Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Short-Lived Stint as a Dog Groomer



Last week I mentioned that I was reading Dog Grooming for Dummies in an attempt to learn how to groom my dog Clancy myself. Sadly, even a book for dummies was not simple enough to prepare me in any way for this task.

I got my supplies ready and was all set to go on Saturday afternoon. My mom agreed to be my grooming assistant and we bribed Clancy with treats so he would behave during our efforts. It turned out that Clancy's behavior was not an issue at all as he was an angel. The only issue was my complete incompetence with a clipper.

I spent two hours trying to clip Clancy and, if you've ever seen a dog with mange, you have a good idea of how poor Clancy looked by the time I was finished with him. He had clumps of hair sticking out all over and the more I tried to even out the clumps the closer Clancy came to being bald.

I finally stopped and called a real groomer in the hopes that someone could repair the damage. Needless to say, the groomer had little choice but to shave Clancy completely in order to even out my disastrous clip job. She tried to be nice and say that my work was not the worst she'd ever seen, but I told her there was really no need to spare my feelings, I knew the truth.

In the end, my attempt to save money by grooming Clancy myself cost me more than twice as much as a regular trip to the groomer. And, it may be years before I am able to look at a clipper again without having traumatic flashbacks. Poor Clancy was completely exhausted by the time the whole thing was over.



On the bright side, Clancy looks cute as can be with his newly shorn locks. And, his fur is so short that he probably won't need a cut again until November or later.

So all's well that end's well, and Clancy has forgiven me for my ill-advised grooming attempt. But, he has made me swear that I will never touch a clipper again and I have a feeling he's going to hold me to that promise.


37 comments:

  1. Too funny! Clancy was definitely a good sport. :)

    (We tried trimming the tortoises' nails when they were little - went okay, but still much easier for the vet to do it. )

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  2. Well, he'll be cool for the rest of the summer.

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  3. Big comfy couch, doting parent, plenty of sympathy snacks, I'm sure... Clancy looks like he's recovering well. :)

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  4. @Madeline, oh, I can't imagine trying to trim a tortoise's nails. I have tried with Clancy and that was a nightmare for me too LOL.

    @Alex, that is definitely the bright spot!

    @EJ, he does have it pretty good in spite of this mess LOL.

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  5. Aww! I'm sorry to hear it didn't turn out as planned, but Clancy looks handsome with his shorter coat.

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  6. Sounds like you were more traumatized than Clancy. Brushing my cats is about all I attempt. That and trimming their nails. Nini always acts like I'm trying to kill her. Siiigh.

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  7. Sounds like you were more traumatized than Clancy. Brushing my cats is about all I attempt. That and trimming their nails. Nini always acts like I'm trying to kill her. Siiigh.

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  8. This post did make me chuckle as I can completely imagine your day. I have myself considered buying a pair of dog clippers for Bob and your explanation of what happened is how I imagine my experience would go. I will learn from your mistake. Clancy looks beautiful anyway :)

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  9. @Cherie, thanks! I do like how he turned out thanks to the groomer.

    @Mary, I definitely was. :D I know just what you mean about Nini, that's how Nate acts as well. If I ever tried to take a clipper to him I don't know if either of us would survive it LOL.

    @Rebecca, I definitely don't recommend it, for your sake and Bob's LOL. Thanks so much!

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  10. With or without his hair, Clancy is a gorgeous dog - although he does seem to have a long-suffering look in his eye lol!

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  11. I must say I commend you for making such a valiant attempt at widening your career options, but sometimes best laid plans are best laid to rest!

    I did laugh, but with you, Julie, (not at); the good thing about hair is it grows back. (ask my little dog - she's a sport whenever I get out the shears)

    What a fun post! And, you're luck to have such an obliging pet - Clancy is a real gem!

    Cheers, Jenny

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  12. What a great funny post. I take August to a groomer just because of days like you had. I'm sure he will recover.

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  13. Oh my goodness. How precious is he?!

    And hey, at least you gave it a shot ;)

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  14. You should have had you mom make a video! Clancy is adorable :)

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  15. He still looks cute as can be, and I'm sure it will be a distant memory after a few doggie treats! Julie

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  16. Oh no! :) Well I am sorry that it didn't turn out as you had hoped but I still think it's awesome that you tried! At least now you know. He is still adorable as all get out!

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  17. He is cute!

    I don't have a dog, but I've tried cutting my kids' hair with safety scissors (the blunt-end kind) when they were little and always ended up at the hair cut place the next day.

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  18. Oh my goodness. First, may I say, Clancy is adorable! And your post is so funny. What a trooper Clancy was with the whole thing. I give you credit for trying it on your own, Julie.

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  19. MOL You will have clipper flashbacks for quite a while, but with support and a few therapy sessions, you should be ok! ;) xx

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  20. @Annalisa, LOL, yes, he does suffer terribly. Thanks so much!

    @Jenny, thanks! That's what another friend told me, the hair will grow back! Still, if I hadn't been able to get it fixed I don't think I would have been able to handle the wait LOL.

    @LynnMarie, thanks!

    @Samantha, aww, thanks, I think he is precious too. :)

    @Carol, oh, you're right about the video, we should have LOL. Thanks!

    @Julie, that's true, he gets over anything quickly with the treats LOL.

    @Lisa, thanks! And it's definitely a good thing I've learned my lesson and won't entertain this idea again.

    @Tonja, oh, that reminds me of when my dad got the idea to cut his own hair and it was a disaster! I would never be able to cut a kid's hair, LOL.

    @Susan, thank you!

    @Carolyn, LOL, I hope I can make it through without the therapy sessions, I can't afford them after this grooming fiasco LOL.

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  21. Oh, poor Clancy! But I'll bet as long as he got compensated with lots of treats and hugs he was fine with it. :)

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  22. Hi Julie - well at least you tried in summer - that's a great story and certainly not for the faint-hearted ... I hope Clancy's not wolf-whistled at as he has his walks?!

    You've saved money on the next clipping .. well for now! Cheers and Clancy would be well suited for being over here .. it is mega hot! Hilary

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  23. @LG, he did milk it for as many treats as he could LOL.

    @Hilary, LOL, so far no wolf-whistles LOL. It's been so hot too as well, I think this ended up for the best!

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  24. Poor Clancy! I can imagine how awful you felt too! Fortunately cats don't need clipping or my two would probably be in the same state.

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  25. @Rosalind, I'm so grateful my cat doesn't need to be clipped. I can't even imagine LOL.

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  26. HA! What's that they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men? I used to groom our dogs myself, and I must admit, I wasn't terribly good at it. But they were always good sports about it ... and never complained.

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  27. My father once decided he would cut my brothers' hair. It was disastrous. My youngest brother's cut was so bad that he wore a cap all summer. That was the end of that endeavor.

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  28. @Susan, LOL, yeah, I was lucky Clancy was a good sport. I was the one that needed treats to get over it.

    @Susan, after this experience I know I would never try to cut a person's hair! Your poor brothers LOL.

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  29. Clancy is a wonderful dog. Poor guy! You are braver than I for even trying. I just pay and be done with it. I'm that lacking in confidence where my clipping skills are concerned. He's so adorable. What kind of dog is he?

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  30. @Melissa, oh, thanks! Clancy is a mix of poodle and some kind of spaniel. He's a real mutt LOL.

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  31. Aw, funny, but not fun for you! He is definitely a cutie. I've had experiences like that. I say good on you for giving it a try, though.

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  32. Life is like that. I'm all about challenges too, until disaster hits. :)

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  33. @Shannon, thanks!

    @JL, LOL, exactly. :D

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  34. Often the type of environment that dog experiences at home will affect his or her experience at a dog grooming facility. Master groomers should know how to handle your pet before understanding professional grooming techniques. If the dog is experiencing a hard time at home, the groomer will know this. If the groomer has not had a successful session with your dog, owners will see this at pick up time.

    Toronto Dog Groomer

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  35. But it was a nice attempt even so. I’m sure Clancy enjoyed that time. :) What kind of clipper was it, by the way? Since Clancy isn’t a double coat dog, and probably just needs to be neatened up on the feet, you should use the lightweight ones. And you should start out with the wide-toothed comb until your hands get comfortable. :D

    Liza ^.^

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  36. @torontodoggroomer, I've been lucky now to find a groomer who I trust with Clancy and I think we've put our troubles behind us. I know I now have great respect for the work groomers do since I tried to do it myself!

    @Liza, thanks for advice, but I think I will leave it to the professionals now LOL. I was a miserable failure. I can't remember the name of the clipper now but it seemed lightweight, I think it was just operator incompetence LOL.

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  37. As a dog groomer I hear it all the time. "Why does having my dog groomed cost so much? I don't pay that much for my own hair cut. Maybe I will just groom him myself!" People never seem to understand what exactly a groomer does that costs so much. Well I decided to write this article to set the record straight.

    Dog Groomer Mississauga

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