Coquitlam dog groomer Miriam talks about her dogs, her 'puppy', and stories of life as a dog groomer.
I have been having fun with my dog collar hobby. Oh yes, and bows too. I love to sit and listen to my audio books and sew and create fun designs. Sure I could probably sell this stuff, but I like to give them to my customers, I appreciate their business and it is my tip to them :)
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and always, Happy Tails!
Whenever I'm grooming a dog, or relating to any dog for that matter, I always try to put my intentions ahead of my actions in an empathetic way, so the dog can read my body language and silent words in my eyes and know what I am about. This way the dog can express to me without having to 'yell' any concerns, like being scared of nail clipping, brushing mats, or clippering ticklish feet. I can listen to them and take extra care to be gentle and reassuring on nervous areas. I also talk in a normal tone of voice and explain everything I am doing as I work. This is how I can groom a dog that may otherwise be difficult to groom, not trusting what is going on.
This guy had wispy leg hair and a plush undercoat on his body, so I clipped the body 1/4", and scissored the legs short to get rid of all stray away hair. I gave him a dense fox like tail, and left a spunky topknot to balance his ears and face. I was happy with how he turned out, but more importantly so were his Mom and Dad.
Shamrock is one of two beautiful Samoyed's that I have the pleasure of grooming. I am in awe of their majestic beauty. I would love to have a Samoyed one day. Okay okay, you are starting to get the idea, there are a lot of breeds that I fall in love with and wish to share my home with. Still, Samoyed's do have a special place in my soul. I love the north, and I love the spitz breeds.
When I was 9 years old my favorite stuffed animal was a soft and fluffy Samoyed, which ended up not so soft after a while because I bathed and brushed and blow dried it, ha ha. I have always loved grooming :D Synthetic toy fur did not respond so well to my attention as this gorgeous boy above.
What I was most excited about today was to get to use my new brushes and Fishtail Shears. It makes such a difference in efficiency to use good tools! My old brush was starting to get worn out and broken, so I got two new ones.
The Fishtail shears are amazing. They just created them a few years ago and wow. They are awesome. Perfect for trimming the double coated breeds, they save a lot of time and leave a nice tidy but natural finish. Can't wait till my next Golden Doodle or similar breed comes in so I can try them on some other coats! And the Entree's are a longer bladed scissor perfect for the larger breeds.
Merry Christmas and Happy Tails!
This is Neeko. His sister brought him to me because she has had no luck in finding a groomer who understood what she wanted when she said to trim up his hind end. He is an old dog, and his mom and dad don't want to upset him by brushing him if it makes him uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, this meant he always came home with NO pants, and that makes a double coated breed look rather funny. I have always loved shaping up the pants on breeds like this, whether it is just a light and natural tidy, a shorter yet natural tidy, or a smooth and trimmed up short style. Here is Neeko's hind end, or 'pants' before and after:
Now, just for cuteness sake, here is his little nephew that came in with him to learn the ropes of relaxing at the dogSpaw, a darling Boston Terrier mix Ronin.
Happy Tails to all!
(Is it time for Santa Paws yet??!!)
I love the teddy bear donut muzzle! I learned this from top groomer's pet styles, and have been excited to find some furry faces to style this way. What do you think? It makes them extra cute, yes?
Abby came to me because her sister, who usually grooms her, got busy with school and didn't have the time anymore. Understandable, and that's what I'm here for!
She had gotten quite matted and long, so I cut a bunch of the coat away before the bath, which is where you see her in the top picture. All those clumpy curls are mats.
In the bath I gently worked the shampoo through all the tangles, and brushed the cream rinse through to continue to loosen the works.
Using the high velocity dryer (the orange one on the floor) helps to break up the mats even further. 'Puppy' decided to help with the hand held dryer too.
By working the mats a little bit at a time the whole way through, I was able to save a nice length and give Abby a really cute style.
Puppy has always been good at helping. Sometimes it is sweet and nice, like helping with Abby, sometimes I could live with a little less of his 'help'!
I have been making stylized collars for the dogs for a while, and have a sewing station set up in our craft/computer room. Well, 'Puppy' got to use scissors for the first time at craft in preschool the other day, and I guess he decided to use his new skill to help with the collars. EEk! Oh, dear. Well, good thing I'm moving on from this pattern and doing Christmas collars now!
All his helping is tiresome work though, so what does a 'Puppy'/Groomer's helper do when he gets sleepy?
Well, go lie down for a nap in the dog's 'bed' of course!!
I have had a pack of Golden Doodles come to see me in the last couple weeks! This makes me happy because I really love the breed, I love the looks, the variety in them, and their sweet temperament. Four of them live together in a real pack, that actually includes five, and I'm kinda jealous. I always wanted to have a pack of dogs! Well, right now my pack is populated with quite a few boys, and two canines. It's a good thing my husband is a dog lover because I see the canine aspect growing in the future! Here are three of the four that came to see me, so sorry Keesha, I didn't get a picture of you! The star mom of these three:
Then I also had the sweet Rosie, sister to two darling little boys. Her coat is different again, more in between the retriever and poodle. All three above have different degrees of curls, and they have one sibling with a flat coat. Rosie has a wavy but fluffy coat. So many different options in the gene pool! Her mom wanted her to have some length, but short enough that sticks and leaves wouldn't get tangled in her coat.
So I did 3/4" on her body, and 1/4" on the front of her legs and feet. I didn't want it to look like a contrived Golden style, but just used the natural pattern of a Golden to give a little more practical length without losing too much everywhere else. I think it worked out well :)
This is Sammi. I have bathed and dried her in this picture, and she is ready to be groomed. She recently came home from boarding, and had a few sores (maybe from playing with other dogs? :( ) which her mom wanted to have her shorter in order to care for easier.
We decided to give her a body length about half of what she was. I used a #13 blade, which leaves a nice plush length.
Some coats can be tricky to clip, and you have to go with the growth of the fur. The sides are the most difficult to leave smooth, and who wants to see big lines in the fur? THAT's not natural looking ;P
This is where a good pair of thinning shears save the day. I love my thinning shears, and couldn't groom a single dog without them. Blend blend blend!
There, doesn't that look better?
When doing feet I always check between the toes for mats. It's just one of those places that seem to get them, along with the inside of the front legs, chest, behind the ears.....
Anyway, sure enough Sammi had mats between all her toes, so I cut those out with scissors.
So, here you have Sammi, all finished and looking very pretty after her spaw day!
My 'Puppy' loves the dogs that visit the spaw. He doesn't get many opportunities to get up and personal with them all, but Sammi is a big lover, and she was quite happy to share some hug time. So sweet!
I recently wrote an article for a blog called 'P is for Preschooler', a great resource blog of all sorts of things you can do together with your toddler/preschool aged child.
My article is on helping your little one approach and pet dogs, because they almost always want to 'pet the doggie!' Go check it out now to read the article and be sure to browse the rest of her site for some great kids stuff!
Imma leave that picture nice and big. I can't help it. Every time this guy comes to the spaw I can't get over how cute he is. Look at his little face!
Rosco came in to get cleaned up after recovering from an ear infection. Ear infections are just sooo common in dogs, I think there will be a lot of people that can relate to this: .....the greasy hair that is left from the medicine. You shampoo it, and it stays. You shampoo it again, and yet....it stays, greeeeasy.
Rosco's right ear and surrounding area were like this when he came in, even though he'd had three baths at home since he'd recovered.
You want to know what works? Okay, I'll tell you. Before wetting the hair down, use the shampoo concentrate straight on the dry hair. I discovered this trick after I was working with my husband on something mechanical (I can't imagine what, I don't remember) but the thing was my hands were black and greasy. I got my hands wet and then used a dollop of that Fast Orange industrial cleaner that mechanics use and tried to wash it all off. It didn't work. Then my husband told me it only works if you don't wet your hands, but put the cleaner straight on the grease, scrub like heck, and THEN rinse. Well really. This does make a lot of sense. Oil and water don't mix!
Ever since I've been bathing greasy fur by putting the soap on the dry fur and it works wonders to get rid of the grease. I used to use a bit of dishsoap on the first shampoo (I always shampoo twice), and that works too, but now I only do that if absolutely necessary. I only used the dishsoap on medicated grease on ears, not on the body of a dog that has a greasy coat, just to clarify.
So, as you can see by the large size photo of the oh so cute Rosco above, his right ear came out beautifully, after I just used the straight shampoo on the dry fur. Happy Tails.
I can't believe it's been two years since this little boy came into the world and blessed us with his sweet presence!
It wasn't a very playful day for him, he spent the day with me as I worked in the spaw. Here he is, hanging out in everybody's favorite spot, the cushie bath mat at the top of the stair to the tub. He of course has his doggie blankie with him there too.
He did get a special treat when Dad came home though, a puppy shaped birthday cake! What a perfect find for this little dog lover!
Thanks for being my grooming buddy and constant entertainment my little one. How can you not be happy at work when you look over and see a 2 year old with boots up to his waist waddling over to you? LOL! Love my 'Puppy', Happy Birthday to you <3
Happy Tails everyone! Have a great day!
Professional All Breed Groomer with over 15 years experience, following my passion for dogs, creativity, and grooming excellence!