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Starting off on the Right Foot

Starting Off on the Right Foot

Lessons learned from a former feral cat……

I met Daisy, a one-year-old brown mac tabby domestic short hair, in the foyer of her home in New Jersey. She was in a plastic carrier, lined up next to the two other cats that also lived in the home. I had never met the cats or the people they lived with until that day.

I was only in New Jersey for a very short visit – to film a day on the road with Jodi Murphy, a true leader in the dog grooming industry. Our first stop had been at the home of a lady with a Cockapoo named Charlie. While Jodi groomed Charlie, I asked questions about various aspects of the groom. Jodi patiently explained each of her techniques and why she did things in a particular order. By the end of the groom, Charlie looked absolutely adorable, and Jodi provided some pre-book scheduling pointers as we delivered a freshly groomed Cockapoo back to his mom.

The next stop landed us at Daisy’s house. Liz filmed my initial conversation with the owner of the three cats as I pulled each from its carrier and did a temperament and grooming needs assessment. We carried all three kitties out to the Wagn’ Tails van where I proceeded to work on them one at a time, all the while explaining the process for each.

Daisy was my favorite kitty that day because she was exactly the kind of cat that demonstrates the importance of the opportunity we have, as professional cat groomers, to get off on the right foot. How a cat is handled that first time out can make or break the opportunity for all future grooms. I couldn’t have asked for a better kitty to help make this point.

As I worked through Daisy’s groom that day, I explained to Jodi how to introduce a cat to both the bathing and drying process and how certain handling techniques can keep things under calm control during the entire groom, resulting in a bond of trust between groomer and cat.

Daisy could have been a real handful that day. It could have been a bloody day. It could have been very stressful for both cat and groomer. It could have ended very badly. But it wasn’t and it didn’t. And there’s a reason for that! The end result (which is rather adorable. When you watch the video you’ll see what I mean) is a reminder of how important building trust truly is.

There’s the opportunity for a trust bond with the cat. But it doesn’t stop there. There’s also an opportunity for a trust bond with the cat’s owner. And together, these bonds of trust are what really grow a successful cat grooming business.

You want to know my secret? Well, there it is in a nutshell.

Our day on the road is captured in a 2-part DVD series called “On the Road with Jodi and Danelle.” The videos cover our entire day of mobile grooming while Jodi grooms a Cockapoo, a Shih tzu, and a Golden Retriever, and I groom a domestic short hair, a fat and greasy domestic longhair, and a Persian in desperate need of a lion cut. Since I’m not a dog groomer and Jodi’s not a cat groomer, we instruct each other throughout each of the grooms. I even get to scissor a dog (which I’m not very good at) and Jodi helps hold a cat (which kind of freaks her out).

Sprinkled into the mix are pointers on both mobile and salon grooming as Jodi and I discuss topics like routing, scheduling, pre-booking future appointments, the work environment, our favorite tools for various jobs, working with a variety of animals, and a whole lot more!

Both videos can be purchased through the NCGIA website or through Jodi’s website. There truly is something in there for all groomers. We hope you enjoy!

(Be sure to check out the “extras” section in Part 2: the business chat and the bloopers we didn’t want you to see!)

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