“Why does my dog’s appointment take so long?”

17 Mar

I just had a customer show up 1 1/2 hours before he said he was going to and call me a liar because his two full coated shih tzus weren’t ready yet. So i’m a bit raw from that. Without further ado, here are some reasons why your dog’s appointment might take longer than expected.

* Your appointment is the last one on a busy day. When you schedule in the last available slot, you have to hope that none of the below circumstances happen with the 12 clients before you. Your best bet is to always choose the earliest appointment and show up a few minutes early so yours is the first dog in.

* Yours or Another dog (or two, or three) is a Nervous Pee-er, or has an undiagnosed UTI. Why does this matter? Cause if a dog decides to pee all over themselves once they’ve been bathed, they must be rebathed and dried. If they’ve already been GROOMED, they’ll need to be rebathed, dried, and possible re groomed, as their hair will lay in a slightly different way now and may require reshaping. If this dog is small and was in a top kennel, their urine may drip down onto the dog below them, meaning BOTH will require a rebathe and dry. The kennel bottom will also need to be removed, washed, sterilized and dried.

* Yours or another dog (or two or three) had a Big Guilt Breakfast and now cant stop pooping. All of the above points apply, except while a small pee can be rinsed off of feet and redried in 15 minutes, a fountain of diarrhea requires a new complete bath, the entire kennel sterilized, and a blow dry.

* Yours or another dog (or two or three)is afraid of the dryer. Why does this matter? A proper groom requires a properly dried dog. If a dog is so stressed out by the blow dryer that the most humane thing to do is to use a kennel dryer, the drying time will be doubled or quadrupled, depending on their amount of coat. The groom will also take longer, as a crinkly, curly coat will take forever to get smooth and look even.

* Yours or another dog (or two or three) is matted and MUST BE BRUSHED OUT. Now, any professional groomer knows when a coat is too far gone to humanely save. But if your stylist has 5 shih tzus with tangled ears and tails ahead of your dog, that’s an additional 15 minutes PER DOG, which means being 2 hours and 15 minutes behind in their day by the time they get to your dog.

* The groomer left a Voicemail and you didn’t receive it. Let’s face it, most of us are terrible at checking our voicemail. In this world of text messaging, fewer and fewer people check their voicemail. After all, if it were that important, they would text, right? Except when we are calling from a landline. I would estimate at least 3-5 clients PER DAY call me to to say “I missed a call 45 minutes ago, is my dog ready yet??? It’s been over 3 hours!”
They never check their voicemail. They rarely consider the time the voicemail was left (which is why I usually conclude my voicemails with “the time is now 12:01”). All they consider is the time they arrive to pick up. And suddenly, it’s “that groomer had my dog from 9am til 2:05pm!”. Actually, we left a message at 12:01, when your dog was ready for pick up. Just because you didt check your phone til almost 1 and didnt pick up your pet til after 2 doesn’t mean we were cruelly holding your pet ransom. We tried to call. You missed our call. If we have time, we’ll try to call again, otherwise we’ll just assume youre too busy to pick up.

I have more but i have this clinging to me and crying.

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Youtube?

1 Feb

You know what I’d really like to do? Get on Youtube. Do A Day in the Lifeof a groomer. No, not filming the challenging dogs, nobody likes that negativity. Filming “puppy’s first groom”, a step by step guide to what this consists of and how the pet owner can practice at home. Explaining how to properly line brush a dog. Showing off cool tools and products and techniques. Maybe showing time saving tips for creativity in the salon. Accessories, spa specialty services, How to make a Matted Shave Down Stylish, that sort of thing.

I dunno, i’ve been playing with the idea for well over a year. First i’ll need a newer camera, my current one requires a Firewire port, which my computer doesnt have.

Hmm. On days when i only have 3 or 4 dogs, this would be awesome.

The Satisfaction of Hard Work

31 Jan

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Today was the perfect Saturday! I interviewed and hired a new assistant (^ that’s her dog up there!) And we had my FAVORITE busy day. The day when the Chihuahua pack visit!

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2 get haircuts, two are just baths, all are easy as pie with an AWESOME owner who is an incredible tipper and just makes me feel so appreciated! I always look forward to the day these dogs come, cause they are my Good Luck charms. Every time they come, we have an awesome, busy-but-easy day that is super profitable.

I have to admit, after almost a week of biking to work at 8:40am, answering all phones/setting appointments, doing all laundry, and all cleaning… I have reignited my passion for my shop. I am taking pride in all aspects of my business again, from the customer service and grooming itself (that never changes) to having a gorgeous, fully-stocked with towels, shiny, sweet-smelling shop every single day.

Just days ago, in the midst of my angst I felt inspired to post on this long-defunct blog, if only to have a place to vent. I was feeling burnt out, underpaid, overwhelmed, and just so “daily grind”. I was literally telling myself “just grit your teeth and survive the next 4 years of your lease”.

Today? I feel inspired, I feel excited, i feel proud of my little shop and the hard work i put into it. I have to underscore my pride I feel in my beautiful little shop and the love I feel for my customers, human and canine alike.

Guys, I feel like I can do this. Maybe this can be done, running this shop solo. Making money, covering my pups with gems and glitter and bandanas and bows, taking adorable themed photos, just making every groom a “spa experience” and going the full 9 yards.

I’m excited. I’m proud. I love what I do, I really do, and eventually I hope to feel confident in the admin portion of being a business owner (the licenses, the taxes, the fees, the finances, the miscellaneous irritations that pop up like a zit on prom night).

I’m 30 now. I have awesome Yelp and Facebook reviews, I have two incredible, gorgeous children, a supportive, committed boyfriend, and two parents that have never waivered in their love and support for us.

I am blessed and all I can do is stay humble, keep working hard, and pray that tomorrow is as wonderful as today.

Business Goals for 2016

30 Jan

Three weeks ago I sat down and wrote out my goals (business and career) for 2016. Filled with pride, I shared these goals with my family, and they sat in rapt wonder before bursting into applause, wiping tears from their eyes, and tossing me onto their shoulders amid a chorus of “For she’s a jolly good fellow!”.

Well, sort of. In real life, they were appropriately interested, gave some suggestions, and then I lost the paper filled with earnest goals.

BUT what I remembered from my list was to upgrade my random daily photos of completed grooms by creating a Photo Corner, with monthly themed backgrounds. Each monthly photo theme would tie in with that month’s themed Upgrade package (tooth brushing, specifically-scented shampoo and conditioner, fragrance) and the complementary bows and bandanas I include with every groom.

I’ve always loved doing special things around the fall and winter holidays, specifically, special shampoos and scents and photo upgrade packages. Now I want to do this every month. My shop is So Fetch! Salon, we are a small and intimate specialty salon that takes limited numbers of clients per day. This means we can offer additional services (skin and coat treatments, Individual Spa Sessions [pet owners have the option to stay and watch] and of course, creative grooming). My prices are a little bit higher than any other shop in the area, but we also are offering a complete Spa Experience.

But that’s the professional, brochure-style jargon. In truth? I do all of this stuff because I friggin’ LOVE all things adorable, specialty, and over the top.

And now I will share February’s theme and specialty upgrade.

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Our specialty Upgrade package

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Our photo area!

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Isnt it fun?? I’m having a blast!

Endorphins make you Happy

29 Jan

I rode into work bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 8:50am this morning. Here is another way I’ve been spoiled with an assistant: I NEVER opened my store, she would check in our 9am dogs and begin bathing, and I would arrive between 10-11 and begin blasting them out. The morning dogs went home within 2-3 hours, usually.

I groomed a beautiful Medium doodle this morning named Enzo, named for the dog in The Art of Racing in the Rain. If you haven’t read it, stop everything and go read it. Then read A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey. Then, when you’re all out of tears and kleenex, come tell me your favorite dog fiction. I friggin LOVE dog fiction. Obviously I’ve read Marley and Me, so be more original than that.

I am enjoying writing these evening musings. It’s kind of nice, now that I have no one except the dogs to talk to at work.

Here’s a doodle. Don’t judge his feet, usually I prefer to leave an almost bell-bottom foot, but his parents requested a very tight foot, as he is going home to Oregon to play in the snow and mud.

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