Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 12 (March 16th) & Day 13 (March 17th)

DAY 12 (March 16th)

Today was a slow day for me. I mainly brushed out a Persian cat, clipped her nails, gave her a bath, HV dried her, then fluff dried her. I really like grooming kitties, but its a bit tough on my emotions because cats give you the "I don't NEED a bath! Why are you doing this to me?! When I'm are going to pay for it!!!" look. Anyway....the Persian was super sweet and pretty much just "played dead" in the tub, which I was thankful for LOL, but it was tough trying to wash the belly/under arms when you've got a heavy wet cat plastering itself to the tub floor!

I can't believe how Persians just let you groom them...they act better then some dogs! I really love the Persian personality and wish I would have gotten one, but I would have been mad at myself for paying $300+ for a "breeder's cull" when there are cats dying in shelters with adoption fees set at $100. I would have been able to have saved 3+ cats for the price of a purebred Persian.

My next pet of the day was a Bichon/Poodle mix. I clipped "Snowball's" pads, nails, gave her a bath, HV dried her, fluff dried her, then I got to use a snap-on with my clippers and shave her down! I found that to be pretty fun and fairly easy once I got use to it. You have to brush up with your comb, then glide the clippers over the area, then repeat until it is all even. Snap-on combs is just a comb that snaps on over your blade and it will leave the hair a certain length depending on what snap-on comb you are using.

DAY 13 (March 17th)

Today I started off my day cutting out the hair between the pads, clipping nails, bathing, blowing out, and fluff drying a Springer Spaniel. Then a fat Westie, and a "Cockapoo". I got to "rough out" a Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix, too...which means shave off the coat before the bath. The reason why we do that is so that you aren't washing & HV drying hair that is going to be shaved off anyway.

I'm really excited to use my new clippers! I got them in the mail today along with my mini nail clippers, mini hard pin slicker brush, and clipper oil. I hope my new rounded clippers work out better for me then the old square ones that I got for free.

OH! I brought Sammy into school with me. He did really well, which I am very surprised - I thought he'd be mean to other dogs and potty all over the salon...but he didn't! I'm going to bring him again tomorrow (er, which is really today because I'm writing this entry on the 18th, LOL). Oh yeah...and I gave him a bath and HV dried him, then took the furminator to his coat - thankfull he's not really shedding!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 11 (March 15th)

This morning my first dog was a Mini Schnauzer (do they ever end!?!?!?), named Meghan. She needed a special vet prescribed oatmeal-type shampoo, so her bath was just one good scrub in that and no conditioner. I also got to clean out in between her [foot] pads with my clippers before her bath!

After that I cleaned out pads and cut nails on a Lahasa Apso mix. I also got to trim up his "sanitary areas" (with my clippers)...which is clearing a path around his "little peetey" and the area around his rear. Then gave him his bath, blow out, fluff dry. He was freaking the heck out when I was trying to dry his head/face with the HV dryer....he kept trying to "dive bomb" off the table.
The next dog was a silver Mini Poodle who was waiting outside in the play yard for me. I was supposed to get him up onto the table to brush him out, clean out his pads, and cut nails....but he had "pooped himself", so he needed to go straight into the tub. After his bath & blow out...I fluff dried him, cleaned out his pads with my clippers, and cut his nails.

Let's see.....Oh! I cleaned out pads, cut nails, and helped do a sanitary trim on a Australian Shepherd (which was hard because they have a lot of hair blocking the view). Aussies have sooooo much hair and it is rediculious trying to bathe them and blow them out.

I ate my usual protien bar for lunch, then had 3 adorable Mini Dachshunds waiting for me!!! One was a silver dapple, another was an older red one, and lastly there was a cute black/tan. I really loved the silver dapple and hope to have one one day. I don't know if I want a Mini or not, though! Sammy (our Min Pin/Doxie mix) would look so cute with a silver dapple Doxie as his sister, hehehe.

Anyway....the Doxies were such a charm to work with! They have a very smooth coat, so it takes no effort at all to bathe them (and they barely get HV dried...took me maybe 30 seconds). They are so fun and loving.

I keep picking out breeds of dogs that I might like for in the future (Ryan says we have to own a house first)...but I keep falling back on Doxies! I know I definitely want one (and does Ryan), but I am also thinking it would be fun to have a Standard or Mini Poodle to practice grooming on and then I'd have it incase I ever wanted to compete in grooming compititions. BUT....I meet a nice Poodle, then the next one is "ehhh...I could do with out one!". I guess time will tell!! I think once I am working and we have a good car, then I want to look into fostering for the Arizona Doxie rescue - but thats a big "maybe"!

Oh....I also get to bring Sammy into school with me, if I want to. I'm nervous because I'm unsure of how he will get along with all of the dogs there (usually anywhere from 2 to 6+ little dogs running around). Sam's a bit spoiled and I'd hate for him to be a jerk and embarass me, LOL!!

On another note, I had to order my new pair of clippers tonight and I also bought clipper oil, a small slicker brush (got a big one for free that I love, so needed the small one!), small nail clippers (mine were too big for little nails and "curled under" nails), and along with my order I got a free double sided slicker brush (looks like it might be a crap one, though).

Here is my new clippers:

I had to order a new pair because the free ones that I got from a lady off of the grooming forum, are too big for my hands because they are a square shape instead of rounded....and they are a bit slow and probably need a tune up. Once I start working then I will send them in for repair, so I can keep them as a back up pair.

Day 9 (March 11th) & Day 10 (March 12th)

I know, I know....I'm slacking a bit on my blog! I'm going to group day 9 &10 together since I can't remember specifics from those days since it is now the next week, LOL. I am not going to go into detail (mainly because I don't remember), but I am going to list off the breeds of dogs I bathed because I think it will be cool to look back on.

Day 9 (March 11th)
I started off bathing a Yorkie, then a Shih Tzu, then a Yorkie again. Um....and that is all I remember from that day, LOL. Sorry!!!

Day 10 (March 12th)
I know I bathed a few "foo-foo" doggies and also a Shih Tzu. We get a ton of small mixed breed (Yorkie/Maltese/Shih Tzu/etc) type dogs in, so it is hard to remember!

My next entry will be more detailed. I am now kicking myself for slacking off on my blog, LOL. I had a few days where I was just emotionally drained and didn't want to do anything.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 7 (March 9th) & Day 8 (March 10th)

I decided I'd just include day 7 in with day 8 because all I did all day on day 7 was brush out, bathe/blow out, and fluff dry the shop dog - Pearl, the Standard Poodle. It was a slow day, so I just worked on her all day, the got off a half hour early. Pearl probably hated me all day because, well, I spent all day working on her, LOL!!!

DAY 8 (March 10th).....

Today I brushed Pearl out for a few minutes while I waited for my instructor to finish up clipping a dog before I took her back to be washed. The doggie was a "foo foo" breed, her name was Lola, and was really sweet through getting bathed, blown out, and fluff dried. I then watched my instructor finish up her grooming. After that I bathed/blew out, and fluff dried Lola's "sister" (can't remember her name) and also watched my instructor finish her up. 

Next in line for a bath was an adorable snorting Bulldog. I just LOVE Bulldogs - I think they are sweet, funny, and very loving. If I could, then I think I'd have one some day....but I wouldn't want to shell out the money for one, I'd have to wait until one was up for adoption or something as they can be pretty pricey!

After the Bully I clipped nails on a little tiny longhaired Chihuahua with a pot belly, LOL. His name was "Sam" and was really a good boy through the bathing & drying process. I then fluff dried him and watched my instructor finish his groom.

Lastly I cut nails, bathed, blew out, and fluff dried an adorable white Mini Poodle named "Sassy". I haven't really had a "thing" for white dogs before (and Poodles, none the less), but Pearl and Sassy have certainly changed my views that even a "boring fluffly white dog"really aren't boring, but yet full of personality and are now a breed of dog that I hope to have in the future (Ryan says when we buy a house, though).

So, the past 2 days have been pretty slow, but it has been snowing/raining outside. I really enjoying working with my one instructor was a nice break from all of the bathing because I got to stand around a lot and just watched her "finish" dogs with shears & clippers while she explained everything that she was doing. She made it look so easy, but she does have 20 years experience, LOL!

Next week I get to start doing sanitary trims with my clippers and also clean up the hair around the pads on the feet with my clippers. I did all of that while working at PetSmart, but I have noticed the stuff I was taught at PetSmart are pretty far off from what I have been taught at a professional grooming shop vs. corporate!

I'm to bed soon - thats if I can get my little 6 month old kitty, Quilbee (or just Quil, LOL), off to bed.....he's currently passed out on the desk in my arms while I try to type, hehehe.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 6

I was soooo tired and slightly aggrivated this morning - tired because I have to get up at 6am to shower & get ready to take Ryan into work at 7:30am and aggrivated for who knows what reason, LOL....probably a cat made me the slightest bit mad.

I tried to remember that you can't handle dogs when you are grumpy, so I pushed my grumpiness aside and headed into the shop to start day 6!

Once I got to the shop I played with a little old (I think she was 16 or so) Yorkie, who was as tiny and as sweet as can be. The "shop Poodle" was also there this morning, her name is Pearl and she's pretty much made me love Standard Poodles who are white in color. After visiting with the doggies and waiting for my first task, I started off watching one of my instructors bathe a dog. I guess my dogs aren't coming out as shiney as they'd like them to be, so I need to work on figuring out the correct amount of conditioner I should be using depending on the size of the dog and the hair texture. They said once I start grooming/finishing dogs then I will see the difference in a really soft coat versus a coat that is still a bit harsh. Bathing a dog is a bit more difficult then you'd think it would be, let me tell ya!

My first dog to wash was "Buddy" - he comes in every Monday for a bath in oatmeal shampoo because his owner's little son is allergic to him, so he needs a bath/blow out/good brushing weekly. I think its great that the family spends the money to do that instead of just getting rid of their 2 doggies. Anyway, I really like Buddy...he is very calm and doesn't mind getting washed/blow out at all. Shoot, he should be used to it by now....weekly baths! LOL

My next dog was a longer haired dog - I don't know what breed it was, some sort of mix, but I do know I need to find some AKC dog shows to watch online so that I can study my breeds better because I have a hard time figuring out what some of the little fluffy dogs are. So after I learned how to bathe a long haired dog so that it's fur wouldn't tangle....I then got a lesson on how to blow that type of dog out. It is soooo tricky and I can tell it is going to take a lot of practice. The HV (high velocity - force dryer) is super powerful, so you have to hold the nozzle at a certain distance so that you don't cause the long hair to whip around and tangle up. You have to sort of "dive in" with the nozzle, then pull away super fast in a circular motion to stop the whipping/knotting of the hair. I guess the best way to put it visually is that the hair forms tornados if you aren't careful!

A little Yorkie named "Brody" was waiting for a bath next, so I bathed/blew him out and then took him up front to be fluff dried with the stand dryer - you have to get the longer hair straight with a slicker brush before it dries completely. Brody was a good little boy and let me get him all straightened/fluffed without any fighting.

After my little snack/lunch break I got Pearl (the Std. Poodle) up on my table and started to brush her out with my slicker. As a Poodle's hair grows out it grows "twisty", so you have to line brush the hair - which means you have to separate the hair brush section by section (hard to explain in typing). I got as far as one front leg and half of the other front leg and then it was time for me to go and pick Ryan up (having only 1 car sucks so bad).

So today was a calm/relaxed day at the shop. It doesn't seem as busy on Mondays because only my 2 instructors and myself are there....its the other days when everyone is there is when its more "rushed".

Ohhhhh....I have to order a new pair of clippers tonight. A lady from the midwest was really nice and send me some clippers, snap-on combs, blades, slickers, and a comb all for free (I met her on the pet grooming forums)...but the clippers she sent me are a bit older and aren't going to work for me. So, I have to order a new pair tonight, which stinks because that's $150 more that I need to spend when we really don't have a lot of money right now because I had to quit my job in order to go to school. I mean, we have some money in savings, but it stinks having to spend so much after I just spent $1k up front to start school (need another $2.5k for later) and I spend about $700 on my tool kit. Oh well....if I need it then I need it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 5

As the days go by I am really having a hard time remembering what I did all day each day - the days are just blending together, LOL!

Let me think....

This morning I was waiting for one of my instructors to come into the shop so I could find out what she wanted me to start while I waited I got down on the floor and played with an adorable Bulldog named "Gracie" - she comes in a few times a week for "day care". Let me tell you....that little Bulldog was just the sweetest girl EVER! I want to steal her she is so darn cute - she snorts and lets her tongue peek out of her under bite, LOL!

When the instructor came into the shop she had me bathe (and blow out...but that always has to be done, so I think I will stop repeating it, LOL) a little Pug. What a freaking cute Pug she was!!! Snorting, huffing, gurgling, and goodness who the heck doesn't love a snorting Pug?!?!?!? She was a delight the whole time, even while blowing her out.

After the Puggie I had to cut nails & bathe a massively overweight Maltese - they are supposed to be small dogs but this one was probably 12lbs and had a "pig butt".

Then bathe a Schnauzer.....ahhh...another "lovely" Schnauz! Don't get me wrong, they are cute, but they are little buttheads! If you haven't heard one bark, then please try to avoid it...its loud and skreachy, LOL! Out of all of the dogs I have seen in the shop, it seems like there are a ton of Schauzer's coming in! Anyway...the Schnauz didn't like his nails getting cut...he put up a fight with me. It was good in the bath tub and while blowing out & fluff drying.

I then got to clip & file nails on a little Maltese/Yorkie mix named "Scruffy". She was pretty cute and was very good with the blow out and fluff drying.

After that my last dog of the day was a Labradoodle who was brown/silver in color. The dog was so adorable....I love animals in "chocolate". The owners like the dog curly (not blown out - cage dried), so when she came in today she was really gross - pretty dirty and her coat was snarled up. I had to brush her out a lot with the slicker, which took quite a lot of time. After getting her brushed out, she went into the bath and got washed once, then had to sit in a remoisturizing (remo) conditioner for 10 minutes until her coat was soft and not so harsh. I had to leave, so I didn't get to see how her coat was when cleaned and "freshly" curly.

I think this week was very long and very exhausting. Needless to say I am so excited that its the weekend and I have 2 days to sit around and do nothing. I am thinking about staying inside in my jammies all weekend, LOL!

Day 4 (March 4th)

I started off my day by giving a chubby little Yorkie a bath and blowout. She was so adorable and just the sweetest little thing. Next I moved onto fetching a fat Shih Tzu from outside in the play yard - he needed a bath as well and just grunted the whole time, LOL!

I had to wash an older Dalamation (with brown spots) and he was DIRTY. gross to the touch and his back was completely brown when it was supposed to be white. I had to use some whitening shampoo and some Dawn dish liquid (cuts the grease) just to get him white again. I can tell he felt so much better once I was done bathing him!

We had 3 humane society dogs come in for baths today. The shop that I am training at gives back to the community by bathing (and styling if they need it) the local rescued pets. The 3 dogs that came in today were a Heeler mix, Shephard mix, and a purebred German Shephard - all females. 

The Heeler mix, named "Ruby", was really scared at first, but she warmed up to me and let me do my thing with in no time - she was even giving me kisses towards the end of her bath.

I went outside in the play yard and fetched the GSD, named "Dash", next. She was older and had a few lumps on her, but over all she was in good condition. She did NOT want her nails done - we had to muzzle her and "head lock" her just to get her nails cut. Once I got her into the tub she really did not want the water running on her, so she was freaking out the whole time, but I kept giving her breaks to calm down. She really needed a bath because she was shedding terribly and was greasy. So after washing twice and conditioning once, I blew out her coat with the HV dryer - she really didn't like the dryer either. After her bath was done she slipped me a few kisses, so that made it all better!

"Jackie" the GSD mix was up next and she was a total sweetie - she let me cut her nails and bathe her, so that process went by really quickly. I had to leave (it was 4pm by then), so I left her in the tub for my instructor to go and blow out her coat.

It was a sad story for those 3 HS dogs...apparently their owners were involved in a recent murder suicide - someone broke into their house and killed them, then burned the house down. I wonder if Dash, the GSD, was afraid of water because maybe she was inside the house as the fire fighters were hosing it down and trying to get in? It just broke my heart that those dogs lost their family and ended up at the Humane Society to be split apart and adopted to seperate homes - I could tell they were all very bonded to one another. So please remember....ALWAYS have a plan as to what will happen to your pets when you die because it isn't fair for them to be taken away from home not knowing what happened to you and then be placed in a crowded shelter. 

I at least feel good that I was able to make them happy for a little while, but I was so sad knowing they would be returning to the shelter later in the day. On a good note, though, the GSD might get adopted by one of the ladies at the grooming salon....her husband has been looking for a GSD, so I really hope they get her because she needs a special family! I would have taken Jackie home if I could, but I can't take them all home :(.

ETA: I think this is the new story from the murder suicide:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 3 (March 3rd)

Today I started off bathing a Schnauzer which decided to poop in the tub - that was gross, bleh! 

When I finished with the "Schnauz" I had a big hairy waiting for me outside in the play yard....a big freakin' Newfoundland!!! I had to have someone help me get him into the tub and apon lifting him...I am pretty sure he weight 200lbs, LOL! When you bathe this type of dog you have to blow him out with the HV dryer to loosen hair, then wet him down (super hard to do due to all of his fur), shampoo him, slicker brush him, blow him out again (to get the shampoo down to his skin), rinse very well, shampoo, slicker, blow with HV, rinse well, use conditioner, slicker, blow with HV, rinse well! The whole bathing process took about 2 hours - the poor Newfie was so tired he had to keep sitting down to rest. It took about another hour to blow his coat almost dry with the HV....then he went into the drying kennel to dry out some more.

After the Newf was done with his bath & blow out I had a massive mess to clean up in the bathing room - hair on all the tubs, hair all over the floor, hair on all of the shampoo bottles, plastered all over my tub walls, etc. I probably spent 10 minutes cleaning up all of the hair in the little bathing room. I had about 2 inches of Newfie hair piles onto my head and probably plastered all over my was in my eyes and stuck to my eye lashes like no tomorrow.
I took a break (after the Newfie I was ready to pass out) and then bathed a Giant Schnauzer - he sure was cute and very well behaved! I can't believe how big and stocky-solid they are...they really don't look like they weigh a ton once they are shaved down, but trying lifting one's back end up into a tub! I needed someone to help me again, LOL!

There was then a little tiny Schnauzer (lots of Schnauzes today!) who needed a bath & blow out - he was so sweet and just wanted to rest his wet body against my apron, LOL.

At the end of (my) day I had to brush out the Newfie, who was still a little bit wet in some spots so I had to use the stand dryer. He was sooooo pooped that he just wanted to lay down and didn't care that the noose was choking him...poor big guy! I still couldn't believe the amount of hair coming out of him. Whoever wants a very prepared for such a high maintence dog!!

Okay, well that was about it. I'm off to school again here in about an hour. Is it Friday yet? because I am exhausted and really want to sleep in, LOL. I have to get up at 6am, shower & get ready, then bring Ryan to work (we only have 1 car), then come back home and feed/water animals, make breakfast...which means I am up and waiting around for another hour and a half before school. If we had 2 cars, then I could sleep in 2 hours later then I do now!! Gosh I just wish we had a 2nd car, but we can't afford it until I get a grooming job and we see what kind of money it brings in.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 2 (March 2nd)

Today I got to cut nails and dremel them on a Std. Poodle. He fought with me a lot, but I'm guessing he knew I was nervous! I then got to wash him and blow him out - after that I slickered his afro (hehe) and his ears under the stand dryer. I also cut nails/dremeled 2 other dogs today.

I also got to help brush out and bathe 2 kitties from the Humane Society today! I just love kitties and these two were adorable. One cat was a screamer in the tub and then the other one was such a little doll...she was insanely fluffy and had a manx tail...the ladies were calling him a "bunny cat", LOL!

My last dog was a huge "Goldendoodle" - which was I didn't like the texture of his hair at all. The dog was a total sweetie, though, which was a good thing! I brushed him out, then washed and dried him. My goodness drying that dog was ridiculous! His hair was long & wirey-like and just took forever to get dry.

Out of all of the dogs I have seen so far my absolute favorite has got to be the purebred Dachshunds. I am trying to make myself want a Poodle so that I can practice on him/her and also use for seminars/competitions (if I ever get that far!).....but I can't get past the adorable looks & personalities of the Doxies! Maybe I'm a sucker for them because my dog is part Doxie...but I don't know, I just love them!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 1

I certainly think I deserved the delicious Black Butte Porter (beer) that I drank during dinner and then the amazing dinner of cheese hot pocket, popper's flavored doritos, and a twix bar...LOL!!! My goodness was I starving!!

PHEW! Man am I POOPED. My back hurts, my feet hurt, my ears hurt (loud noises), etc.

All in all it was a good day. I got to bathe a few dogs, blow them out with the HV (high velocity) dryer, and then brush out one of the dogs on my own grooming table. Yep - I've got my own table and area for all of my stuff! Yeeeee!!

I really like both of the ladies that are teaching me, as they both have different personalities and ways to do things - so I am hoping that by having both of them teach me, I will hear things twice and each time I will hear different ways of doing things. I'm sort of the person who needs things explained twice so that my brain catches on, lol.

Both "K" and "V" (instructors) are at the shop teaching me on Mondays, but Tuesdays & Thursdays only V and some other lady is there, then on Wednesdays & Fridays it's K and some other lady (or the same lady as Tues & Thurs?...I don't know).

I'm a bit nervous meeting the other 2 ladies (or 1 lady....I can't remember if there is 3 or 4 of them there).....but hopefully they are cool and helpful as well.

Tomorrow I get to watch (and maybe help) groom 2 kitties that are coming in from the Humane Society! I'm really excited to learn how to groom cats as I hope that I can mainly be a cat groomer in the future. I love dogs, but I really love kitties. I just don't know if there is the same money in grooming cats and if I need to be in a certain area - like around a larger city perhaps?

I'm also a bit uncomfortable with big dogs right now. I helped with a Labradoodle (the "Lab" part was questionable...the dog was massive) today and he was insanely large and hard to turn around in the tub. I guess I feel more in control over a small dog then a big one. I have never ever owned a large dog....just my little Min Pin/Doxie that I have right now and then 2 Beagles and a few other small dogs growing up.

I just can't wait until I pick up speed and can move onto using my tools. Right now I have to master bathing, drying, and controlling dogs. I'm slow at it right now, but with time I will get faster. I used to be a bather/brusher at PetSmart, so I remember how to do things...I just need to learn this shop's way of doing it and gain some confidence back - mostly being positive that the dog is really clean and well rinsed!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


posting to see if my blog is working!