Daryl Conner

Daryl Conner has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for almost 40 years.  You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter and infant granddaughter, or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism.  She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and too many animals. 

Pet First Aid

In a perfect world, no pet groomer would ever need to use any form of first aid on any pet they groom, but the last time I checked, the world still wasn’t perfect. In the grooming environment, all kinds of emergencies can crop up.

Read more

Yuck Buster Bathing Tips

Some dogs come in to be groomed, looking like their feet have not touched the ground since the last time we saw them. They are still clean. They are still fluffy. They look like they have not had a bit of fun. Most come in dirty. Here are some tips to make bathing challenges a little easier to handle.

Read more

Photo Tips!

Cellular phones with built-in cameras have made taking pictures of the pets we groom easy and convenient. Groomers can take quick snapshots of pets on the grooming table or even set up a dedicated space with backdrops to take more formal portraits of pets. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your photo sessions.

Read more

The Case for Pre-Washing

Modern technology has changed the way we groom. Here is an example. In past years, many groomers brushed and clipped pets before bathing them. Once some of the hair was removed, the pet got washed, dried, and finished. The advent of more effective pet hair care products and, perhaps more importantly, bathing systems helped turn the tide. Now, most contemporary stylists put almost all the dogs they groom in the tub before doing anything else. There are many benefits to pre-washing pets.

Read more

Taking Care of Yourself

The most crucial grooming tool you have is your body. Pet grooming can strain the back, hands, feet, and legs tremendously. It is not too late to start if you have not taken good care of yourself up until now.

Here are some ideas that will help you support your body.

Read more

Ear Plucking - Times Have Changed!

As an apprentice groomer in the 1980s, I was taught to pluck every last strand out of the ears of any pet that had hair sprouting from that orifice. Back then, groomers went through ear powder like crazy, and many of us sported calluses on our thumbs from the hemostats we used to pluck all that ear hair. Fast forward 40 years, and times have, thankfully, changed.

Read more

Groom Faster without Rushing

Most groomers would love to be a little faster at their work. That whole "Time is Money" thing is easily illustrated in a grooming business. But rushing is a bad idea. Because dogs and cats are so sensitive to our moods and actions, a harried, hurried groomer can cause the animal she is working on to act up and behave in ways that slow the process down.

Read more

Four Ideas for Holiday Gifting

Imagine a Christmas Tree at your grooming business that is completely covered from bottom to top with adorable plush dog toys. As each dog completes their pre-holiday grooming session, its owner is instructed to choose any toy they wish from the tree for their pet. If their dog is not a fan of plush toys (or eats them!), there is also a stack of soft fleece blankets by the tree to be gifted instead.

Read more

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

You know that customer. The one that when their name shows up on caller ID, you cringe. The one that, when you see them on the calendar, makes you wish you had called in sick.

Read more

Changing Your Perspective

For many years I worked at an upscale grooming salon where several groomers shared one space to complete finish work on pets. It was great because we could all chat and visit while we worked, and it was also terrific because it meant that there was more than one pair of eyes looking at every dog before it got off the table, eyes that could see each pet from a different perspective.

Read more