow the staph bacteria to adhere to skin cells.  Keep in mind that the yeast organisms DO NOT INVADE the skin beyond the outer layer (stratum corneum).  Yeast dermatitis results from an inflammatory or hypersensitivity reaction to yeast products and antigens.”

My guest spot on the The Groom Pod

Barbara Bird & Susy Scott were kind enough to have me as a guest on their Groom Pod!
If you want to laugh and learn and invest in the careers of two amazing ladies, please hit your favorite podcast app or the website at , and have a listen- you won't regret it!
Here's a link to the episode I got to help with:

Finished pins versus unfinished pins on our brushes & slickers:
For those that don’t know what that means-
Typically pins that are set into a slicker brush backing are cut off blunt & straight at the tip as the wire is fed through the cutter machine.
They are then bent into a staple like shape, and pressed or fed tip first through the brush backing or padding.
Some manufacturers add the pins a little differently, but that’s basically how it’s done.
Pin brushes are created a little differently though as their pins puncture the back pad singularly and are not double thread.
The blunt cut wires and pins that are not finished or rounded off, can be incredibly sharp on the tip. This can cause coat stretching and breakage and skin irritation.
Finished pins when looked at closely will have a small dome or rounded tip on each pin to help with slip through the coat, to help with anti-static, anti-breakage, etc.
Personal preference is how we usually select our brushes, but this is why certain brushes from manufacturers can have a higher price tag as well as the ergonomics of the design and the quality of the materials.
But they do make a drastic difference when using one over the other.


Tip for Groomers Using Paper Appointment Books

~Just a tip to share for those groomers who still schedule in a paper book. 

Many of you have probably already thought of this so perhaps it’s a better tip for newbie groomers. 

I bought these plastic coated flags to secretly color code & flag client cards for special issues like biting, owner stays, or no call/no shows, etc in a way that got my attention but still didn’t lead on as to what the flag meaning was in front of the client.


They are proving helpful to also use in my appointment book to mark out the number of weeks from the current day so that when clients pre-book in the regular rotation it’s easy to find a specific week they will want.  No more counting & flipping pages (and maybe miscounting because you hurried!) while the client waits. 

All you do is back up the tabs at the end of each week or to start your new work week.


To Shave Or Not To Shave?

I have had quite a few messages coming in from various outlets asking me for my opinion on this recently shared article online.



There are really only a few *minor statements that I don’t entirely agree with.  For instance, the types of hair on a dog not just being (2) guard hair or undercoat hair, but in fact there being a third type that is sometimes referred to as “tertiary” or secondary undercoat by various educators within our industry. This resides most commonly within the Nordic breeds of dogs and is a lesser hair coat type designed specifically for thermoregulation and adding additional loft and insulation for the body. There are also two types of tactile hairs interspersed within the canine and feline hair coat that serve a definite purpose in the relating of real-time perception and the adaptive systems of the pet and how it relates to its immediate environment. These are important as well.

The porosity of this third undercoat hair coat type and the density with which it creates the overall hair coat of the dog is why it has a propensity to really make a mess of things when you clip certain breeds down short all at once.

I do also feel that undercoat hair sheds much more cyclically than two times a year. This again relies just as much on not just the breed of dog, but within that category, it’s further individual genetic code, living/care  environment, as well as other factors including general physical health, medical and vaccination protocols, etc. So again, proof of the point that this is a case-by-case scenario.

Clipping down a dog with ample undercoat still has an eventual unforeseeable outcome. But this professional decision can be entered into best when you have as much factual information and objective knowledge under your belt as possible.

I am grateful for this article because our industry NEEDS more open minded discussion and less steadfast devotion to one side of the fence or the other. I understand the mines interest in deciding a black-and-white yes or no on anything that is important to our profession and our liability they are in, but as with many other important aspects of life, the important things can rarely be entirely black and white. 😉

I ask you to *please take the time to read through this lengthy article, (you really can’t effectively “skim” it) take mental notes, and bookmark it to hold onto for referral back to, should you have any questions later on.


For those who asked for it, my professional opinion is that clipping down a dog with ample undercoat must be done carefully because there are a host of possible outcomes all of which *you have a certain amount of liability for in the event of an adverse effect as a professional business/caregiver. 

The same goes for Terrier (and TerrierX breeds, all of which cycle coat far different than any other breed class) breeds whose clippering can also alter coat type and the overall health of the dog!

You may find yourself to decide an absolute one way or the other just to keep things simple for your work each day. 

And that decision is entirely individual as much as it is for the pet on your table in front of you.

I will say in my salon that absolutely no dog gets clipped down shorter than a #4F on a double coated breed. And that NONE of that clipping is done until after the dog has been completely bathed, completely dried, and brushed out with its *full natural coat length FIRST*.

Clipping down this type of coat is always done as a final step process which only is completed when I have cared sufficiently for ALL of the coat that the dog initially came in with. 

If you need clarification on that process that I enact at my own salon, and which I recommend within my certification material, please contact me and I will happily delve deeper.



Article on spay-induced coat changes:


Supportive article on thermal animal imaging:






Grooming The Difficult Dog, by Barb Hoover


From time to time a WONDERFUL piece of work and an IMPORTANT learning opportunity will come across my desk. 

And it just happened again!!


We all know groomers can come under fire through media. And we all know many of us try to head off bad things from happening by working together to be proactive against animals getting hurt or yet another media blitz against groomers being forged- especially by trying to educate other groomers.

Our industry is filled with talented and intelligent people who have so much to share towards the betterment of all of our work we do each day, and to really help the pets that we care for.


I want to share with you a book that I got to read and just HAD to get the word out about it.

I recommend this book to EVERYONE who works with animals all day; I hope you’ll support Barb Hoover’s great work and