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I know I overshare. And I know this is highly insignificant in the big picture. And I know it's just hair and it will grow. But I'm soooo bummed. 

Katie and Maggie's groomer moved away. And when I say away I mean far away - like a 17 hour round trip (I checked.)  She had been Katie's groomer since we moved here in 2015 - I think she had only been groomed twice by someone else. And I knew I was spoiled. She hand scissored Katie and she only charged maybe $60. She taught me so many things. She helped me get a few decent grooming tools and figure out at least the brushing thing. I don't think Katie's had a matt on her for 2 years. The girls adore her and she's one of the few people trust implicitly with them. And we won't even mention that her shop was 5 minutes away from home. 

But life must go on and dogs must be groomed. So today I took them to the groomer who replaced my beloved groomer. And it's not a disaster. It's not. It's just hair, right? That's what I always think when someone is bemoaning the way their dog was groomed. But, she cut.off.their.beards. I did not know this was a thing I had to tell her. And Maggie, I can't say anything. We're still working out the brushing kinks. She doesn't like it, and she has hair that tangles. She was kind of a mess (but not that big of a mess.) But Katie! All she needed was a bath and a trim and she came home with a summer cut and no beard! And to add insult to injury she shaved up about 2 inches on her tail. She didn't have a single tangle in her tail. Why would she even do that? 

I know, I know. It will grow back. Eventually. But I'm whining here. And now I am in search of a new groomer who is exactly like the old groomer. And I don't think it's a thing. And somehow I'm sitting here wondering exactly how I could justify driving 17 hours every time the girls need their hair done. 

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My groomer is wonderful. I used to know exactly how much a groom cost until she raised her prices— and never said a word to me. I KNOW I’m not paying her enough- I must get a huge multi-dog discount. I am soooo lucky and a big tipper. 

Your groomer and my groomer should get together and both come live by me. They sound wonderful! It was always a mystery how much she was going to charge for Katie that day. One time it was $30. A discount because she didn't have any tangles. I tipped very well. I miss her so much!

I think that the biggest problem with grooming doodles (other than some groomers attitudes towards doodles) is that every coat is different and then on top of that every owner likes their doodle cut a different way.  As you mentioned about the beard ... I've started cutting my girls beards shorter lately.  I started grooming my own girls about 8 years ago after a few unhappy trips to the groomer.  The last trip was 2 doodles and I paid $150 with tip.  By the time we got home Sophie was scratching so badly that she was bleeding on her back.  I was so furious I said never again.  We decided that with what it costs us to get them groomed that we could pay for professional grade equipment in no time.  So we bought an electric table, a large waist high dog tub, clippers etc.  I will never forget standing there with the clippers in my hand trying to convince myself to make that first pass thru Sophies coat.  Once I did it I was like, Oh, this isn't so bad and I just kept clipping.  8 years later I still learn a little bit each time I cut them.  Just like the beard I used to leave them a little longer but have decided I like them  little shorter.  Is my job professional looking, no, but I'm happier with my cuts than I ever was with any of the ones I paid for.  My girls aren't stressed out and I can keep them at the exact length I like them because I can clip them any time I want.  Just this week I did 2 baths and 2 haircuts and it didn't cost me anything but shampoo (and actually it was free shampoo because Mr. Chewy messed up my order and sent me free shampoo.  The key to being able to home groom, in my opinion is keeping them brushed out.  If you have mats, it is much more frustrating getting the clippers through them.  If you have a table to put them up on when you brush, sometimes it helps them be a little better behaved.  

Here are their latest cuts.  Lucy was only partially done in her photo!  

I love these cuts :) Functional but still have that "teddy bear" doodle look.

I think they look amazing! I would never know you did that yourself (as opposed to a professional groomer.) If I could do that I would be thrilled! And with a lot more disposable income!

They look great! 

Removing all matts is key. Every doodle coat is so different!

My Georgia has a pretty thin coat and I prefer a longer cut. I'm finding the shears tend to want to glide over the hair rather than cut it. I purchased a dog hair dryer. the flying pig model. The dryer poofs up the hair so the trimmers cut through it easier. 

It is all a learning experience. But I like learning new things. And I like saving money.

They look great!   You cut Annabelle similar to the way I cut Picco.   Picco is so much comfortable at home anyway.  He's my shadow so leaving him with strangers is stressful for him. You cut Annabelle similar to the way I cut Picco. 

I made a BAD oops last time.  I was giving a quick, touch up trim and went to switch combs smaller for his muzzle, took of the comb, set the clipper down to comb his muzzle, picked up the clipper and started shaving!  I never put the smaller comb back on! So now he has what I call a "kiss me here" patch!  Not quite down to the skin but close!  You really can't tell unless you get close (at least that's what I tell myself).   So now he has what I call a "kiss me here" patch!  

A doodle coat is very forgiving.  I think that is why it is easy to learn to do it yourself.

That is such a true statement!  And it seems to grow fast.

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