Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back Home/Merry Christmas to All!

It's hard to believe that my time at the Nash Academy has come to a close, already! Graduation was short, but sweet. It was kind of funny at the end when I said I had something to say, and everyone thought I was going to burn some bridges, when all I really wanted to say was that there would always be another dog show, haha! Guess I can be a little tactless sometimes...

It kind of sucks that Sunny and I had to leave now, when we were all getting so close. People are so funny. We form bonds with others, even despite the fact that we have different mindsets, knowing that said bonds must be at least temporarily broken at some point. This will make for an even more rockin' awesome Groom Expo 2010 though, as Debra said they try to have a mini-reunion. I'm already looking forward to it... yes, even more than before!

Hopefully everyone had a nice little Christmas like mine, or better! This year I bought presents for all the family's dogs. Two of them--Nylabones--are already long gone. Apple biscuits will be next, unless my aunt's Pitty mix decides to chew her new Kong extreme into pieces!

Xavier got a little karate dog plush (which he adores, go figure, hehe!), chicken-flavor cookies, Snooks, venison dinner, a Milk Bone chew buddy, and liver snaps. So far I've noticed that when a dog opens up a present, I feel like they share the same joy that a little kid does. Who doesn't like to receive at this time of year?

I wonder, if you have a really awesome dream, does that mean you've treated yourself with a little Christmas gift? Hehe. I looked in a dream book earlier and put all of the elements together. If all the things in my dream play out--compassion (presence of a hero), good fortune (inside a church), and contentment (memorial service)--then 2010 is going to be amazing!

Now that I'm done with school, it's time to go for that reach. I have my Excel worksheet to track my finances ready to go. Will I reach Intergroom or Animal Behavior Associates first? Only time will tell. Now all I need is some income. Job search is starting as soon as the car is back in working order--go figure it dies after I get home! Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winding Down to the End...

...and what a week it's been.

Dogs are coming in nonstop, and I've learned more lessons, both about dogs and people. Never again will I finish a groom for a sick dog just because mommy didn't want to come back later. When you expect the unexpected, you'll be better prepared when a bombshell (or bombshells, for that matter) gets dropped. Once an image is sullied, it's darn near impossible to restore it exactly the way it was. And above all? People who come from different schools of thought can indeed become excellent friends, and friends need to stick together.

Everything is too much detail for me to go back into, plus I'd rather put most of this week (and apparently other days) behind me. The perspective has done an almost 180 degrees, but my eyes are still on the prize. Not to mention that I now have a greater obligation to carry on a legacy, as we lost John Nash on Thrusday of last week. There are those of us who will join me in taking up this task, and there are those who won't. The choices are already made; I'm not here to dispute them, but make my stand. Here's to my fellow classmates who will carry the luminous torch of the grooming industry - kudos to you! /cheers

Their strength is one thing that has kept me going for this homestretch, but I was reminded last night that I still have muses of the four-legged and two-legged variety who add to it exponentially. Sometimes it's so easy to get wrapped up in tense moments and frustration, but I've gathered up that strength and inspiration, and I'm taking them with me. Maybe I'll keep it all in my pocket? Hehe!

It's crunch time now. I'm here for the dogs!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm Glad I Stayed

So far this extra week has been nuts, and it's only going to get wilder from here on out! With thirty dogs coming in tomorrow, looks like it's going to be an early morning as well!

It's amazing how much I've already learned in the past few days. Here's a list of things that I would've missed out on, had I said I wasn't sticking around:

-I rock Bichon heads, haha!
-White Scotties and nail polish just go together!
-Hold the paw low and out of the way if the dog is being a noodge for nails.
-Sometimes it's best to just get through the mats with a #10 blade, but don't forget that the owners might be in a bind themselves!
-Even if you think you have people figured out, things still aren't always as they seem. Let them in, you may end up surprised.
-Hesitating to schedule a Schnoodle for a groom (try three months) will result in ears that closely resemble an enchanted forest - what I thought ear plucking was REALLY like!
-Sometimes a dog will unload everything they have at you. Never say that they're empty!
-Cockers can be jumpy as anything - ALWAYS one hand on the dog!!
-White Schnauzers still rock.
-A thinning shear swap (from 5-star to T-series) is a wonderful thing.

To elaborate a little more on those last two--as the others are fairly self-explanatory--my classmate Dianne got a surprise over the weekend when her husband called and said that she had a new puppy! Hannah, as she is currently named, is a baby white Schnauzer who is coming to live with them and their Great Dane very soon. Dianne is trying to come up with a nice German name; so far I like Hilde.

Dianne also ordered a pair of 5-star thinners from Kenchii; they were back ordered, so she received the T-series thinners (an upgrade) instead. She offered them to me in exchange for my 5-star thinners. Like I said, upgrading is a wonderful thing!

I'd love to close this entry in saying that all is smooth and wonderful down here. However, these next few coming days will be very hard for the school, and I'm not talking about all the dogs. Everyone, please keep us and the Nashes in your thoughts.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We're Taking This Into OVERTIME!

Right now I should be saying that I'm getting excited to reach my graduation, pack up, and start some "real world" grooming. That, however, is not the case! Tim asked both me and Sunny to stay on, right up until Christmas, to help with the last busy week. How could I say no? Extra training at no additional fees whatsoever? Count me in, baby!

I can't think of anything more beneficial. I'll get a good taste of the busiest holiday season, possibly with 30+ dogs coming in and out of the school in one day! It's going to be intense, to say the very least.

So what else happened this week? One of my favorite little dogs came in for another groom. I gave Daisy, a little Pom with an alopecia coat, the appearance of a plush doll. Also, yesterday I got to groom my first Bichon that wasn't a shavedown! It took quite a few hours, but Wiggles (aptly named, too) came out very cute. I even got that tricky angulation in the knee, after Tim showed me how! Now I'm dying to groom another one!

So far I've learned that Schnauzer faces are my current demise. I've done a few different styles, and I think that's what's throwing me off. I'm determined to get that perfect Schnauzer expression!

I've been starting to think about what else is in store for me when I get back home and once the holidays are over. Intergroom is coming in April, and I really hope to go this year! In addition, I want to take some courses from the Animal Behavior Associates; I need to learn how to put the theories about how dogs really think into practice.

It's getting time to rock it out and reach for the cosmos!