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At Home Pet Grooming: A Humorous Attempt

Updated on June 18, 2012

Princess Annie

Princess Annie
Princess Annie | Source

Santa Brought Us A Puppy!

Santa brought a puppy to our house 5 months ago. I was amazed at how Santa had even listened to my puppy wishes. While the kids wanted a puppy, I wanted one that was cute, didn’t slobber, wasn’t as tall as me and most of all, did not shed. Santa brought us Annie and she fit our criterion perfectly.

When Annie was about 3 months old I took her to her first grooming. She came out literally looking like a princess, crown and all. She had her nailed trimmed, was cut, bathed and given a barrette. We were so pleased with the new, clean Annie. Our new, clean Annie cost me $50.

At Home Hair Cuts

My oldest set of twins, now age 7, got their first haircuts at a salon. I sat with the kids and tried to control their crying. The hair stylist tried her best, wielding her scissors, to cut their hair and not their heads. What was more fun than wearing a ton of hair was enduring the stares regarding the crying boys. I took them one more time and tried my best to pay attention to what they were doing. I paid my $20 plus tip and planned to never return.

Ever since, I have cut all of my children’s hair. I have 4 boys and 1 girl. The boys get hair cut about once per month. At minimum, I would be paying $40/month. This is the minimum! My daughter could probably hold off a little longer, but she, too, have never had her hair cut by anyone but me. Perhaps when they want more stylish cuts this will cease, but until then, I keep cutting.

Some Dogs Have Hair. Some Dogs Have Fur.

So we are back in the present and sitting on my back patio. My neighbor was shedding a little light on me. She was telling me something that makes total sense but I did not yet comprehend. Dogs that have fur shed in the house. Yuck and no for me! Dogs that have hair do not shed in the house. Yes, that was Annie.

The light bulb just went off!

What does hair do? It grows, unless you are my husband in which case it falls out.

I was realizing that while I did not have fur in my house, I had a dog with some fast growing follicles. I needed to figure out who I was going to deal with this one.

The Price Of Pet Grooming

I had 2 choices: pay $50 every other month or learn how to cut my dog’s hair.

I mentioned this to my husband and he questioned my ability to do this. I asked, “You will let me cut your children’s hair but you are worried about me messing up the dog’s hair?” In classic ‘my husband’ fashion he said, “Do want you want. You will anyhow. And lucky for us, it will grow back.”

He was right. I had already decided to cut Annie’s hair.

I went to the pet store and found a pair of dog grooming clippers with 16 settings. “16? Really? Ok, I will take them”.


Annie! | Source

Cut Your Dog's Hair Outside!

So I texted my sister before I got started. She has a giant chia pet, aka an Aussie doodle, that she had just home groomed. She wished me luck and reminded me to go outside. I laughed because my husband had just told me the same thing. I am not an idiot, but it was a little windy out and was sort of planning on staying inside.

So outside I went, tools and dog in hand. I decided on a level 4. We got started. Holy Cow!

At Home Dog Grooming Tools

At Home Pet Grooming: Lessons Learned

What I learned:

1. Deaf Video Dog: My Dog Disliked Clippers

I had reviewed a YouTube video on dog grooming prior to getting started. I learned that that dog was either sedated or deaf because Annie wanted nothing to do with the sound of those clippers. The video dog just sat there. Clearly, this dog was a professional. I was tricked!

I texted my sister and she said, “Oh yeah, we let our chia pet hear the sound of the clippers days before she got the actual hair cut so that she got used to it.” Genius, but Annie had a stripe already so I had to keep going.

2. Groomers Wear Kevlar: My Dog Scratches!

I had on shorts. It was windy but a nice day. I realize that dog groomers use harnesses and grooming tables. I decided to just hold my dog and cut her hair. What I should have done first was pull out all her nails. She scratched my legs like I had buried a bone in them. I got a towel to put it over my legs. This was better, but she was still not on board.

3. I Need A Tired Dog: Dog Dislikes Clippers

There were no murders today. If you live by me, I apologize. If you don't live by me, you probably still heard it. Annie was crying like a baby. In her mind, this was not going to happen today. But, I was determined. I let the clippers, still on, just sit by her and I fed her treats. I decided to regoogle “what if my dog hates clippers.” I found that the best dog to groom is a tired dog.

Annie Playing With Her New Toy

Annie and her new toy
Annie and her new toy | Source

4. Wear Her Out: My Dog Needed To Be Tired

I decided to use the cool toy I just got the day before. It was a fishing pole like apparatus with a dog toy at the end. Annie and I played for about 10 minutes before she appeared to be exhausted. I was going to try again. Tired dog. Check!

5. Tired Dogs Still Don’t Like Clippers

She was still crying, but putting up less of a physical fight. Now she was just a whiny puppy. I decided to precede just using scissors. I use scissors on my kids. Let’s try the same thing here. She had stopped crying. We were making progress.

6. Dogs Who Hate Clippers Might Tolerate Scissors: Cutting Dog Hair with Scissors

She was exhausted and just laid on my lap. I felt like Edward Scissorshands. I was doing my best to cut as much of her as possible as fast as I could. Hair was flying everywhere!

Annie is like the energizer bunny. This nap was going to be short. I was racing against the clock!

7. Make Her Full: Feed Your Dog

So, she woke up. I let her run around again, chasing her new toy. She was looking trimmed, but I wasn’t done yet. I finished wearing her out.

Now I needed to feed my dog! She normally eats dry dog food, but I had purchased 2 cans of wet dog food once. I thought this might be a treat. I put some on a plate and came inside. I noticed I was wearing a dog sweater. I tried to dehair a bit. I came back out and the food was gone. Either my kids ate it or the dog did. I went with the assumption it was the dog.

8. Finish the Job: At Home Dog Clippers

This time she was tired and full. I decided to try the clippers again. She was letting me! I didn't have time to do a happy dance and I am a really bad dancer. I knew I had to get moving before she changed her mind. She didn’t like it by her neck or front legs, but for the most part, I ended up trimming her as I first planned. She even let me trim her face with scissors. I patted myself on the back. I did a nice job.

Annie After Her First At Home Grooming

Annie and her new toy
Annie and her new toy | Source

Successful At Home Dog Grooming

I texted my sister whose chia pet is the same age as Annie but 4x the size. I think 3 hours had passed. I told her I was done. She replied, “She isn’t that big. What took so long?” I am sure she was unaware of the ordeal I had been through. I told her she could read about it in a few days. She laughed.

Husband's Reaction

My husband works from home. He came out of his office a few times during the day. I am sure he rolled his eyes. This thing was going on for hours.

When she was done, I took her down the hall to his office. He complemented the end product. Annie looked great!

I learned quite a bit and will absolutely try this one again.

At Home Dog Groomer Pledge

I have created an At Home Dog Groomer Pledge.

I, the at home dog groomer, pledge to...

Bring out the clippers a few days before I plan to use them.

Trim my dog's nails first.

Make my dog so exhausted before I start that he/she can barely see straight.

Allow my dog to binge on a special meal so that he/she is fat and happy. (I might even look for something laced in tryptophan!)

Wear long pants. (Maybe even motorcycle pants.)

Later On

Later in the evening my kids were playing outside. Annie was running around with her new look. My husband complimented me again. He said he was impressed that I got her to like the clippers and that she looked less homeless.

Then he looked at my legs and said, “What happened?”

I smiled.

© 2012 Karen Lackey

Do You Groom Your Own Dog?

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    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Wow- that is a big difference pre and post cut for Maggie! We just lost Annie this week (How did our healthy puppy die). Horrible! But, I can read this hub again and laugh. Looking at the first picture reminded me of how cute really was!

      I think remembering the funny is awesome! :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting, karmicfilly!

    • karmicfilly profile image


      6 years ago from Franklin, TN

      Please you have to see the picture of my dog Maggie on my blog "What would we do without our four legged friends?" I too cut my dogs hair and it is so much worse than yours. My dog is a hairy Golden Retriever and I use horse clippers as dog clippers can't get through the hair at all. So I get a whole different result, funny but it's done.

      Funny hub and glad I am not the only nut out there trying to do everything and save money at the same time. Imagine doing all this and being a single parent, now that's fun times two.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading wilderness. If it had to be groomed every six weeks, you might consider it. But, I am not certain it was worth it!

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      We've had several dogs, but never groomed any of them. Just not brave enough, I guess!

      Great hub and a fun read. Thanks.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Diana Lee, for reading and the vote up!

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 

      6 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      What an adorable dog and a great story. Voted up.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, dragonrain, for the vote up and the vote of confidence! Hair growing was causing my situation and hair growing could resolve it if I messed up! Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!

    • Dragonrain profile image


      6 years ago

      Annie is adorable! I groom my dog at home too, and I have to say that your first attempt at dog grooming looks way better than mine did! My poor dog looked like he was ran over by a lawn mower the first time I attempted to groom him.

      Grooming them does get much easier with practice! I'm sure you and Annie will be pros in no time. :)

      Great hub, voted up!


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