Having been unwell and unable to work for a year and a half due to a rare disorder, I needed to find a stress free job (doctors orders!) - which lead me to come up with the '100 job Challenge' where I am 'trying' 100 different jobs to raise money for The Meditation Trust Charity. I will be writing this blog about each job, following how my day went, but also focusing on aspects of each job that may surprise you. I'm sure there will be a few jobs that may be of interest to you as I'm trying 100!
Monday, 16 March 2015
Job #7 Dog Groomer
It really is a dog’s life, not only do they get to sleep,
eat, walk repeat every day but the dogs that come to The Dog house also get a
full on pampering session...they don't know how lucky they are!
For all the dogs except one it seemed like a day of grooming
is the dog equivalent to a trip to the dentist, the thought of it is so much
worse than it is...although I have to say I’m not sure I’d be keen on having a
hair dryer blasted up my bot either!
Tia the husky bigger than me and Lauren put together had to
be dragged in, whilst trying to hide behind her owner...we can still see you!
Poor Daisy the spaniel wet herself on the street, now she definitely needs a
But once their through the picket fence and have waived
goodbye to their owners they actually enjoy it! (maybe that part doesn’t happen
at the dentist!) When their all finished they can't wait to run around the shop
and show off their new do!
I couldn't believe how many similarities it shares with
my hair salon, minus the massage chair! There’s a huge range of shampoos for
different fur types and colours - all organic and completely natural...wouldn't
mind trying some myself! I even gave a couple of blueberry facials today! Plus
they all get a spritz of doggy cologne when their done!
The dogs are carried to the bath (I still can't believe
Lauren managed to pick up a full grown husky on her own!) where their hair is
washed twice (the same as a salon!), they then get the main wet blasted off in
the sink, it’s then time for the cutting table. There is a free standing dryer
which is used to dry with whilst giving them a good brush.
Now is time for the hair cut - I didn't get to do any
cutting, you wouldn't expect to go from salon junior to stylist in one day at
Toni and Guy and the same applies here!
I couldn't believe how fresh the dogs looked afterwards,
they have the biggest smiles on their face when their finished so it must feel
so much better!
I was really surprised that there were dogs in the salon
when I arrived (I'm Not sure where I thought I was going!), Lauren has 2 dogs
Bruce & Wally who are lovely and help put the other dogs at ease.
Something else I didn't anticipate was how many
'accidents' you would have to clear up! Apparently sometimes they even get you
accidentally!...glad I didn't experience that, although it was a close call!
I was surprised that a lot of the dogs that visit are not
on best behaviour, but Lauren pointed out that people whose dogs behave whilst
having their hair cut are happy to do it themselves - it's the less compliant
ones that need some expert assistance! Lauren had some nasty scratches up her
arm from last week, another hazard of the job. My first client of the day had
to be muzzled as he had clearly got out of the wrong side of bed! Luckily that
wasn’t an omen for the rest of the day!
There's a lot to learn with being a groomer, there are
do's and don’ts for every breed. Husky’s hair shouldn't be cut as they have a
double coat, so it might not always grow back if you cut it! I cannot believe
how much husky a moult - the shop was taken over by a fur like hurricane - you
couldn't breathe without getting it up your nose or in your mouth!
Shitzu’s get the orange on their faces, you can stop this
by giving them filtered water!
Spaniels always get knots behind their ears.
Westies are the most likely to scratch and bite!
Dog with dandruff is generally caused by a bad diet…and
the list goes on!
As someone that has never had dogs that need grooming I
used to think it was an expensive luxury. I now see that it's actually cruel
not to get it done. I heard a story (and saw photos) of someone who's dogs fur
was so matted that once he'd been trimmed the fur on the floor still kept the
shape of the dog! This was likened to having your pubic hair tied round your ears...you
can imagine how much it would hurt each time you moved! So it's actually really
important that you get it done regularly. Plus I can now confirm that the cost
is certainly justified, you would not believe how much work goes into grooming
I hadn't thought about how much hair you would get
covered in either, I was itching all over by the time I got home! As Lauren
said it's the gift that keeps on giving as you find hairs for weeks afterwards
(I’ll let you know on that one!)
I think this job has raced to joint first place
floristry...how am I ever going to choose just one!
Let's find out if it's the pawfect job or whether you
have to be barking mad to do it!
How long have you
been a dog groomer and how did you get into it?
“Ive been grooming 6 years, I started because I was no
longer happy in my office job and I knew my sister really enjoyed hairdressing,
but I didn’t want to deal with people all day!”
What is the best
thing about the job?
“Other than walking my dogs to work with me, it’s
probably when a customer really appreciates what I do. I’ve had the odd
customer cry over the years because they have been so happy with their dogs
groom and its always’s nice to feel like someone really likes what you have
done for them and their beloved pet!”
What is the worst
thing about the job?
“Having to clip off the poor dogs who come in with a
neglected, matted coat. They always look so sad and it’s never nice causing an
animal pain clipping off hair that lazy owners haven’t bothered to take care
of! If you don’t have time to do everything your dog needs you to do, you
shouldn’t have a dog! Although seeing the transformation of sad, pained little
creatures into happy, playful, cuddly dogs is also one of the best things about
the job! Other than that, it’s going home smelling of wet dog,
unable to get that once a year stinky farm dog from under my nails and feeling
itchy all over certain I have fleas!”
If money, time,
education etc weren’t an issue what would be your dream job?
I would probably live somewhere with enough land that I
could rescue and rehabilitate dogs. It breaks my heart to see abandoned &
abused dogs who need homes and have nowhere to go. Although it might be nice to
wear some nice clothes once in a while!”
What stress rating
would you give this job out of 5? (1
being relaxed and 5 being super stressful)
On a day where one dog works all the others into a frenzy
4, at Christmas 5!
Thanks so much for having me Lauren, I loved it. Plus the biggest thank you for your incredibly kind donation of £40. If you
have a doggy that hasn’t had a good groom in a while, get in touch with Lauren