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My First Home Grooming Experience

You can move the slider back and forth to see the before and after.

I made the assertion in my review of Jodi Murphy’s Havanese grooming instructional DVD that I thought the committed Havanese owner could successfully learn how to perform pet clips on their dogs at home.

Sunday afternoon after my Seattle Seahawks lost to the Chargers in San Diego I thought nothing else could go wrong, so I put my assertion to the test and took the Andis clippers to Rory for the first time ever.

If you’ve read any of my forum threads and know my grooming ‘history’ you know that I do not come out of the blocks confident about my ability to groom a Havanese. But on her instructional DVD, Jodi makes it look so easy and explains it so clearly that I watched the DVD once and felt ready to go.

If Norm Abrams can build an heirloom desk I can give my dog a haircut, right?

The same thing happens when I watch Norm Abrams on The New Yankee Workshop on PBS – I just know that I too can craft an heirloom quality oak roll-top desk with hand-carved dovetail joints after watching the second-generation master carpenter do it once.

Of course I am wrong about that, as I was wrong about being able to breeze through Jodi’s video once, perform a full grooming, and be 100% satisfied with my results the first time.

In retrospect I would have been better off to make a few notes and do my learning in stages. Jodi presents the process in a logical steps; the ‘prep’ (bathing and drying) is done first, then the sanitary, and pads. She then does the body, the rear, the legs and feet, head and face, neck, and finally tail – before stepping back to make sure it’s all laying nicely and flowing together.

When I told my adult son I was going to groom Rory, he winced and warned knowingly, “Oh Dad, that can go south in a hurry.”

So rather than just dive in headfirst and decide to do the whole dog, I should have done my ‘learning grooming’ in steps. During the process I would get to a point and try to remember exactly how she did something. How was she holding the comb? Which shears was she using? What angle was she cutting at? Being able to refer back to the DVD was great.


About Gary Fujioka, Sr.

Gary Fujioka, Sr. is a lifelong dog owner, first time Havanese owner. He is a proud father and grandfather, online presence management consultant, software developer, writer, musician, CEO of The Pathmark Group of Companies, and publisher of Havanese World.

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