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Your chance to air your views, ask questions, gossip, complain, etc. Send your comments to Tricia McGuire (address page 1) or talk to other Groomers online at Northern Groomers email network.

Just go to www.northerngroomers.co.uk and click on email list


Having been a Groomer for over 40 years now, I have many unusual exness stories to tell, but one strange but true, and rather poignant incident, happened when I first opened my shop around 16 years ago. An elderly gentleman came into the shop rather timidly and said to me "Please don't think I'm mad but a neighbour of mine brings her Yorkie to you for a haircut and my wife, who suffers from dementia, has a soft toy Yorkie and she would like the hair on the head, which at the moment is in a topknot, cut down to look like our neighbours' dog"

At first I was puzzled but he meant it and in no time the soft toy was on the bench and I had commenced to transform its looks. As my shop was in a corner position with large picture windows, people looked in amazement at this well behaved dog and even came in to comment on it. The owner returned later after taking the "dog" home and told me I had made his wife really happy as the toy was very real to her.

Wendy Drake, formerly, DAPPER DOGS OF ILFORD

  I did not have a funny how to open an investment with exness social trading story that is until today. Its kind of grooming related. I look after two KCS for their owner who works. This includes walking them daily and grooming them. Normally the owners leave my payment on a Friday. Today there was no sign of any money. Not to worry I thought they will give me a call to explain that they had forgotten to leave it. So the day passes and no call. Strange but I trust them and thought they might leave it on Monday. Phone rings about 7pm. "Hi Susan its Ewan, I take it you did not find any money today when you arrived" "No" I say. "Well you may not want it". "Why?????" "Well we just got home to find it passed on the floor and we cannot tell if it’s been spewed up or s**t out!!!!!!! It’s in about 20 pieces and I will have to take it to the bank so they can replace it". Sure hope they do not tell the bank what happened to it!

It turned out they left the money (£50) on the counter and Tyson had managed to scale his way along the back of the sofa and get onto the counter and then ate the money. I wonder what was so tasty about it. They are now going to leave it on a shelf about 6 feet of the ground. I can just visualise this tricolour KCS tight rope walking along the back of the sofa and leaping onto the work surface in pursuit of the money.

Susan, Ellon Grooming Services


Two issues ago I wrote about a problem with a marketing company regarding adverts on vets appointment cards. Following my warning I received lots of phone calls from all over the country from other Groomers who had lost money or just signed a contract with this company and were worried about the consequences. To those who had lost money I suggested that they got in touch with their local police and then a file could be sent to Chorley police, the force that would be investigating that case. To those who had just taken out a contract, I advised them to check with their Vets and keep an eye on their bank account and if they were unhappy after this they could contact the police. Several files were sent to Chorley police and a final letter from them is enclosed and is, I think, self-explanatory.

This company has now gone into liquidation with debts in excess of £80,000, with Groomers only a small minority of creditors. A large number of banks are on the list along with beauty salons, solicitors, accountants, kennels and catteries, a whole range of service industries have fallen foul of this company. So, those of us who feel stupid about getting duped, we can take comfort in the knowledge that we weren’t alone.

I have certainly learnt a lesson and in future will check carefully before signing any contract. Obviously it is only conjecture whether police investigation led to this liquidation, nevertheless anyone who is still owed money by this company should get in touch with the liquidators.

Joan Kent, Rovers Return, Worksop


Letter from Chorley Police, December 2001:

With reference to your complaint that was made to the Local Police Force regarding alleged fraudulent activities of JME Marketing Ltd. As you may or may not be aware, numerous complaints have been made from different parts of the country surrounding this company and their procedures. All these complaints have been collated over several months and in August this year the management of JME were seen by the police at Chorley Police Station.

From this meeting, due to various circumstances, it was forex broker exness agreed with the management that all the aggrieved parties, including yourself, would be contacted by JME with a view to resolving individual complaints. The police were unable to identify any individual responsible for suspected fraud and concluded that there would be no further investigation into the matters. We were assured that the practices of JME would be improved and amended accordingly. To this end, all the details of the complainants were provided to JME.

The police have maintained contact with JME who assured us that they had corresponded with all the relevant parties and were attempting to refund them where necessary. However, it has now come to light that JME have gone into liquidation. The police have since had a meeting with the liquidators and they are happy for details to be provided to enable any further claims. This matter is now closed in respect of any criminal investigation.

The address of the liquidators is as follows:

Robert Cooksey
Oldham Business Centre
Cromwell Street

Tel 0161 615 5060

I am writing to say a big THANK YOU for the Northern Groomers Magazine. As a new recruit to the dog grooming industry (I am currently training to be a mobile dog groomer), I find your journal invaluable. It is highly informative, interesting and humorous and a huge support for those working in what can feel like a somewhat isolated field.

With regard to the price survey printed in the winter edition, this was extremely useful and I would welcome another price survey for 2002, possibly differentiating between parlour and mobile providers. I would find it useful if the Bichon, an increasingly popular breed, was included in addition to those listed before.

As a trainee, I have bought a number of grooming videos but the emphasis is very much on show rather than pet clips. It seems that there is a market for more videos that show pet clips and I wonder whether anyone has come across any other that the AMP productions. This medium would also be useful for the topics such as those covered in the excellent article by Fiona Keith on dog handling for grooming (winter edition). Once again thank you for an excellent magazine.

Barbara Evens, Basingstoke

How many long time Groomers have hearing problems like me? I met some at the recent show at Wisbech and we agreed that it seemed to be the noisy dryers. Now we have the blasters that are even louder, which must make matters worse. Incidentally, the Dezynadog grooming exhibition at Wisbech on the 3rd Feb was an extremely interesting day with quite an assortment of breeds. The working Groomers there were very friendly and helpful and must have answered the same questions all day in a very patient way. I only trim part-time now but this day taught me that we can always learn more however long we have been in this trade.


A tip I have for bathing nervous or flat-faced dogs is to remove the shower head when bathing them as this isn't so frightening for them and you can control where the water goes (i.e. not in the ears, etc!).


Wendy Drake

First, let me say what a joy Northern Groomers magazine is. Each time I read it there is something of value to learn and the experiences of other Groomers are so familiar it often feels like a case of déjà vu.

The Winter edition really had me giggling. The letter from Sue Boswell, relating her telephone conversation with a potential client was hilarious. These conversations really do happen don’t they? And we, as Groomers, are supposed to remain polite and sensible on the other end of the line.

I don’t think any Groomer would be out of work for long if the whole profession crashed. We could all take to the stage. After all, that’s what we are – actors and actresses! And what’s more we deliver our lines off the cuff, with straight faces. Who else has to stand looking interested and thrilled while some doting owner relays their little Susie or Sam’s defecating habits? What other profession calls for greater diplomacy and tact?

I have one owner who takes great delight in telling me how her little dog comes in from doing his "do dos" at night and stands with his leg up so she can wipe his little "dinky" clean. Then off they trot to bed. Isn’t this too much information for one stressed out human to take?

And we all need a crash course in psychology to understand what the following instructions mean.

  1. Cut him short – but don’t take too much off.
  2. I’ll leave it completely up to you – but………
  3. I brush him every day, but he won’t let me brush his body, legs or head.
  4. If he tries to bite you, just point at him and say no! (Oh really?)
  5. I have a Westie. How much is it for a Cocker Spaniel?
  6. You’ve been recommended to me by my neighbour who hasn’t got a dog.

Do you ever reach the point where you seriously wonder – is it them or us???

Gail Orbell, Coalville

I read and laughed at Fiona Keith’s description of singers, sitters, collapsers, etc, in the Winter edition of Northern Groomers. Her description of the breeds and her solutions to some of the problems we encounter were spot on. I would like to add some of my own tips that might be of use.

I try to leave puppies under six months at least 10 to 15 minutes to settle before I start working on them. It gives them time to settle after a car journey and to take in the atmosphere of a busy parlour.

Trimming or brushing around the face of a biter may be easier if, using two collars, he is tethered to BOTH ends of the table, so that he cannot turn his head too far in any direction, a body belt can be used as well, if necessary.

I find a shaken can (a tobacco tin or pop can with a few stones in, then taped securely) can be used as a noisy interrupt with some dogs. However, DO NOT use this on nervous, frightened dogs or puppies. Sometimes I use my life saver, a set of industrial ear defenders. I can still hear the phone and the barking but the sharp jarring noise is deadened. Another valuable comfort device for me is a pair of plain lens safety glasses. They’re no good while styling, but great when blowing out fine undercoat, they stop the fine hair sticking to your eyes.

When I am dealing with a difficult dog I find that constantly saying "stand up, sit, keep still, etc." winds me up and doesn’t help the dog understand what is required. So, I do not talk to him at all. Saying nothing keeps me calm which in turn tends to calm the dog. When he eventually does "stand still" then I will give him lots of praise, which helps him understand when I am pleased. This way the difference between good behaviour and bad is clear and hopefully the dog will improve.

Finally, I also try to teach the large dogs to climb on the hydraulic table on their own, followed by lots of praise. From there they are encouraged to walk into the bath, again followed by lots of praise. The regulars now know the routine well which is a great back saver.

Hope you all enjoyed the quiet months, the mad months are nearly here!

Joan Kent, Rovers Return, Worksop



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