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Some of you may recall that we really lucked out with Peggy's groomer. Peggy came home from every appointment happy and well-behaved. We were over the moon.

Well, that groomer has been on health leave now for months, so we eventually tried her colleague. The first time was okay. The groom itself wasn't up to our regular groomer's standards, and Peggy seemed uncomfortable for a couple of weeks after, but this has been our experience with past groomers.

This time, however, her feet are very pink and one even has an abrasion:

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Her rear end is also obviously very uncomfortable, and she's cowering from my touch. She wouldn't even look at me for the first hour after arriving home. Can't express how NOT Peggy this is. :(

Is your poodle miserable after their grooming appointments? Or should we try to find someone new? Most aren't accepting new clients since the start of covid.

I texted our regular groomer—the one who's on leave—and she immediately called me. She said she usually uses a 10 blade for Peggy's FFT, which this other groomer clearly didn't. So if we go back there, I at least know what to ask for now.

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Poor Peggy! I would be trying another groomer if possible. I imagine if they work together this one is overwhelmed with appointments and rushing it. No excuse, but... poor Peggy!!! Two bad experiences in a row is 2 too many.
That's my feeling. :( I suspect we're one appointment away from her not going in so willingly. Today she was as eager as ever, which is kind of heartbreaking.

I'll talk to our regular groomer again in a few days. Maybe she can recommend someone else. She loves Peggy and really poured her heart into making Peggy love grooming.
 

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Oh, poor Peggy. My guys have tended to not like the groomer. We stopped using one because Pogo would start shivering as we walked up to the door.

I also found we had to be very careful about communication. The two things I learned to be very specific on were

Feet & muzzle (short, but we aren't trying for a surgical shave here; leave enough hair he doesn't get sunburnt toes)

Matted fur (no need to torture the dog or groomer. He's a muddy disgusting swamp creature; I'm totally ok with a short cut if that's the easiest way to deal with the mess.)
 

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Poor Peggy. I agree it's not normal for her to feel that way. Sometimes after I shave Misha's feet (his least favorite part) he will hide in his pen for 10 minutes to make sure I'm done messing with him before he comes to snuggle. But he recovers very quickly. I'm not sure what could make Peggy so upset but it can't be good.
 

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Oh, poor Peggy. My guys have tended to not like the groomer. We stopped using one because Pogo would start shivering as we walked up to the door.

I also found we had to be very careful about communication. The two things I learned to be very specific on were

Feet & muzzle (short, but we aren't trying for a surgical shave here; leave enough hair he doesn't get sunburnt toes)

Matted fur (no need to torture the dog or groomer. He's a muddy disgusting swamp creature; I'm totally ok with a short cut if that's the easiest way to deal with the mess.)
Good advice for our lifestyle, too. Thank you. She's got that delicate pink toe skin. I think her paws would be fine with a 7 (the same length I requested for her body). At least for now, until she's back in more gentle, skilled hands.

I'm going to print out a poodle illustration and just number each body part with the length I want. Zero room for confusion.
 

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Poor Peggy. I agree it's not normal for her to feel that way. Sometimes after I shave Misha's feet (his least favorite part) he will hide in his pen for 10 minutes to make sure I'm done messing with him before he comes to snuggle. But he recovers very quickly. I'm not sure what could make Peggy so upset but it can't be good.
She's acting more normal now, but is still obviously sore. And she's snatching treats, whereas she usually is almost comically gentle. So I know she's stressed.

I let her burn off some steam in the backyard, which seemed to help. She even started spontaneously offering up tricks, which cracked me up:

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Our regular groomer gives her play breaks during each appointment. I suspect this groomer doesn't do that. Like @For Want of Poodle said, she's probably extremely busy because they're short-staffed. But that's no excuse.

She raves about how good Peggy is. Well....part of that is her responsibility to maintain!

Good girl:

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She probably used dull blades, let them heat up too much or else went over the same spot again and again. But she didn’t even do a good job, all those tufts and uneven spots. Just for comparison, when my son needed some extra swim lessons to pass his level, I asked the swim instructor if I could pay for some private lessons. She came in on her day off and taught my son during the public swim at the pool. It was great! So I’m wondering, would your groomer think about just doing one poodle (Peggy) while she’s on leave? Even if the groom were simplified so that she could do it while accommodating her physical restrictions?


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Poor Peggy.

I would think twice about going back. You have a dog that loves to go to her regular groomer and you don't want to ruin that. I hope your regular groomer can recommend someone else.........or maybe it's time to do it yourself at home. It's a lot of work but you can break it up to small parts.

Do you know when your regular groomer will be back to work? Could you do touch ups until she's ready to groom Peggy?
 

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She probably used dull blades, let them heat up too much or else went over the same spot again and again. But she didn’t even do a good job, all those tufts and uneven spots. Just for comparison, when my son needed some extra swim lessons to pass his level, I asked the swim instructor if I could pay for some private lessons. She came in on her day off and taught my son during the public swim at the pool. It was great! So I’m wondering, would your groomer think about just doing one poodle (Peggy) while she’s on leave? Even if the groom were simplified so that she could do it while accommodating her physical restrictions?


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I know. It's really not good. :( Her last groom was like this, too—little tufts everywhere.

I've been keeping in close contact with our regular groomer, feeling her out in case she'd be open to doing just a monthly FFT and letting me do the rest. But she's not up for it. She recently started doing one small dog per day and even that's proving to be too much.

She owns the grooming salon and recently moved very close to us (much closer than the salon is), so I'm confident she'd help us out if she could. At this point I just want her to get well, which I know is hard when you've got the stress of a business hanging over your head...especially since she'd only recently re-opened after covid regulations shut her down for months.

Peggy's burrowed in tight as I type this. What a day for a sensitive poodle.

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The groomer went pretty short on her face too, it looks like, a 30 probably. Especially if Peggy is not used to that, it certainly could be irritating and is much easier to cause clipper burn. And if she clipped too close or in the wrong direction around Peggy's rectum... That would explain her discomfort.
In your search for a new groomer, maybe you could just ask for fft in a few weeks? Or else body minus fft? Then you could get an idea of what they are like without subjecting Peggy to the whole ordeal if they are not great.
 

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It would seriously disturb me that Peggy came home cowering from your touch. I couldn't use that groomer again. I'd go groomer shopping while I waited for the lady (who is on medical leave) to get back at it. I'd have a primary & a back up. It really bothers me that she was cringing from your touch. I just... no, couldn't use that person again. On my Giant Schnauzer, there are times when I clip her back end, I take tape & put it on my skin & pull it off once so it's still sticky but it's not ultra sticky. I then apply the tape & zip it off. She will stand all day for this because Giants when you clip them you end up with Schnauzer splinters, little sharp hairs that will embed in your skin like a splinter. So if I don't tape her, she will be very bothered by her sanitary area. But Poodle hair doesn't behave that way. I suppose if another stiffer haired dog was on the groom table prior to Peggy, she might have gotten a terrier or Schnauzer splinter & you can't always see them, but the tape will get them. This happened once with Mr. Layne. I had him on the table & he did this little weird flip around (like he spun once) on the table & went after his bum. I realized I hadn't vacuumed the table since the Giant & He had sat & gotten some schnauzer splinters. I used the tape & no more spinning (& no more me grooming him without proper cleaning of that table either!)

I'm so sorry that's happened for you & Peggy :( Sending hugs
 

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Poor Peggy.

I would think twice about going back. You have a dog that loves to go to her regulaupr groomer and you don't want to ruin that. I hope your regular groomer can recommend someone else.........or maybe it's time to do it yourself at home. It's a lot of work but you can break it up to small parts.

Do you know when your regular groomer will be back to work? Could you do touch ups until she's ready to groom Peggy?
We thought it would just be six weeks or so, but that's come and gone and she's now starting to consider surgery, which would dramatically extend her leave. I guess at this point I have to proceed as though she's out of the picture.

I'll start asking around for referrals and will also do regular maintenance to stretch this groom out as long as I can. She has another appointment booked in December. Maybe I could make that just a "happy visit."
 

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The groomer went pretty short on her face too, it looks like, a 30 probably. Especially if Peggy is not used to that, it certainly could be irritating and is much easier to cause clipper burn. And if she clipped too close or in the wrong direction around Peggy's rectum... That would explain her discomfort.
In your search for a new groomer, maybe you could just ask for fft in a few weeks? Or else body minus fft? Then you could get an idea of what they are like without subjecting Peggy to the whole ordeal if they are not great.
I was wondering about her face. It doesn't seem to be bothering her, but it's definitely shorter than usual. And yet there are little tufts around her mouth and some unevenness between her eyes. Her topknot is also so heavy, we actually can't even see her eyes from some angles.

I think having a new groomer just do her body is a good idea. And how they respond to that request will tell me a lot about them.
 

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It would seriously disturb me that Peggy came home cowering from your touch. I couldn't use that groomer again. I'd go groomer shopping while I waited for the lady (who is on medical leave) to get back at it. I'd have a primary & a back up. It really bothers me that she was cringing from your touch. I just... no, couldn't use that person again. On my Giant Schnauzer, there are times when I clip her back end, I take tape & put it on my skin & pull it off once so it's still sticky but it's not ultra sticky. I then apply the tape & zip it off. She will stand all day for this because Giants when you clip them you end up with Schnauzer splinters, little sharp hairs that will embed in your skin like a splinter. So if I don't tape her, she will be very bothered by her sanitary area. But Poodle hair doesn't behave that way. I suppose if another stiffer haired dog was on the groom table prior to Peggy, she might have gotten a terrier or Schnauzer splinter & you can't always see them, but the tape will get them. This happened once with Mr. Layne. I had him on the table & he did this little weird flip around (like he spun once) on the table & went after his bum. I realized I hadn't vacuumed the table since the Giant & He had sat & gotten some schnauzer splinters. I used the tape & no more spinning (& no more me grooming him without proper cleaning of that table either!)

I'm so sorry that's happened for you & Peggy :( Sending hugs
Ouch! Thanks for sharing that with me. After Peggy's last appointment, for weeks she would abruptly whip around like something had bit her bum. Or she'd race to her bed and sit down hard.

I'm not sure how she'd react to tape right now. I can't even touch her tail without her spooking, and she's holding it low and tight to her body. I'm guessing they burned or went too short around her rectum like they did her feet. I'll get in and check tomorrow when she's had more time to decompress.
 

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I am so sorry that happened to your sweet girl. Jasper is a handful at the groomer and he's come home with bad reactions based on how he was treated. He would physically shake. I think finding a new groomer would be best.
 

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I am so sorry that happened to your sweet girl. Jasper is a handful at the groomer and he's come home with bad reactions based on how he was treated. He would physically shake. I think finding a new groomer would be best.
I can't imagine if she decided the groomer was not her friend. So stressful for everyone. Poor Jasper :(

What's worrying me most right now is she rapidly backed away from the bathtub when I extended my hand for her to lick. She always licks my wet hand when I'm in the bath. It's our compromise, as she used to try and dip her whole head in the water.

Urrrghhh.

It would take something mighty unpleasant to make my girl not love the bath.

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Oh, poor Peggy ! I would definitely not go back to that groomer. I think you’ve done her yourself before, right ? Maybe do her yourself for whatever is left of COVID (with vaccines coming, hopefully we’re done in 6-8 months, so maybe 3 grooms) ? When it’d over it will be much easier to find someone else.
 
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