Volume 9-Edition 2, Winter 2009
Noise Hazards in the Grooming Environment
by Barbara Bird CMG
INTRODUCTION – THE PROBLEM We all know it: grooming rooms are noisy places – barking dogs, blasting dryers, clippers buzzing, and music blaring. At first it can seem overwhelming, but we get used to it and usually consider the noise as “part of the job”. We shout over it, and turn the radio up. News Flash: Hearing specialists tell us that “getting used to it” or “accommodation” is a serious indicator of hearing loss. There‟s more. Excessive noise is a stress factor that can lead to increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, ulcers, headaches, and sleep disorders. Workplace studies have determined that noise stress can impair work performance and is related to increased worker accidents. Correlations have also been made between working in a noisy environment and increased annoyance and aggression. NOISE AND HEARING LOSS There are three things we need to note about hearing loss: it is gradual, cumulative, and irreversible. Here is a description of how hearing loss occurs: …Noise literally wears out the ears. Sound travels as pulsating waves of air pressure. Those waves strike the ear drum and their vibrations travel through the bones of the middle ear to the inner ear, or cochlea. In the cochlea, approximately 30,000 hair-like protrusions signal the auditory nerves to the brain. These hairs can recover from infrequent, brief exposures to intense noise but if they're continually subjected to it, they break down and no longer respond to sound. The nerve fibers connected to the hair cells also degenerate, leaving the central nervous system less able to adapt to sound. The damage is cumulative and irreversible, although modern hearing aids can significantly improve hearing. (National Ag…. Safety Database, Kansas State University) Continued on page 4
Noise Hazards……….………….1 Editors Desk………….……........2 Groomer‟s Calendar…………….2 Internet Grooming Community....8 Coordinator‟s Corner……….….10 International Scene………....…..11 Winter Grooming Woes………..12 Point Tracking……………...…..13 Letter to the Industry………..….14
GROOMTEAM USA MISSION STATEMENT To utilize the organization as a vehicle to encourage continued education, growth, pride and the competitive spirit within the pet styling industry.
From the Editor’s Desk There are times in life when we recognize that we are in the presence of greatness.
Board of Directors Lisa Leady Marea Tully Team Coordinator Teresa Dreese Tracy Duncan Secretary Donna Zikes Treasurer Ryan Walsh Webmaster Daryl Conner Newsletter Editor
GroomTeam USA, Inc. Newsletter Mailing Address:
1761 Sennebec Road Appleton, ME 04862
I experienced one of those times when I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the World Grooming Championships in Dachau, Germany. I was gifted this once in a lifetime trip from Aesculap. They brought me to Germany to see the company that produces the “German Red Clipper,” in conjunction with my work for them as the U.S. representative for their products. They thoughtfully timed the trip so that I could be there to see the World Grooming Championships. It was an adventure that I treasure! At the show, groomers from all over the world filled the competition ring, and each class was a rainbow display of diverse breeds, being groomed to standards of perfection that was a privilege to witness. There were dogs there that were only familiar to me from my reading; I had never seen a Black Russian Terrier up close and in person, and I was embarrassed to realize that one dog which at first glance appeared to be a Portuguese Water Dog was really a breed I didn‟t even know existed, a Lagotta Romagnolo. Watching the skill and concentration of the stylists in the ring was incredibly inspirational. The men and women wielding scissors and brushes in that gymnasium were great artists. Artists working on mediums of living, breathing canvas, creating beauty on four feet. I was in the presence of greatness that weekend; great grooming artists who sacrifice, as all artists do, to hone their skills for such moments as this. The United States Groom team triumphed in Germany in 2009. The women of our team were not alone as they accepted their trophy, however. They were buoyed there by the sponsors and vendors who supported them, and the family and grooming network back home that helped them get there. In the coming year, there will be opportunities for all of us to support our wonderful team, as new sponsorship opportunities are now available. Anyone in our industry can now make a donation in honor of a loved one (human or canine!) and our support can help to create opportunities for the artists that represent us to keep forging new levels of creativity for us to aspire to. We can be part of the greatness! Go to page 14 to learn more.
Website: www.groomteamusa.com E-Mail: email@example.com
The GroomTeam USA Newsletter is published tri-annually by GroomTeam USA, Inc. and is the copyright property of GroomTeam USA, Inc. All rights are reserved. Duplication in part or whole is strictly prohibited without prior permission of its publisher or the Board of Directors. Statements, opinions and claims expressed herein by contributing authors are not necessarily those of the publisher who assumes no liability for 2authors or advertisers claims or representations.
Continued on page 3
GroomTeam USA Sacntioned Competitons.
Feb 12-15………..Groom & Kennel Expo Aug 28-31…………….. US Pet Pro Classic Pasadena, CA Dallas, TX Sep 15-17…………....SuperZoo’s Groomer March 5-8………………….Atlanta Pet Fair Supershow Las Vegas, NV Atlanta, GA April 16-19……………………...Intergroom Sep 17-20……………………....GroomExpo Hershey, PA Somerset, NJ May 29-31.…………..Carolina GroomFest Oct 30—Nov 1 ...NDGAA Fun in the Sun Orlando, FL Columbia, SC Aug 14-16.All American Grooming Show Nov 6-8………………NEPGP Fall Festival Warwick, RI Chicago, IL NOTE: For more information about each show, links can be found at: www.groomteamusa.com
I offer my deep admiration and huge congratulations to Groom Team USA. It was an honor to see you in action in Germany, and I can hardly wait to see what you do next! Daryl
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? Occupational safety experts measure the potential harmful effects of noise in terms of total exposure in an eight-hour work day. Often this is found on a scale such as this one from NIOSH, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Sound Level
88 dB (A)
91 dB (A)
94 dB (A)
97 dB (A)
100 dB (A)
103 dB (A)
106 dB (A)
We should notice on this scale that when noise reaches above 85 decibels, it becomes hazardous, and only a total of 15 minutes of noise at 100 decibels is considered safe in an eight-hour workday. Thatâ€&#x;s 15 minutes for the whole day. When we subject ourselves to unsafe levels of noise, we risk hearing loss. Likewise, any prolonged noise exposure above 85 decibels is considered a significant stress factor. How can you tell if a noise situation is too loud? According to NIOSH, there are two rules: First, if you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an armâ€&#x;s length away, the noise is likely to be hazardous. Second, if your ears are ringing or sounds seem dull or flat after leaving a noisy place, then you probably were exposed to hazardous noise. OUR FINDINGS Being of a scientific nature, we decided to find out just how noisy it was in our grooming room. We purchased a sound level meter and took some measurements. Home Office/no appliances: 36.0-41.1 dB Grooming Shop w/swamp cooler only: 60.5-61.9 dB Groom room (summer) w/swamp cooler, fans & Sahara Turbo: 70.0-71.0 dB Groom room (winter) w/fans at cages, Laube Magnum Force dryer, Sahara Turbo and a whining Tibetan Terrier: 79.4-81.3 dB NOISE AND HIGH VELOCITY DRYERS One of the most significant sources of noise in the grooming environment is that produced by high velocity, forced air dryers. DRYER K9II
Single 82-83 dB Both 85-86.5 dB
DEFLECTED AIR Large Nozzle (stem only) 80-82.0 dB
Double K ChallengAir Laube Magnum Force Kool Dry Chris Christensen
93-94 dB (diffuser)
Continued on page 5 4
Flat Nozzle N/A
Small Nozzle/Cone 101-102 dB
NOTES ABOUT DEFLECTED NOISE Noise is deflected when the air flow passes over an object, such as a dog. When the air from the hose of a high velocity dryer is deflected, the noise increases. The nature of the object can make a difference in the increase. For example, air from the small nozzle on the Laube Magnum Force measures 94-95 decibels, when deflected on a dog, the noise is 97-99 decibels, and on a human hand, it is 100 decibels. When waved across a grooming post, the same nozzle can create as much as 105 decibels. Hard, smooth surfaces create louder noise than softer objects. Narrow objects, such as a grooming post or dog leg create louder noise than wide objects such as the dogâ€&#x;s body or the table. Air that is waved across the leg of a dog creates more noise than air that is slowly moved up and down the leg. MORE MEASUREMENTS Here are some other common grooming shop noises: Source
Noise in dB
Shop Vac in mobile
Shop Vac in shop
Small box fans around crate
Sahara Turbo Dryer
Edemco Arm Dryer
Laube Litening Clipper
Wahl Tid Bit
Laube Speed Feed
iVac on Hanvey canister
70 Continued on page 6
NOISE AND PETS It is safe to assume that canine and feline hearing is affected by noise levels much the same as with humans. The stress factors related to noise are more apparent with animals. It is important to recognize that high noise levels may be more bothersome to the animals in our care than they are to us. We are getting paid to endure the noise, they are just reacting. To cats, high noise is often perceived as threatening and unsafe, to dogs it can make them very uncomfortable. We can also safely assume that the same physiological responses to noise stress occur in animals, making an extended stay in a noisy environment unhealthy for the pets in our care. Of particular concern is the effect of perceived noise on the animals being dried with high velocity dryers. Dogs that struggle and lurch around as we try to dry them with the high velocity dryer are NOT being naughty. They are experiencing a very real stress response to the high noise level, especially around the head. The groomer is an arm‟s length away from the noise source, the dog whose head is being dried is not. A valuable option for pets is the Happy Hoodie by Zoni Pets. These elastic terry cloth tubes have been developed for groomers by groomers to help reduce the stress of high velocity drying for pets. NOISE MANAGEMENT It is valuable to do an environmental assessment of your grooming area and identify the sources of possible noise hazard: hard, smooth surfaces will deflect more noise than covered surfaces. Drying dogs while in the tub is likely to be noisier than putting them on the table. The mess is contained in the tub, but so is the noise. The smaller the room, the more noise created by all noise sources. Mobile vans can be extremely noisy, especially if there are no curtains or noise absorbing materials on the walls. Anti-fatigue mats and towels help to absorb some noise in a drying area. Using your hands or your tools while drying with forced air is likely to cause very high spikes in the noise level, as the powerful air is deflected. Likewise, waving the nozzle causes more noise than slowly moving the nozzle over an area. Overall room noise can be lessened by the installation of sound absorbing materials on walls and/or ceilings. Even a few panels can reduce the noise level enough to make for a more comfortable work environment. Another thing to consider is to use sound abatement materials to create a place for barking dogs. NOISE PROTECTION Our noise measurements show clearly that there are unsafe noise levels in most grooming environments. Although the noise from the motors of high velocity dryers is not necessarily a problem, all of the dryers measured created hazardous noise levels from the air through the nozzles. Persons who use these dryers should always wear hearing protection. This can be in the form of noise abating headphones, or soft foam ear plugs. Working without protection is inviting hearing loss. Moreover, it is Federal law that hearing protection needs to be available in any work places where noises exceed the 85 decibel level established by OSHA. Employers should be providing some form of hearing protection in grooming shops, and insisting it being used. What about using cotton balls? Glad you asked! Ordinary cotton balls stuffed into the ears reduce noise by only five to seven decibels, and cotton cannot block out high frequency sound, such as that produced by high velocity dryers. Also, stuffing cotton in the ears can force earwax against the eardrum. CONCLUSIONS There is no denying that there are hazardous levels of noise in most grooming environments. Working without protection is inviting hearing loss and stress-related illness. Moreover, it is Federal law that hearing protection needs to be available in any work places where noises exceed the 85 decibel level established by OSHA. Employers should be providing some form of hearing protection in grooming shops, and insisting it being used. As Susy the Groomer put it, after using a decibel meter to measure the noise in her grooming trailer, “it's really noisy in our industry and we all should do everything we can not to end up 80 years old and searching for cash to pay for our hearing aids.” Or, you could end up like me, with hearing loss AND with tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears. It‟s so bad that I can‟t sleep without the TV on. The roaring inside my head is too loud. Susy also had a shift in attitude about the dogs in her care after measuring her noise levels: “I learned a lot and now I am using much more hearing protection for the dogs. Wow, I totally understand why they don't like hv drying. I always assumed it was the air vs wet, cold skin thing, but I think that it is really the noise level. The Happy Hoodies help a lot but the noise level of using the k92 with one of the cone concentrators would make dryContinued on page 7
ing a bit like aversion therapy. I feel bad.” I feel bad, too. One of my own dogs has gone totally deaf. Yes, the one that has been going to work with me for eight years, and hangs out in the grooming room to be near me. I feel bad that I didn‟t do this study a few years ago when there might have been time to save my Gracie from this fate. It‟s time to take the noise we create seriously. Please don‟t “get used to it.” HELPFUL LINKS Best shopping for ear plugs and hearing protection: Don't give up on ear plugs until you try several kinds. This place has great assortment packs so you can do just that. They also have ear muffs and other radio phones. Earplug Super Store Happy Hoodies: small purchases - www.shop.bbird.biz; larger purchases – www.happyhoodie.com Excellent technical article and comparison info on ear plugs vs. ear muffs: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ prevention/ppe/ear_prot.html Barbara Bird is a Certified Master Groomer with International Professional Groomers, Inc. Barbara learned the art of fine grooming through an extended apprenticeship to Bill "Scissorhands" North, to whom she owes a lifetime debt and an inferiority complex. She specializes in hand scissored trims, custom pet styling, and hand stripping of small terrier breeds. She also enjoys tackling large, undercoated breeds. Barbara belongs to the NDGAA, ISCC, and is certified in non-sporting breeds through NDGAA.
The Internet Grooming Community By Barb Hoover Grooming can be a very lonely profession. Many of us work by ourselves. Few of us have family members that really understand it‟s more than „playing with dogs‟ all day. Where can a groomer go for support, camaraderie and shop talk without traveling to seminars and trade shows? That is what Joyce Laughery wanted to know. Finding no answers, she decided to form a place where groomers can get together with other groomers. A place to share in the joys, the frustrations, the highs and the lows of being a pet grooming professional, with the only people who truly understand, other pet groomers. Joyce opened The Groomers Lounge. This was the first place for groomers by groomers of its kind. In 1995 the internet was still in its infancy. It was not nearly as sophisticated as it is now. All the work for the original message board was done by hand by Joyce. Groomers emailed questions to her. She copied them to the website. When others replied, they replied to her. She then posted those replies to the website. Joyce was truly dedicated to getting groomers together in a place they could share and learn. Joyce‟s dream was very well received. Groomers all over the world craved the same kind of kinship she had been missing in the profession. The Groomers Lounge grew to over 15,000 pages of information. Have you seen a new tool and want to know if it really works as claimed? What shampoo gives the best texture to a too soft terrier coat? What‟s the best way to handle a sticky employee situation? All these questions and more can be found on groomer message boards. While The Groomers Lounge was the original board, many followed suit. There‟s Petgroomer.com, the Groomer to Groomer board, and numerous Yahoo email groups. With so much information on these pages, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. The easiest way is to find the most current messages and start there. Once you are familiar with the set up of the forum, you can explore other areas. Message boards are designed to be organized by different topic areas to make navigation easier. While product and equipment information is readily available, you‟ll find the message board members find something even more valuable. They find friends. The bonds formed with someone who can truly understand the ins and outs of your day are priceless. With hundreds of groomer friends just a key stroke away, every day, grooming will never be lonely again. . 8
Barb Hoover has been grooming in Leavenworth, Kansas for almost 25 years. She also owns the Groomers Lounge website at www.groomerslounge.com. Barb won the 2007 David G. Salzberg Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Award for her work on the Groomers Lounge. She is active in her local community as a Director of the local animal welfare group and doing therapy work with her Standard Poodle, Drew.
Interview with Kendra Otto
Groom Team member Kendra Otto shares her life with partner Bryan, 3 cats and 4 dogs. She makes terrific chocolate chip cookies and is active in fostering homeless dogs and helping them get ready for a forever home. Read on to learn more. Why and how did you become a groomer? I have always had a passion for animals. When I was a kid I used to play veterinarian with my first dog. I considered becoming a veterinarian, specializing in working with exotic animals. The thought of all those years of school, combined with the knowledge that euthanizing animals would be part of the job made me decide to follow my artistic side, instead. I went to the Great Lakes Academy of Professional Pet Styling when I was 19. I have been grooming ever since. So you have never had any other career? Well, there was a time when I groomed, waited table and worked in an insurance office. Seven days a week. When was your first grooming competition? In 1998 I entered the creative styling class at Gateway to the West. I took 1 st place with my mini poodle dyed purple with yellow lightning bolts. The theme was Greased Lightning, and I wore a poodle skirt and the works. That was the beginning. What makes you happy? Oh, lots of things! Being with my animals, making the dogs I groom feel comfortable, fishing, Chicago Cubs games, camping, yoga…there are many things that make me happy! Do you have a grooming tip you can share with others? Practice patience! I work with many difficult and abused, neglected and fearful dogs. A good groomer can learn to understand what it is a dog does not like, what is sensitive to them. Using patience, treats, calming essential oils, lots of praise and my Groomers Helper, I have helped many dogs progress from spinning, biting, flipping and terrified animals to dogs that can stand for grooming without being muzzled. What does your family think of your career? They think it is wonderful. I come from a long line of animal lovers. Would you share a horrible grooming story with us? At the first shop I worked at, fresh out of grooming school, my boss made me dematt a Maltese. I didn‟t want to do it. The dog was screaming, but my boss was insistent. The dog was delicate, and while I was using a dematting tool I cut a 2” gash in her leg. Another time that same boss had another groomer in the shop groom a Shih Tzu that was my client. The other groomer nicked the dogs pad, and also took about 6 or 7 inches of tail coat off. The boss made me pretend I had done the groom and explain it to the owner. It didn‟t take me long to find another job after that. How about a really happy or triumphant one? My happiest stories involve dogs that came in fearful but are able to be rehabilitated. Do you have any goals for 2010? Yes! My next goal is to make the travel team for Groom Team USA. I wish you luck to go along with your skill in the coming year! 9
tures. They began with calling sixth placeHolland, then fifthCanada, fourth-Spain. What can I say other than WOW! Being able to travel with the Oh my gosh, the US was in the top three top groomers in the USA was amazing. We had a few minor and would also get a check along with glitches with flight delays and traveling with the dogs but every- the gorgeous trophy. Third was England. one, included the dogs, arrived safely in Munich for the World Only first and second to be announced! Grooming Championships which were held on September 19 th & There were tears of excitement in our 20th. The team was invited to a welcome dinner sponsored by eyes they announced second-France. Wahl the evening before the competition. Dinner was wonderful The US team immediately began the and seven of the twelve teams attended. celebration even before they were anTeresa Dreese nounced. This was definitely the highIndividual classes were on Saturday and Sunday morning. All light of my fifteen year career. It took the team another two the members of the US team participated in the individual classes hours before they left the show sight due to a photo shoot opporwith Lindsey Berry-Dicken the only member to place that day tunity, hundreds of pictures being taken and TV crews asking with a third place prize with her poodle. Sunday afternoon was questions. Again all I can say is WOW! When we finally arrived the World Team competition and it was very exciting. Our team back at the hotel, it was time for some champagne and dinner. arrived early to the show sight to be first in line to bathe & dry We all stayed the rest of the week enjoying some sightseeing. dogs. There were not enough dryers for everyone and the fuses Germany is a beautiful country and I highly recommend a visit. kept blowing, too. Oh, did I mention it was warmer than normal in Munich and the facility didnâ€&#x;t have air conditioning? That was The team and I would like to thank everyone that was cheering stressful but our girls helped each other and remained calm, cool, for us as well as all of our sponsors; Andis, Wahl, Lambert Kay, collected and confident. Groomers from twelve countries spent Kenchii, 44/20 Shears & Groomers Helper. Thanks, too, to all the afternoon grooming 48 dogs. There was very little room the vendors that have donated products to the auctions after trade around the ring as spectators watched the amazing skills of the shows, we could not have done it with out you! Remember, anybest groomers in the world. As time was called and the judging one can help support the 2011 traveling team and our scholarship done they called the six finalists. USA was one of them. The program by visiting the GroomTeam USA booth at some of the anticipation was excruciating while the floor was cleared and trade shows. Buy a t-shirt, a lapel pin or a raffle ticket and donâ€&#x;t tables were set-up for the top six teams. Newspaper reporters, forget about the auctions after the shows. TV crews and numerous spectators rallied around snapping picTeresa
The International Scene. . . Grooming Israeli Style! What is it like grooming pets in Israel? Marlene Laufer tells us!
Tell us about where you groom, please. I live on Kibbutz Hazorea here in Isreal. My salon is owned by the kibbutz. My salon is called “Sipur Archer.” The name is a play on the Hebrew for “a different cut.” How did you begin grooming? I started at age 12, helping at the weekends and on school holidays at my parent‟s pet shop. They had two groomers working there. By the time I left school I was able to do all breeds including hand stripping every terrier correctly. Later I worked in Germany in two grooming salons and then I returned to Glasgow (where I was born). There I trained a few groomers before coming to live in Israel. What types of dogs do you commonly groom in your salon? Lots of poodles, retrievers, mixed breeds, cockers and large, hairy dogs, which I love grooming! For instance, Great Pyrenees, bobtails and collies. Quite a good mix! I also do a few show dogs. I only hand strip one dog, a Cairn terrier. Can you tell us what the average price of grooming a dog (in U.S. dollars) would be in your salon? The average is around the $35. mark. I am the most expensive groomer in the whole area. I use quality shampoos such as Tropiclean and Kelco. I pamper the dogs I groom. What kind of grooming equipment do you have in your salon? I came to Israel 44 years ago with 2 Aesculap clippers. Twelve years ago I bought another, so I now have 3. I also have Wahl Moser trimmers and a Laube Speedfeed. I have a Laube Magnum dryer. I have about 10 pairs of scissors and have learned to use curved shears. And I have a few pairs of blenders and thinners. I don‟t have any kind of bathing help, and I still wash the dogs by hand. I have an industrial electric table that can lift up to two and a half tons! I offered to look after it for one of the factories here. They have forgotten about it. I also have computer software for grooming. Where do you bathe the dogs? I have a stainless steel restaurant sink which is big even for the enormous dogs. Small ones I sometimes do in a baby‟s plastic bath. Do you have cages? I don‟t like cages. I work one at a time, so I don‟t often have dogs waiting, if I do, I have a baby‟s bed and they wait there. I let owners stay if they want. Do you have a grooming tip you would like to share? I do! I got soaked washing my own dog. She is like a bob tail only larger and heavier. I was wet, wet and didn‟t have time to change my clothes. It was a day that I had 5 dogs to prepare for a show. So, I took an absorber towel and put it down my trousers and held it up with my bra. I was dry in 5 minutes! Marlene joins groomers from around the world by sharing in internet grooming forums. No matter how geographically diverse we are, the web brings us all closer together. 11
Woes of Winter Grooming By Cheryl Russell-Miller, MPS, Meritus It is official, it is winter and it is cold out. Clients are coming in with pelted pets begging us not to let poor “Fluffy” freeze. It seems they don‟t think about this situation in October when they skip their appointment or November when they lose their brush to the sock monster. But, they are in your lobby now, expecting you to groom their pet to fit their expectation of how much hair is needed for winter warmth. I have found that clients have a perception of what their dogs need for a haircut for cooler weather-and then there is reality! With some tact, some humor and some good old fashioned tricks you can get through late fall and into winter with happy clients, happy dogs and no carpal tunnel surgery. In this early part of winter I groom a lot of mildly matted dogs that could easily be brushed out. Early in my career I was tempted to save those coats. Scissor them, use a long snap on comb or whatever seemed to suit the potentially cold dogs and the worried owner. However, in February when those dogs reappeared pelted and I had to shave them, I began to rethink my plan. From this comes my first suggestion; late fall/ early winter trims should be as short as their summer trims (I sometimes even take them a tad bit shorter!) For
example, I often take dogs that are normally trimmed with a #1 comb and trim them with a #2 comb this time of year. If the haircut is negligibly different I don‟t even mention it to the owners, but if they are going to notice I say “I took a little extra length off today, so he would be easier to brush and we wouldn‟t risk him being extra short in the really cold part of winter”. My second suggestion to groomers is this; ask about dog clothing and adjust your groom accordingly. If “Snuggles” comes in wearing his sweater you will know this dog wears clothes in cold weather. And when dogs wear clothes, they tend to have problems with matting. Those cute clothing items cause friction, and friction causes tangles. I recommend you remove canine clothing and check coat condition before proceeding. For dogs that regularly wear a coat or sweater, it is time to edit haircuts. That crest on a magnificent toy poodle is way better trimmed short from November to February than looking stunning when freshly groomed only to then become a solid tangle later in the season. Trim that neck shorter, as it will be rubbed by jackets and coats. Also, I tend to remove areas of longer, blended coat on the body during the cold season. My trims look a lot more “old school” in the winter, with blades or snap on combs used on the body and legs and without sculpted hair on fore chest and crest. If you are in a climate where ice and snow are an issue you know that salt is a dirty word for dog owners. Those of us who own doggy businesses use pet safe alternatives, but dogs that are walked away from home
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may be exposed to road salt. Pets not only track the sand and salt into their owner‟s homes, but the salt may be damaging to their foot pads. Also, when they walk in snow they carry in snowballs that can be uncomfortable (and will always choose to fall out on the hardwood and not on the linoleum.) So, be sure and shave all pads well, and trim feet and legs shorter, if necessary. While I love a nice bevel, teddy bear foot or bell bottom on a dog this may not be the ideal time of year for it. You can leave the general style but change your blade angle a little, lifting the bevel a little higher off the ground or for areas where there is frequent snowfall just take legs shorter in general. We all have our furnaces, heaters or wood fires going this time of year and the result is low humidity and lots of static. This means dogs tangle quickly and seemingly without warning. So here is another piece of seasonal advice: Use conditioning shampoos and crème rinses as appropriate for each dogs coat. Coating each hair with product in the bath and on the table not only makes grooming easier for you, but will make home brushing easier and less stressful for everyone. If you are lucky, it will mean less work for you for next appointments as well. Finally, there will be dogs that are just too matted to brush out and the client, you or both will feel badly that the dog has to be shaved. My third bit of seasonal advice: Don‟t torture dogs for warmth. This rule is true at my shop year round and it goes “I don‟t torture dogs for beauty”. Hair will grow back and inside dogs will survive having a shorter trim. Shave them, charge your matting fees for any brushing you do and drop the guilt, which is good advice no matter what the season! Remember clients don‟t understand what we do or why. Time spent educating clients is rarely time wasted. A few moments of explaining the reasons behind our actions can make a tremendous impact on the relationship you create with your cus-
Point Tracking Lindsey Berry
tomers. Much of my clientele is made up of people who left their previous groomer because of a failure to communicate, not because of dissatisfaction with the job done. Take time to explain that matted coats do not insulate properly, can retain moisture and even make dogs more susceptible to chilling than an unmatted, shorter coat. When the pet owner is informed that the grooming services your provide help keep their pet not only looking and smelling good, but safer and warmer, they will appreciate your skills and value your professionalism.
Cheryl Russell-Miller is a Master Pet Stylist, Meritus and the owner/stylist of the Grooming Gallery in Mooresville, Indiana.
Dear Industry Supporter: We are underway with another great year of pet styling trade shows and competitions. Groom Team USA is so excited about our elite team of stylists we sent overseas to Germany in September and brought home the GOLD MEDAL. We are pleased to offer your company, or you personally, the opportunity to join us along with our Premium Sponsors: Andis, Wahl, Kenchii Shears, 44/20 Shears, and Groomers Helper in this endeavor. Your support also enables us to award two $1,000.00 Groom Team USA Scholarships annually plus a tool kit for up to $1,000 for the grooming school award. We wanted to give everyone in the industry the opportunity to support THEIR team by offering more ways to support them. In addition to the Premium levels, we now have several new levels: Benefactor, Patron, Friend, Honorary Gifts, and Memorial Gifts from $100. - $2,999 which are described below. To help our team even more please consider advertising with us in our hard copy and online newsletters which is also described below. BENEFACTOR $1,000 - $2,999. Benefits:
Your name, address, phone, email, main product and link to your website. Free use of our Groom Team USA Logo (disk available) Receive one hard copy newsletter and two online. Your listing on our website Complimentary Groom Team Pin, given out at sanctioned shows PATRON - $500 - $999. Benefits: * Your name, website and phone number in online newsletter Two on line newsletters Groom Team Pin given out at sanctioned shows FRIEND – HONORARY – MEMORIAL GIFTS - $100 – $499. Benefits: Name listed in on line newsletter and on our website. Two online newsletters Groom Team Pin given out at sanctioned shows What a great way to support Groom Team by listing your name, salon or business. You can even honor a friend, celebrate a birthday or remember the life of a special person or pet for as little as $100. In order to get the most benefit for your dollar, we must receive payment by January 31, 2010. We will of course accept donations and contributions at any time during the year but with reduced exposure as the only hard copy newsletter will be distributed in the first quarter of the year. Advertising rates for our Groom Team Newsletter are as follows: $925 – inside front cover Continued on page 15
$750 – full page $450 – half page $250 – quarter page Please contact our Newsletter Editor for further information, Daryl Conner 207-323-2502. Yankeegroomer @aol.com Advertising will be billed and must be paid before press time. Our industry and stylists, present and future, look to you to support our ventures. Please contact Groom Team USA‟s Secretary, Tracy Duncan with a commitment or any questions you might need addressed. In order for this very talented and worthwhile organization to continue, we must have your support, for without it, we cannot function. Thank you for your interest and we hope to be working with you soon for our mutual expansion, satisfaction and pride in our team. The 2010 Groom Team USA Board of Directors, Lisa Leady, Marea Tully & Teresa Dreese Sincerely, Tracy Duncan Secretary, Groom Team USA, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org 678-549-8245
Groom Team USA Loves Our Premium Sponsors!
The dogs at the Rainbow Bridge will be well looked after.
In memoriam: John Nash 1951-2009 Serafino Ripamonti 1934-2009 Audrey Ulrich 1975-2009