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 wash!

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 a dog!

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 at https://www.facebook.com/thedoghousekent.

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