Jasper is a regular customer. When he was younger his leg was removed because of an accident. A while ago, he was playing in the park when he injured a tendon in his remaining back leg. His mom is a super dog mom and does everything for him. She found a vet that set up a surgery for him to repair the injury. Unfortunately the surgeon wasn't informed that he was already three legged and after all the surgery prep (shaved off his lovely puppy cut) said it was not a good idea to risk the one remaining hind leg left with this operation. Poor guy! Jasper is such a happy good natured boy though, he is really seeming to do well despite that painful leg.
I usually do his body with a 1/2" clip-on, but in order to make the shaved area less blaringly obvious I did his body with a 4f this time, and reversed it around the edges of the short area. Then I did his legs with the 1/2" clip-on so he would have minimal time standing for scissoring. I considered giving him some shorter poodle style, but that just isn't his mom's style. We all seemed to be happy with his shorter blended style when he was done, including Jasper!
Oh the sweetness. After yesterday I needed this little guy to make me feel better! Sweet kisses, baby cuteness, my maternal instincts were on full happiness today.
He's about 3 mo's old. Here he is posing outside after his groom. Not sure if there is anything much cuter...
Two of my son's got to play with him today. All my kids love dogs. The oldest already says he wants to work for me when he grows up :P
My day yesterday. Oh my.
The boy is younger, the lighter coloured one. They were..........
a lot of work.
I decided to try the force dryer blow out before the bath, just to see if it was better than doing it after. Sure there are pay-offs, less to wash, less to dry... but I still don't like all the dirty hair blowing around the shop. Don't think I'll do it again. Here is their pre-bath work. Also clipped them 1" all over. And tunnelled them both.
Their leashes and collars were also really staaaanky, so I washed them in a bucket, towel pressed them, then...DUH :( set them on my grooming table with my hair dryer set on low to dry while I bathed. Really not smart of me, even the low setting if it is not moved around will get hot, of course. Wah ha ha, look at my table! Well, I have been planning on getting a hydraulic one. Maybe sooner than later now!
Here they are all done. I tried to make it as easy on myself and them as possible. Neither of them can hold up their own weight for very long, and have to lay down constantly (oh my back). I did the 1" all over, tunnelled with 7f, did feet with 7f (usually use thinners), hocks with 4f, ears with 4f. I had only minimal scissoring to finish. I usually do ears, feet, pants, hocks etc with my thinning shears and scissors. They still looked good!
Then comes cleaning up the aftermath. There is even undercoat sprawling down the sidewalk and mulch outside!
Well, you gotta have a sense of humour, specifically groomer humour :D
This little guy came in for a spring clean up recently. My instructions were to shave him short all over, including the face. I decided to do a 5f instead of a 7f, because he is white and his coat isn't very thick. I scissored his face short, and blended the ears as dad had cut them here and there before hand. I am happy to say his mom was very happy and wanted to tell her friends about me!
Such a healthy happy and well loved boy, he was even part of his Mom and Dad's wedding :) I just love this family!
This was my second time grooming Ben. He is a challenge for me. His Mom said she doesn't like getting him groomed because he always looks kinda funny after.
It is my personal challenge to make all dogs that come to me look cute and have their owners be happy with their styling. I want Ben to look as cute as possible. I think what I did is good, but when I was in the middle of grooming him, just as I was starting his head I was really liking the way he looked with a full topknot and cheeks, and short muzzle. I kept trimming though, because he doesn't come in that often and I didn't want to make a style that would end up in matting that would need to be shaved next time.
He was actually rather matted this time, but by wet clipping him with a 13mm I was able to spend minimal time on the matting and finish him with a 1/2" metal clip-on.
I should have called his mom when I had the thought of leaving his head long though, because when I suggested it to her for next time she said yes, she would like that and always likes when his head grows out and looks longer. Lesson learned, but now I can't wait for his hair to grow so I can try his new style :D
I've been looking for a dematting/shedding conditioner/spray that will work miracles for me. It needs to be natural, non toxic, doesn't weigh the coat down, and doesn't make it take extra time to dry. So, latest test out, Secret Weapon. I ordered this little bottle all the way from Australia after I had heard good things about it. So happy to have got it today, as my dog was matted. Very matted. Actually felted in places. I have the tail mat still, I'm thinking of making a finger puppet out of it.
I gave the dog everything with this product. Sprayed before-hand, shampooed with it mixed it, sprayed again after bath and before drying, and then sprayed as well while brushing. I have to say, I am pretty impressed. Here is this boy's before, and some close ups of the condition of the matting.
I wanted to see what this Secret Weapon could do. Would it let me save any length under these felted mats? Would it break up the felted mats enough for me to brush them out? Well, I think no matter what product I used, this coat was just too far gone. I tried, but I ended up having to shave the felted areas.
I was hoping I would be able to brush out the body, but alas, it was not happening. The blades couldn't even enter the coat to get underneath it, it was really bad. So I started on the head with a 7f where the worst of the felting was, and moved to a 5f on the body. He has an absolutely amazing coat type, and the 5f looked really plush and smooth on him. I am hoping I can use him next year if I decide to compete.
His cheeks were each a big balled mat, so I had to create a short face style for him. His ears weren't saveable either, so I used a 5f on them and scissored the edges.
His tail was the worst. It was just one long felted mat, base to tip. It was rather uncomfortable for him, and I could not break up the felting to brush it. It was too painful. I can't remember the last time I had to shave a tail, I always save them, but this again, just wasn't happening. It ended up looking not too bad though, I kinda like it with his short style!
I used a 5 from the base, but by the time I got half way down the tail I had to switch to my 30 blade just to get under there. The last part of the matting came off and I can put it over my finger like a puppet!
So, I finished just as Mom was pulling up, and he was SO excited I couldn't get a good after picture of him. He was like, play play play, mom mom mom, I so don't care about posing for photos, play play play! lol :D
I gave him asymmetrical bangs like boys have, styled up in the front. Just something fun :) The tail works with the short head style, what do you think?
Well if you hadn't noticed, I have the absolute blessing to be using a very good camera lately. I have shown these two a couple times before I believe, but it's fun to continue as their Asian Fusion styling comes along. We are growing Misha's legs out into full flares, and I just love her little bob.
With Song-yu we are growing her boots out into flares as well. It's coming along! Her back legs are a little shorter because she had been chewing the hair off, but it's growing fine now. These two belong to a local breeder, if you are interested in when they will have future litters, you can leave me a message in the comments :)
I have had Zivah on here before the last time I groomed her. Her mom is the fantastic photographer Rachel Barkman Photography, and this is a photo she took of Zivah after she came home from her spaw day with me.
I was looking forward to grooming Zivah again, specifically because the last time I groomed her I saw her photo on her mom's Facebook page, and noticed that when I trimmed around the top of her ears they ended up a little pointier than I had intended. The breed standard says:
Ears--Strong and thick, erect, triangular and slightly rounded at the tips; should not be large or pointed, nor should they be small and "bear-eared."
Here is a picture of a former best in show Samoyed from Sydney Royal 1994 photo courtesy www.aldonzasamoyeds.com . Looking up best in show pictures for breed standards is a good way to learn to understand the CKC and AKC breed profile. You can see the ears on this beautiful dog fit the description above. And now, so do Zivah's ;P
It's funny, sometimes when you are working on a dog, it takes standing back, looking at the dog in a mirror, or seeing the dog in a photograph to really see what needs fixing or finishing. It is a great way to get perspective. I always stand back when I finish a dog to see the overall look, put them on the floor and let them walk around, shake etc., and then I will see something that needs more work. Dog grooming is an art, it takes focus, skill, attention, and a little bit of talent.
I am not very fast at grooming, but I like to watch the top groomers at seminars and study photos of their work. It is great to have the opportunity to watch these amazing groomers in action, because seeing these masters create their masterpieces in the short time frame they do is just awe inspiring.
Since I started this blog and have been taking photos of my finished work, I have really appreciated the value of the photos showing me anything I need to fix, to achieve the really best finish. I still find it kind of funny how I will immediately be able to see what needs doing in a photo (thank goodness for digital cameras) that I had a hard time seeing on the dog sitting right in front of me.
Sigh, I am happy in this work of the pursuit of excellence in the art of dog grooming.
This is Sapphire. I've posted her picture in my before and after photos, but this time she got a little bit of a different style.
Mom's son likes to go running with her, and wanted her coat left long for warmth. I normally do a regular Schnauzer clip with short furnishings on her, this time I did her in an Asian Fusion style, with a teddy bear body and Asian face. She was really matted on all her furnishings (lots of outdoor time means wet dog + no brushing = matting) Schnauzer fur does demat fairly easily, but the hair is so fine on the legs that it just breaks really, so you can see in her after picture that her furnishings are pretty sparse after dematting.
Professional All Breed Groomer with over 15 years experience, following my passion for dogs, creativity, and grooming excellence!