Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A tale of two Lazy Clients.

These are recent phone conversations I just had to share.

The first call comes via one of our sainted receptionists.  I don't envy them their job. 

Latesleeper:  Hi, I need to make an appointment for Tuesday for my dog.

Saint J:  Ok, well, D has an 8 AM appointment available for that day.

LS:  WHAT!  Tuesday is my day off!  I'd like to sleep in that day!  Can't I come later??

St. J:  I'm sorry that is all she has available for Tuesday.

LS: Well, forget it then! *CLICK*

......20 minutes later.....

LS:  Hi, I need to make an appointment for my dog on Tuesday, do you still have that 8 AM appointment available? 

St. J:  Yes, it's still there, do you want it?

LS: I guess so.  <annoyed tone of voice>  I had no idea everyone in town is so busy this week!

What the heck? So, she called everyone else in town, and no one could give her what she wanted.   Do these people do this when they call the dentist's office? 

The second call was one I was involved in.  I had called an owner whose dog I had on the table at the time, to ask a question about the haircut.  After we settled that question, the conversation took a turn for the crazy.

Client:  How do her ears look today?  She has been scratching at them.

D: They actually look really good.  However, I can't see down inside the ear canal, and if she continues to be bothered by her ears, she should see the Dr.

C:  You know.. I've been meaning to talk to you about that.  You know I've been seeing the new Dr.  (she now starts to whisper)  I don't mean to get you in the middle of all this..

(OH BOY, I'm thinking , HERE it comes, what could've happened??)

C:  She told me that I needed to clean my dog's ears every week.

D:  (silence ... I don't really have any clue what is so wrong with that request)

C:  I don't want to do that!  I used to always just let you clean them every month when she got groomed.

D:  <Wow>  Well, certainly  weekly ear cleaning goes with good pet care.... especially if your dog is prone to ear problems.

I don't even remember how this call ended... I was so shocked that she would fault a Vet for suggesting basic care.  SIGH.  Come ON people!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm Living In Doodle HELL.

Are you sick of hearing Doodle stories yet?? Sorry, it seems like that is all I groom lately! 

I groomed a black Goldendoodle for the first time the other day.  They gave me the "don'tmakeitlooklikeapoodle" comment, then the "Ilikeitscruffy" as well.  So helpful. It had never been groomed before, and it was around 8 months old.  Lucky for me it was perfectly behaved (A minor miracle) and the owner had actually been brushing her (???)!  I told her that I was fairly certain the cut I would give her would seem quite short to her, as the dog had 6 inch long hair right now.  Short of doing a full scissored trim (which I don't ever enjoy doing, especially on a puppy) which would cost many, many dollars to the client, my choice is our longest blade, which leaves it about 1 1/2 inches, still plenty of fluff.  I explained as best I could what I would be doing.  I would scissor the head so it would look "just like it is, but shorter".. still hair on the face, which seems to be important when you own a doodle.  The coat came off looking like plush black velvet underneath!  The dog was adorable, and everyone at work thought so.  I missed the go home, but the front desk told me they "laughed" (probably due to the hot pink bows in her ears) but seemed pleased that they wouldn't have all the hair to deal with. 

Late in the week, their neighbor came in. The neighbor has a Goldendoodle as well, and it's why these people got this puppy.  The receptionist asked what they thought of the pup's groom.   He said "Well, I think it looks great, but they think the head is too long".  She encouraged him to tell the pup's owner to bring her back in so I could shorten it.  They brought it in today.  I was thinking.. maybe due to my valiant effort to "leave it scruffy", I just left the head too long.

The dog arrived, and I was shocked that they thought there was a problem.. it still looked adorable and very in proportion to the rest of the haircut.

Me:  What seems to be the trouble, is it too long?

Doodleowner:  Well... I just LOVE the body length (remember, I was worried it would be too short), it looks JUST like a Golden Retriever .  What the heck??? The dog is black and CURLY!!!!!)  But, could you shorten up the head, so it doesn't look so much like a poodle?

Me:  (ignoring the poodle remark)  Ok, so would you want the top of the head to match the body length?

D.O.:  Well... I don't know, what do you think?  At this point, I wanted to say... IT LOOKS CUTE RIGHT NOW!! 

Me:  Hmm.. well many people like more of a Schnauzer look to these dogs, we could leave short eyebrows, and trim up the beard.

D.O.: Weeell... What does a Golden Retriever's face look like??  REALLLY?????? You wanted a Goldendoodle, which you want to look like a Golden, but you don't even know what a Golden looks like?  ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!  Who doesn't know what a Golden looks like??   The sad thing is, their last dog was a Golden mix (just a mix.. not a doodle or anything cool) that looked like a small Golden Retriever.  Apparently they forgot what she looked like.

I talked her out (actually flat out refused) of trying to make it look like a Golden.. mostly because the dog looks NOTHING like a Golden.  Crazy.. I know. I should just try harder.  Plus, if I were to make it look like a Golden's face, that would mean clipping the hair off the face.  Here's a news flash:  Poodles have shaved faces!!!!!!!!  I have no idea if she really liked what I did. I hope so.. but it's extremely hard to figure out what kind of look she wants, when she doesn't know herself. 

"Give it a Labra/Goldendoodle haircut" is not an viable instruction for me.  Sadly, when I try to explain that MIXed breeds can have any haircut you want, they look at me like I'm an idiot, and I obviously don't know how to groom their "breed" of dog.  I may need to go back to school.. Remedial Doodle Grooming 101.  Anyone know where I can take it online??

Thursday, April 12, 2012


This is a Doodle.  A BERNER Doodle.  For those unaware of such a rare breed, it's a cross between a Standard Poodle, and a Bernese Mountain Dog.   This guy is only 7 months old, and was extremely sweet.  I shudder to think of what they had to pay for this dog.  If you can pay $800 to $1500 for a LABradoodle..and Labradors are a dime a dozen, what possibly must a pup out of a relatively rarer breed cost?  P.S. The receptionist had to call me and have me personally give a quote.. as for some reason, this breed isn't on our pricelist!

Ok, I forgot to take a side view before I started clipping, but this is a pretty good "before".  My only instructions????? DON'T make him look like a Poodle.  The last place that groomed him, shaved him down like a Poodle.  Really?  The only other piece of information I was given was, "I like him scruffy".    As you can see, the coloring of a Bernese Mountain Dog didn't come through on this dog.  His "tan" markings are very faint.  I guess a really brilliant black, tan and white would've been kind of cool, but to me he looks like any other Doodle. 

I sure hope he doesn't look like a Poodle.. Maybe a huge Bichon??  Probably not scruffy enough.  I left before he went home, I will have to wait til tomorrow to find out how the go home went.  Bernerdoodle or not, he was a very good boy, so I hope he keeps coming back.  For the record, J is convinced he is just a Goldendoodle that came out with strange coloring, and they chose to call him a Bernerdoodle so they could get more money.  Who knows..maybe he is a Rottidoodle, or a Gordondoodle, maybe even a Dobedoodle??

I think once (I'm totally kidding here) AKC allows Doodles to be registered, they will have to have their own group.  I mean, would the Goldendoodles be in the Sporting, or Non-sporting group?? There are just too many, they can have their own group.   There will be Staffydoodles, and Mastiffdoodles, Afghandoodles and Komondoodles. 

Last minute edit:  I forgot.. problems I found with this new breed.  He sheds!  What the heck?? Oh, wait, Berners shed.. Yep, my comb found lots of undercoat.  Also, he has tons of ear hair... from his Poodle parent, obviously.  Too bad they haven't found a way to weed out these traits.  ;) I guess it's back to the genetic roulette wheel!