Tag Archives: Dog grooming

Dog Hair and Other Musings

Sorry about not writing last week. There have been a lot of (frustrating) changes at work and I was so sick and tired of looking at the computer. Anyway, I don’t really have much to say, I’m just writing things down as I think.

I gave Luna and Clara haircuts on Sunday. The amount of hair they had grown over winter was astounding. I think I shaved off the equivalent of two Chihuahuas. When I was done, I was covered in hair and had to take a shower. Later that afternoon, I gave my mom’s three pups a haircut. Needless to say I was in need of another shower when I got home.

It rained last night. My dogs hate the rain–hate going out in it, rather. Most of them don’t fret over the thunder, but lately Molly has been sensitive to it. Even though she is snuggled next to one or two of the other pups, she freaks out when there is thunder, but only if it starts thundering before she falls asleep. Once she is asleep, thunder doesn’t bother her. Go figure.

I have watched almost all domestic dog documentaries that are out there. I’m yearning for another one or two to watch (if you know of any, let me know in the comments so I can check them out). If I were a cinematographer, I would create my own dog documentary. I think it would focus on people just talking about their dogs, or something like that. I should make a friend who is one so that I can pitch this idea to him or her. I don’t require much in return, but a quick mention in the credits and a short segment dedicated to my pups. I could always be the interviewer…

BF and I went to the zoo last week. I don’t particularly care for zoos, but sometimes that’s the only place I’ll see certain animals. I didn’t go to the zoo to see the giraffes, elephants, zebras, tigers, bears, etc. I don’t mind the animals, but my interests were somewhere else. I went there to see all the wild members of the dog family. Unfortunately there weren’t that many: a couple foxes, a couple coyotes, and a pack of African Painted Dogs. It was the last one that I went to see, but they were far from the observation deck, so I only got to see them from afar. I was disappointed that there were no wolves and no hyenas (I know they aren’t part of the dog family, but I do find them endearing). I really wish I could see some of these animals in the wild (I’ve seen foxes and coyotes). I know that requires travel and maybe someday I’ll visit Africa.

I’ve been yearning to do something creative. I don’t know what. I either want to write, draw (as much as my skill will allow), scrapbook, or do an art journal. I recently got a new toy–a Brother Scan-N-Cut–that I have yet to play with. Tomorrow I’ll be getting in some more crafting supplies. What’s stopping me? Well, I’m usually tired by the end of the day, at least that’s the excuse that I like to use. There’s nothing stopping me except for my own laziness and/or forgetfulness.

Buddy and Eevee’s relationship is getting even better. Eevee loves her big brother and whines when she can’t go in the back to play with him. He’s still a bit rough, but he’s trying to be gentler. The other day Molly felt like Buddy was playing too rough with Eevee and made sure that Buddy knew it. She got between Buddy and Eevee (much to Eevee’s annoyance), barked and got up in Buddy’s face. She wasn’t going to let Buddy “bully” her baby sister.

Well, I think the musings are done..for now. Until next time, just because there is nothing exciting going on in your life doesn’t mean you can’t be ready for it.


Buddy’s Little Adventure

Yesterday I was bored and wanted to get out of the house so I loaded Buddy in my car and we went to PetSmart. I was apprehensive. Buddy was good in most situations, but I wasn’t sure how he’d handle being with other animals in such a confined place. I kept telling myself to trust my dog. He trusted that I wouldn’t take him anywhere dangerous, so why couldn’t I trust him to behave?

We arrived at PetSmart at the same time a guy arrived with his Great Dane. Though she was huge, I got the impression that she was still young, probably around Buddy’s age. While the guy struggled with walking his dog to the store, I waited and put Buddy in a sit until he calmed down. Only then did we go inside.

I love walking into places with Buddy. There’s a certain awe that happens when he appears. He’s this big, fluffy, teddy bear that no one can resist. To this day I have trouble resisting Buddy even though I live with him.

As we walked down the narrow aisle we walked toward the guy with the Great Dane. He pushed a shopping cart and tried to keep his dog from getting too excited. To keep the two dogs from meeting in an excited state, I did us both a favor and ducked down the leash and collar aisle. Actually, that’s where I needed to be as I wanted to see what size harness to get Buddy. In a few months I plan on teaching Buddy how to pull a wagon and I need to find the right harness for the job.

Buddy sort of allowed me to put the harness on. He made it difficult and made me work for it. The medium harness fit beautiful and I put it away. Two ladies came down the aisle and Buddy had to go greet them. I allowed him and we talked for a little bit about dogs. Then Buddy and I went our way.

The groomers saw Buddy and I talked with them for quite some time. One of the groomers requested that I bring Buddy to her so she could make him look really nice. She gave me the prices: $70-90 depending on the package. A little rich for my blood especially right now. She told me what she’d do to make him look like a bear. Now that she told me, and since I have some of same tools groomers use, I’m going to what she said she was going to do and I don’t have to pay a cent.

If only I had a grooming table though. If only I had a high velocity blow dryer. Oh well, I’ll work with what I have. But I digress.

After paying for three boxes of dog treats, I loaded Buddy up and we went to the dog park. No one was there and I didn’t expect anyone to be. I was glad. That meant that Buddy and I had the park to ourselves. So I let Buddy loose at the park and encouraged him to run and run, and run. He had a lot of fun marking here and there. His tongue hung out the side of his mouth as he ran.

We stayed there about fifteen or twenty minutes and I caught Buddy, led him to the drinking fountain and let him drink. When he was done, we went home. He was exhausted which is how I like my Chow.

At home, he lazed most of the evening. My girls were restless though, probably because of the weather. It took them longer to settle down, but when they did I didn’t hear a peep out of any of the dogs until this morning.

I need to start taking the girls on outings again. I stopped because Luna gets carsick. Once I’ve taught Buddy to pull a wagon, I plan on teaching the girls to ride in it. Wouldn’t that be a sight?

I have to say that Buddy did very well in public. He wanted to play with the other dogs, but he listened to me. He acted very charming. Typical Buddy–ornery when it is just me, but as sweet as he can be when other people are around. That’s my boy!

Until next time, run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I have four legs and you only have two.


Day 24: Brush, Brush

Buddy isn’t a fan of being brushed, but it is something that needs to be done right now since he is still blowing his winter coat. He has some bare patches on  his chest that were there when I got him. I’m not sure what happened there, but I’m wondering if he was so matted that the only thing to do was to shave it. Not sure though.

I try to keep the brushing sessions to about fifteen minutes, depending on how patient he is, how determined I am, and how much time I have. Today, all things were on my side and I was able to get him really brushed out. He lost his patience when I tried to brush his tail, but by that time I’d been working on him for quite some time and I knew he wouldn’t sit still much longer.

I do have to say that he looks better. There’s still quite a bit to brush out, but we’re getting there. Soon he’ll be even more handsome than he already is.

As I sat on the floor brushing him, I thought of starting a YouTube channel where I posted daily videos of my musings while I brushed one of my dogs. I’m not entirely certain how entertaining that is, but I suppose there is a niche for that. It’s just an idea and I haven’t completely worked out the details. I really want to start a channel, but due to my personality, I have to have a focus before I start anything. It would most likely be a vlog channel, but we’ll see. I’ll probably have to get a better video camera first.

For almost a year, I was planning a big shindig for my 30th birthday, but now I’m thinking that I would prefer to enter my thirtieth year a little more quietly, perhaps a trip to the Tulsa aquarium. I might drag a friend along because I’d really like to share that experience with someone. Also, it would probably be best if I have the support as I don’t know how crowded the aquarium will be. Yet another thing that I’ll have to work out the logistics of.

Right now every pup has settled down for the night. I’ll probably be doing the same here in a bit, though I don’t want to go to bed too early or else I’ll be awake at five in the morning. I hate being awake at that time. I prefer not to be aware that time/life exists between the hours of between midnight and nine. It never fails that on Friday nights I always go to bed too early, so I get up too early, which means that I’m exhausted by the time church starts on Saturday morning. Will tonight be the same? You’ll know tomorrow because I’ll probably talk about it.

Well, I wish everyone a restful night or a good day depending on where you live.

Until next time, just keep brushing…just keep brushing…

P.S. No, I haven’t seen Finding Dory yet. No spoilers please, no spoilers.


Bathing Dogs, Two Down…

If someone had been around my house yesterday, they would have thought that a tiny puppy was in trouble or that someone was killing a puppy. They would have been wrong. I was simply bathing Nia.

I decided that I’ll spend this week bathing and grooming the dogs. The first to get a bath was Haley. She wasn’t too bad; reluctant, but not bad. She got a bath, a brushing, and a trim. Things went so well that I decided that I’d bathe another dog. I decided on Nia because I didn’t think she’d give me any problems. I was wrong.

As soon as I got her in the tub and turned the water on she started whimpering and crying. Many times she tried to jump out of the tub or climb the walls. Due to that, the bath took longer than it really needed to.

She was more than happy to get out of the tub, but that was before she realized there was more…the blow dryer.

I had her leashed so she wouldn’t escape. She strained at the end of the leash to get away from the blow dryer, calling to anyone and everyone to free her from the torture. Sometimes she’d even climb into my lap, hoping that it would keep her away from the dryer.

Drying took longer than anticipated as well because I stopped frequently to brush her out and talk to her. One thing I have to say about Nia is she loves being brushed. She’s curl up in my lap as I brushed and combed her hair out. Sometimes she’d stretch out so I could really brush her only to resume yelping when the dryer turned back on.

Eventually she got dried and brushed out. She has beautiful hair and oddly enough it doesn’t mat easily. I think I finally have the Shih Tzu that I want–one that I can keep her hair long. I just need to work into my routine to brush her–and the others–every day.

So…two dogs down and three to go. I’m not sure if I have the energy, but the baths must go on. Or at least until I get the other three done. Then that will be that for another two or three weeks.

Well I guess that’s about it. Sorry that this was a boring post. I’m still adjusting to my medicine and I’m a bit sleepy. So, until next time, if someone presents a brush sit in their lap and milk the attention for all its worth.


I Am the Worst Dog Mom EVER!

…okay maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I feel like it.

Haley is having her yearly allergy attack. It starts about the everything pollinates and ends around the time everything dies, so my poor baby is miserable for two seasons. Actually Oklahoma only has one season: Unpredictable, but that’s beside the point.

During this time she suffers from ear infections, hot spots (fortunately none so far), irritated skin, and everything else that goes with dog allergies. I do the best I can. I keep her from laying out in the grass. I bathe her with medicated shampoo. I put drops in her ears. I baby her. I watch what she eats. I watch where she goes. I try to keep her out of high grass. To sum it up, I become a helicopter parent.

During these times she has a bad habit of scratching herself raw. She loses her hair. She gets matted easily because she’s constantly licking.

Today I decided I needed to cut some of these mats off. Mistake #1 – I took up this task shortly before I went to work. Mistake #2 – I used scissors instead of clippers.

Everything was going just fine until I got to her ears. Using my fingers as a guard, I snipped off the mats behind her ears. I had a pretty thick mat (or so I thought), so I just cut it without using my fingers. The mat wasn’t as thick as I thought it was and it turned out that in that mat was the base of her ear. I nicked her ear. She didn’t yelp per say. It was more of the equivalent of a gasp. I realized my mistake and immediately calmed her down (it only took a couple reassuring words) and I checked her ear. There was blood, not a whole lot, but enough to make me feel horrible. Using toilet tissue, I pressed on the blood until it stopped bleeding. I kept apologizing to Haley. The whole while she looked at me as if she understood I was sorry. She kept still and allowed me to tend to her.

My mother said that it probably traumatized me more than Haley.

I hated to leave Haley. All kinds of things ran through my head of what could happen to her: she could bleed out, she could scratch it and it would bleed more, the other girls would smell the blood and turn on her, she’ll hate me forever, she’ll fall asleep and never wake up. I know how preposterous this sounds. I can’t wait to go home for my supper break to check on her.

On the other hand, Ares chose to stay outside today when I left for work. I don’t leave my little girls outside for fear of what could happen, but I had no qualms leaving Ares outside. Probably because he’s bigger. A hawk can’t fly away with a 30-40 pound dog. It makes me feel like a really bad mom when I don’t worry about Ares’ wellbeing, but I’m a worrywart when it comes to the Shih Tzu girls.

Sigh

Until next time…drop the scissors! Drop them! Good human. Now here’s my head so you can pet it.


Fun, but Dangerous

As I’ve said many times before, I love working at a grooming salon. Not only do I get to bathe dogs (and then am relieved when I can send the bad ones home), I get to do a lot of thinking after all, it doesn’t take much brain power to bathe and brush dogs (once I become a full-fledge groomer, this might change). I like to think about my life, stories I want to write, dreams I had, and things I want to do when I get home.

However, as with any job, dog grooming isn’t without its hazards. Last week I bathed a Newfoundland. He didn’t want to be on the table and jumped off. Well this was an older grooming table and it tipped over crashing to the floor. Unfortunately my leg was too close to the table and I got a nice cut on my leg.

Or yesterday, a Great Pyrenees puppy got her foot caught in the kennel grate and was yelping. I tried to help her get her foot out, but she bit me. It was more of a biting scratch. She wasn’t trying to hurt me. Eventually she realized that she was pulling in the wrong direction and once she stopped resisting her foot came right out.

Also yesterday, a Jack Russell mix playfully jumped up on one of the groomers and scratched her on her wrist very close to where she just got a tattoo.

A few weeks ago, fortunately on my day off, two dogs bit four groomers and one of the bites was really bad.

There are many other stories like that, but fortunately these incidents are few and far between. Most of the time we have some crazy dogs, but we’re never really harmed and blood is rarely drawn. Dogs that are downright mean, or are incredibly stressed are sent home so no one is harmed.

Pet parents are often angered by the fact that we require rabies vaccination verification. We explain to them that it is a liability to have a dog in there that isn’t up-to-date on his/her rabies vaccinations. Some owners understand, but other owners storm out believing that needing the rabies is a stupid rule. I don’t know about the owners, but I don’t want to get bitten by a strange, unvaccinated dog and then have to go to the hospital and get a rabies shot in my stomach.

You know, even if I got bit every day I don’t think I’d change occupations. I guess it’s because I know that bad days only last for a short time and are always followed by good days and good dogs.

So, until next time…be kind to your groomers, they’re the ones who are holding the razor.


Confirmed Dog Person

I remember when I first started blogging…again. I wrote about depression, dogs, movies, books, and whatever else struck me as a good topic. Lately my posts have been revolving around dogs. At first I was reluctant, but since my whole life revolves around dogs, I realize now that I’ve found my blogging niche.

I think the reason why I haven’t had near as many depressed episodes is due to a combination between dogs and medication. I still have my moments, but they’re not as bad. Even when I have a fairly bad episode, I know I still have to care for the dogs and that gets me out of bed.

It sounds bad, but I prefer to cuddle with my dogs before cuddling with my husband, but then again I’ve always been like that. I show affection to animals, but I find it hard to show affection to people (outside of my parents). I haven’t quite figured that out, but I do remember that the author of Pack of Two wrote about something similar in the book. She wrote about how her family wasn’t an affectionate family, but they would show affection to the dogs. When they were sitting doing something, someone would reach down and scratch the dog.

So that brings me back to my original question: Why is it so easy to show affection to dogs (and other animals) than it is to people? Is it because with dogs there is a complete trusting relationship that we can’t find with humans? Dogs don’t hide behind masks. What you see is what you get. They are the few creatures on this planet that have seen every side of a human’s personality and still remain loyal. When I’m having a bad day, one of my dogs will sit beside me. They’re not trying to “fix” the situation as humans are wont to do; they’re not trying to make the situation go away; all they are trying to do is offer comfort to a hurting family member.

I guess another reason why I love dogs is, for me, they’ve always been there. I was born into a family who loved dogs and had dogs. When I was old enough, my parents got me a dog (and I don’t even recall asking for one, but I think it was because they missed their American Eskimo Dog, Shep). Even though my parents would sometimes express that they’d like to not have the “burden” of owning dogs; that if their current dogs die off they won’t acquire anymore. Twice this has happened and twice my parents have adopted another dog or two and they say that they can’t imagine their lives without them. I can’t imagine my life without dogs either.

I didn’t mean to get all philosophical with this post, despite the fact that I love philosophy. I just noticed that I haven’t posted in a couple weeks (been sick, busy, or both) and I decided to just do a reflection piece about my love for dogs.

Oh, and Shaffer is staying with us. I’ve just decided that we’ll figure out some kind of compromise with him. Besides, I’m attached to that annoying dog. He’s my dog and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that.

So, until next time keep your toys close, your humans closer, and your human’s hamburger closest.


Why I’m Glad I Own the Dogs I Do

Working in a grooming salon has made me appreciate my dogs a whole lot more. I used to get annoyed at my dogs’ quirks: Shaffer’s cat litter eating (actually that still annoys me), Haley’s bladder and bowls of steel on rainy days, Molly’s poo eating (wait, that’s still annoying). However, days like yesterday made me come home, hug my dogs, and tell them that I’m glad they’re well behaved.

So what happened yesterday? To say the least, it was a stressing day. BUT, I don’t want to say the least. Whatever ill-behaved dog that lives in this city was in our grooming salon. As early as 7 am, the groomers were having problems with dogs. Before I got into work at 1, they had used the groomer’s helper (it keeps the dog from thrashing around), muzzled a dog, and just had general chaos.

My afternoon consisted of a Dalmatian mix that I had to send home because she wouldn’t stop growling at people. If someone even looked at her, even from across the room, she’d growl. I didn’t think she’d actually bite, but I also didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. Once the owner was there, she was fine. Of course the owner did tell us that she was the more stubborn of the two sisters, refusing to learn even the most basic of commands.

Now get this, her sister was there as well and I had no problems out of her. She was a bit shy, but she didn’t growl at me. She didn’t thrash around. She was all around a good girl.

I also had a French Mastiff that was stronger than even the strongest groomer in our salon. He wasn’t a bad dog, but he knew he was strong and made sure to demonstrate his strength by dragging me all over the salon…In hindsight, I bet that would have been pretty funny to see.

There also was a Great Dane. The only problem: he was afraid of everything despite the fact that he’s been there many times.

My other “quirky” dog was a Beagle mix who was sweet, but very energetic and didn’t sit still for anything. I couldn’t do her nails because she kept turning around in circles. I could barely brush her because she was circling. It still makes me dizzy thinking about it.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted, agitated, and wasn’t sure I loved dogs anymore. Then, my sweet babies greeted me at the front door, later on Molly fell asleep on my lap, and finally before I fell asleep Shaffer and Haley cuddled up with me. Yeah, I’m so glad that I these dogs. They’re not perfect, but they are the perfect dogs for me.


Interesting Dogs Who Have Come Through the Salon

I love making bullet lists; it’s one of my favorite things to do. So I decided to make a list of interesting pets and pet parents who have blessed us with their presence. Some of these dogs I’ve bathed; other dogs I’ve just observed. I hope I’m not violating any laws by posting these stories.

  • A woman came in with her maltese named Twinkie Diva. How she got her name? The dog’s mom wanted to name the dog Diva because the dog wears dresses. The dog’s dad wanted to name her Twinkie because he believed that Twinkies were going away. So they compromised.
  • A chubby Chihuahua named Poo Bear.
  • An English Bulldog who was supposed to be a normal bath and brush (usually lasting about 3-4 hours) was bumped to an express (usually about 1.5 hours) because she was in heat. I won’t complain about this dog though, because the owner gave me a nice tip.
  • A three month old Shih Tzu puppy that was the size of my six month old Shih Tzu puppy. We speculated about whether or not this puppy was actually three months old.
  • A three month old German Shepherd puppy that cried every single time someone passed his cage. He was yelling so much that one of the managers ran into the salon thinking that he was hurt. I think all of us lost a percent of our hearing due to his yelps.
  • A six month old German Shepherd puppy who had few, if any manners. I didn’t think he knew sit until I realized that his owners probably speak Spanish to him when they’re at home. So I used my limited Spanish and told him to sit. He sat. Who knew?
  • A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Shih Tzu. One moment she was enjoying the blow dryer; the next moment she screamed bloody murder; the next next moment she was enjoying the blow dryer.
  • (One of the groomers told me this story) An owner called the salon and made her take the phone to his dog so he could talk to his dog.

Those are the only ones I can think of right now. When I collect some more, I’ll post them.


A Few Stories to Tell

While bathing dogs, I always have blog posts in my mind, but by the time I get home I’m too exhausted to write anything. I have today off so I decided that I’d post a few entries today. I apologize for the multiple posts. They won’t all be posted at once, but probably throughout the day between running errands, shaving a Shih Tzu puppy, and bonding with Netflix.

So, stay tuned…