Tuesday, January 31, 2012


You've been tagged!

Mrs. P tagged me over at The Real Life Adventures of the Prickett Pack.  So.. now I'm tagging some as well. Fun!

The Rules: 
1.  Post these rules
2.  Please post 11 random things about yourself.
3.   Answer the questions the tagger sets for you in their post.
4.  Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5.  Go to their blog and tell them they have been tagged.
6.  No stuff in the tagging section about "if you read this you have been tagged"

11 Random things about me:

1.  I'm never late, actually, I'm obsessively early.  If arrive on time.. I feel like I am late.
2.  I love dark chocolate, the darker the better.  It's good for you.. right??
3.  I admit to being sucked in by ridiculous reality shows, such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Dance Moms.  I know.. sad.  At least I don't watch Jersey Shore!
4.  I listen to talk radio.  I know.. weird. 
5.  I first thought about pet grooming as a career when the grooming school I eventually went to, came to a career day at my very rural highschool.
6.  I found my first Beardie in the newspaper while I was going to grooming school.  He needed a home due to a divorce, he was the most devoted dog I've ever owned.
7.  I love broccoli.  This isn't interesting, until you find out that I never tried it until I was 18 and living with family friends.  My Mom didn't like it, so never served it.  I felt cheated that as a child I hated vegetables, but could've had one I liked all that time!
8.  I love The Nutcracker.  The story, the music, the ballet that goes along with it.  
9.  Someday I plan to name a cat "Marzipan".. which is a character in the Nutcracker. (you wanted random.. I give you random)
10.  I could already read when I entered kindergarten.
11.  I don't watch animal movies. (you can't make me) I can't stand to see animals hurt, lost, dying, abused or harmed in any way.   I rarely watch animal planet.. for the same reasons.  I can however watch movies about people that are hurt, lost, dying or abused.  Sick? You be the judge.

Mrs. P's Questions:
1.  What's your favorite game show?  I'm not a fan of game shows.. but I guess Jeopardy...?
2.  Popcorn or Fritos?  Is this question  really about snack foods?? Or some strange doggie foot odor question.. you can't fool me!
3.  Do you walk to work?  No, it's a bit too far.
4.  Do you sing in the car or hold a cell phone to your ear so no one knows you are actually singing?  Heck yes, I sing in the car.. and I don't care if anyone knows I'm singing. :)
5.  Do you have siblings?  Yes, one younger brother.
6.  Dogs or Cats? If you put a gun to my head and made me choose, I'd have to go with dogs, but I really love my cats too.
7.  What do you do on vacation?  I cram as much into my vacations as I possibly can, see everything, lots of sightseeing.  You will not find me lounging by the pool.  My vacations are not relaxing by most peoples standards. :)
8.  Can you say the alphabet backwards?  I just tried.. YES!  I'm glad it's not a timed event, though.
9.  Do you talk back to the TV?  Not really..
10.  Can you curl your tongue like a taco?  Yep!
11.  When was the last time you wore a dress?  I wear one once in a while to church, but not often.

My questions to you:

1.  What is your dream vacation?
2.  Name something on your "bucket list".
3.  What is your favorite color?
4.  If you had to live with out a cell phone, your computer or your DVR, which would it be?
5.  What was your first job?
6.  What book are you currently reading?
7.  Did you ever own a pet rock or a chia pet?
8.  What is your favorite season?
9.  What was your favorite subject in school?
10. What type of music would you NEVER listen to?
11.  If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

And.. who am I tagging??

Agile IWS
Border Collie Reese and Her Two Kitties
Bounce, Bark, Run
Project Go Dog
Pet Grooming: The Good the Bad, and the Furry
Just a Pup

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Trouble with Doodles

Let's just get one thing straight.  I like mixed breed dogs.  They are so interesting, no two are alike.    I'm ok with oops breedings, they do happen sometimes.  It's when they happen more than once, that I start to lose patience.   I know plenty of people who have "sport breed" mixes, created just for agility or flyball or whatever.  I'm ok with that too, as long as they all get homes that have all the information they need on that particular mix of  breeds (how high drive they will be, that they will need a job to do).  However, the animal shelters are full of mixed breed and purebred dogs alike, so I say spay and neuter is best.

Doodles (you'd have to be living under a rock for the last 10 (?) years to not have heard that term) are mix breed dogs.  The most popular Doodles are the Labradoodle (Labrador mixed with Standard Poodle) and Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever mixed with Standard Poodle).  There are many other designer dog "breeders" that have taken the doodle name and run with it, but these two are by far the most popular in my area. 

Here are a few troubling Doodle facts:

  • Most Doodle owners think their dog is a purebred, and why wouldn't they??  I did a search on Amazon.com and found 33 results for books on Labradoodles alone!!  Here's one  example .  This book boasts it's part of the "Kennel Club Books, Designer Dog series"  KENNEL CLUB??  Obviously not AKC, but to the unknowing prospective Doodle owner.. sounds pretty official to me.  No wonder they are fooled.
  • Doodle "breeders" (yep, I will always keep that word in quotes for this conversation) don't give enough or sometimes ANY information on their chosen "breed".  We've already established that they don't even tell people they are a mix.  
  • The majority of these puppy mills  "breeders" don't tell people the dogs need grooming!  In fact, they tell them the opposite, that they NEVER need grooming.   Here is the thing.. most people KNOW that a Poodle needs grooming.   Why on earth would you think said Doodle would not??  Most are shocked and very disappointed to know there will be work involved as well as Standard Poodle prices for the grooming.  IF the dog favors the Poodle side of the family.
  • Most new owners are dismayed to find out that many Doodles shed!  YES.. shed!  HMM.. how could this be?? They are the perfect hypoallergenic breed, are they not??  Let's break this down.  Golden Retrievers and Labradors shed, profusely.  So, if your dog takes after those breeds in looks and coat type, there will be shedding.
  • Now we are back to what I said before about mixed breeds.  No two are alike!  People have no idea what they are getting when they buy a puppy.  There are coat type differences as well as size differences.  We have a few Goldendoodles that are pushing 100 lbs.. and they aren't overweight! 
  • There is a common misconception that Doodles are more healthy than other (purebred) breeds.  It's just not true.  There has always been talk that mixes are more healthy than purebreds, that the combining of the two breeds somehow cancels out all the bad genetic defects.  That would be nice, but no.  If one of the parents had hip displaysia, or chronic ear infections, or eye disease, the pups will have a chance to inherit all that wonderful stuff. 
I know some very sweet, adorable Doodles.  The newest rage around here is Miniature Goldendoodles.. breed a small Golden to a miniature poodle, then keep breeding small Doodle to smaller ones, and there you have it, a very expensive "designer dog".  We have a couple of owners that got their Labradoodles at an out of state shelter.  The dogs were the "wrong" coat type, which is the more harsh, wiry coat that sheds.  The puppy mill they came from was "culling" the dogs without curly hair, as more people wanted them.  Luckily a shelter stepped in and got many out of there, and it was advertised they were up for adoption.  These are great dogs, who just happen to shed.  The best thing about that particular coat type is that it rarely matts, and can actually go without full haircuts.  They resemble a large schnauzer mix, very wirey coat, eyebrows and a beard.

Recently a client came in with her new Goldendoodle pup. This was their second try at a Doodle, as the first one they had, was returned to the "breeder" due to a serious health issue.    She wondered when the dog would start getting curls.  Uh.. Never.  She was  disappointed.. she said "we really like him, but he just doesn't look like we thought he would".   Right there, you know she probably bought him off the internet, and was never told what his coat would be like.  Here is a picture of the little guy (I'm told he is a miniature, but at his age, I'm fairly sure he will be large) 

A close up of the sparse hair growing on his ears... no curls arriving anytime soon.
He sure is cute though! 
Here is a photo of another Goldendoodle puppy I groomed, to show you what the other coat texture looks like.

Adorable!  This dog will take 10 times the coat care the other one will.
The Lab/Goldendoodles have long been advertised as the perfect blend of two breeds.  Non-shedding and curly.  Many are drawn to the scruffy, natural look of the dogs.  Well, I've got news for them, they could have a Standard Poodle, most of the time, for less purchase price. When obtained from a good breeder it will also have health testing and probably guarantees that last longer than 48 hours.  Other than the docked tail, a groomer can make a Standard Poodles haircut look any way you want.. including scruffy.  Another bonus??  Poodles do not shed.  If you don't like surprises, that helps alot.

J's husband recently came home from a day of hunting at a game farm.  He told her he was now thinking about getting a hunting dog after seeing the dogs at the farm work. They were amazing!  He then told her what kind he wanted.. same breed as the game farm's best hunting dog.   I nearly choked when she told me it was a Labradoodle!!!!!!  HA!!  Yeah, that  isn't going to happen anytime soon at J's house.  That said, it's no surprise the "breed" can hunt.. both Poodles and Labs are hunting dogs.  Just really funny that someone like J's husband, who has lived with her conformation dogs and purebreds for so many years, would actually suggest they get a Doodle!

If you have a Doodle, please don't be offended by this post.  Like I said, I love mixed breeds, and chances are, you love your Doodle.  I just wish these "breeders"wouldn't rip people off and withhold important information about their prospective pup.  If you have been thinking about buying a Doodle, please be educated.   And, by all means, please check your local shelter.. you might just be surprised to see the Doodle of your dreams waiting for you there.

I leave you with a question.  Do you think the original "designer breed" the Cockapoo, would have been an even better seller, if they had been called Cockadoodles??

Friday, January 27, 2012

I fill you up!

Today J relayed a story to me, which I just had to share. 

She had friends over at her house, and as is the norm for most of us that work in the pet industry, she got some questions from one of them regarding a problem with her dog.  She was unhappy that her dog was overweight, and couldn't figure out why this dog was fat.  "I take her for walks on the deer trails all the time"  "She doesn't eat much"  etc, etc. 

Then came the famous question we all must ask when weight issues come up.  "How much do you actually feed her?"  Normally the answer is something like "I just fill up the dish, and when it's gone, I refill it".  Not this time!  This woman knew exactly how much she was feeding her dog. 

"She just gets a Red Solo Cup full of food twice a day"
HA!!!!!!!!!  Not a blue solo cup.. but a red one! Now, anyone want to venture a guess as to how much is actually in a red solo cup?  We aren't talking about any other color.. no clue what they hold. :)  J happened to have one, so she measured it. 

3 1/2 Cups!!  Yeah.. that was 7 cups of food a day for a mid sized dog. Plus treats, I'm guessing.   I said they might want to look into a Dixie cup from now on!  J sent them home with her dog food measuring cup, so maybe the dog will lose some weight now.

Just in case someone reading this, doesn't get the reference, I thought I'd share the video for "Red Solo Cup" by Toby Keith.  Pure entertainment.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm thinking about expanding my business

What do you guys think??
Is there a market for goat grooming???

Ok, so I didn't actually groom this little baby!  One of our staff members brought him in to work with her.  He is a 10 day old orphaned Boer Goat.  He had to have a bath due to a little "accident" in his cage.  He spent the day "BAAAAAAing" and was not happy unless someone was paying attention to him, or better yet if they had a bottle full of milk replacer for him.  It's not every day a goat gets a hydrosurge bath!

Can I get a Hallelujah??????? 
No, not about the goat.  I'm so happy that yesterday and today, I groomed dogs that I  had last groomed  before Christmas.  This means the January dry spell is nearly over!! Possibly since January is nearly over.  Yay for me, and my paycheck!

It's been a while since I've given you a before and after, so here you go:
Sorry to my facebook friends, you've already seen this one.

Here we have a male Rough Collie.  He is clean in this picture.  That is all matting and undercoat that I have blown out with the high velocity dryer.  I couldn't LIVE (well, work) without my dryer.  If I didn't have that dryer I would have to brush all that out.  The dryer does alot of work, and is much easier on the dog.  It blows the mats and shedding undercoat to the surface, where it is easily removed with much less effort and brushing.  I think it had been over a year since his last groom.

And... the finished product.  Such a handsome man.  notice the pile of hair on the floor which came off him.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Yesterday I read another worthy blog post by the people who write Veterinarians Behaving Badly.  I love that blog, and if you haven't discovered it already, please check them out.  I admire their humor, and uncensored tales of all the pure craziness that goes on in a vet clinic.  Some might take offense to a few of the posts, but if you work in the animal care industry, you know they don't have to look hard to figure out where they get their content.  This particular post really had me laughing, mostly because I know the stories could've come from any of the vets I work with.  Here is the post.  You have to read it to the end to know why I nearly shot my diet beverage out my nose when I was told a story that happened at our clinic today.

We have a very regular grooming client, that has a Smooth Miniature Dachshund, it comes in at least every month.  J was joking before the dog came in that it was the "cleanest Dachshund in the state".  The receptionist she was speaking with, told her that the owner says "here's my dirty wiener" when she comes in the door.  What!!  Thankfully, she reserves that comment for before the groomer comes to check her in.. we've never heard her say that.  I don't think I could keep a straight face on that one.  The girl that brought the dog back up to it's owner later in the day, reported that they were happy to see their clean wiener!  I guess when you are a Dachshund owner, there is nothing better than a good wiener reference...  hilarious!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pavlov's Human

Today's funny exchange with a client.

Ms. Hopeful:  I've been meaning to ask you, do you give my dog a treat every time you brush her?

Me:  No.... sometimes we give them a treat when they are all done with their groom, but most of the time they don't eat them when they are back with us.

Mr. Told-ya-so:  See!! I knew it. 

Ms. Hopeful:  Well, every time I brush her she demands a treat, pushes at my hand and barks at me.  I thought you had trained her that way.

Mr. Told-ya-so:  That dog has her so trained!! You've heard of Pavlov's dog? Well, this is Pavlov's human!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Smack dab* (sorry, smack dab is just fun to say, and also type, as it turns out) in the middle of the week of Christmas when I had plenty of time to deal with the crazy people (don't you just wish there was a font for sarcasm?)  I had the oddest exchange with a client.  I feel the need to share.

In the door came a recent request client.  I had groomed her dog twice before, according to the paperwork the receptionists had given me.  Yes, I could do the same as last time, I was glad she had liked it.  No problem.   The little dog was named Leah Jones**.  Leah, is one of those names that you never quite know how to pronounce.  Is it LEEa?  Or Laya (like the princess in that famous movie)?  No time for figuring that puzzle out on a day like this one, so we just pretend we know, and move on.  Take the dog to the back and get her groomed and return her. 

The return.  That's when the trouble began.  I have a million things on my mind as I run the dog to it's owner, hoping to thank them, and beat it to the back to finish the next dog.  Instead, the receptionist is making a huge point of telling me that "this is actually  LEEa Jones" ... Um.. ok... whatever... who cares? As I stood there with a very confused look on my face, the owner went on to say, that her Sister-In-Law also has a little dog, which she also named Leah, but she pronounces it Laya.   Oh...Ok.. yeah, I'm still confused, but really didn't have time for sorting it all out.  I say "we will make sure we put the phonetic spelling on your record for next time" thinking that this was the problem.. I'm saying her dog's name wrong.  I finally break away and head to the back.

5 minutes later, there is a phone call for me. It's from Leah's owner.  She wanted to clarify... Her Sister In Law's last name is ALSO Jones.. and the dogs are litter mates, both Maltese mixes.    My dog's haircut looks a bit different than usual.. could it be that I gave her the wrong cut?  Great.  I have plenty of time for this.   Really.   So, I move to the computer, and find... oh yes.. there are two dogs.  One is White, the other Black and Tan... and we've groomed them both.  I start to sweat... sure enough, I was given the "other" Leah's card.  The person who made the appointment just went with the first Leah Jones they could find (which who could blame them) and put it in the computer that way.  HOLY CRAP.  Thankfully, the haircuts were very similar.. it could've been really bad.. the other Leah could've gotten a shave or something... Yikes!  I explained our mistake, but the client still swore that her dog's head was left too long.  I apologized and offered her to come in and have me fix it later in the week.  She tells me that she TOLD her Sis-in-law not to name her dog that.. but she wouldn't listen.  That would be annoying.. I'm guessing there was no love lost between those two.  She finished off the conversation by saying that she hoped I hadn't charged her the other dog's haircut price as well, because that seemed a bit high too.  I told her I'd check.

Everything turned out fine.. I fixed the head, which I'm convinced she only had a problem with because she caught us at our mix up.  And.. thankfully the prices on the haircuts were identical.. Whew!!

*  I felt I should let you all know that originally I spelled smackdab as one word.  Imagine my surprise when spellcheck picked it up and let me know it's actually  TWO words!!  Silly me.
**You guessed it, names, first and last, have been changed in this blog entry, you never know who reads this thing!.