A photo of Daryl Conner

Daryl Conner

Daryl Conner, MPS Meritus, CMCG has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for 40 years.  You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter 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 a lot of animals. 

Comfort Clips

Comfort Clips

Nico is a toy poodle, and I have groomed him every five weeks since he was a puppy. He is now a doddering old man, nearly blind from cataracts, riddled with arthritis, and missing most of his teeth.

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When Your Shop Vacuum Stinks

When Your Shop Vacuum Stinks

I don't know many shops or mobile groomers who don't use a shop or "wet/dry" vacuum regularly. These wonderful tools are endlessly helpful for sucking up all that fur that hits the ground as we work, nabbing cobwebs, cleaning the filters in our dryers, heating systems, fans, and more. But let's be honest, they tend to get smelly. 

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Ooh, That Smell!

Groomer's Guide to Beating Doggy Odor: Bath Time & Beyond

Dogs and people seem to agree on many things. We both like some of the same tasty treats, enjoy walks, and think a good snuggle is fun. Do you know what dogs and people don’t seem to agree on? The topic of what smells good. I’ve had a dog roll exuberantly in a decomposing animal and seem overjoyed to smell of corpse.

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Silicone in Pet Care Products

Silicone in Pet Care Products

Silicone is an ingredient found in many pet care products that is wildly effective and useful but is often misunderstood. Some brands advertise that they contain "no silicone" as if that were a bonus. Rumor has it that silicone builds up on hair and damages it by causing yellowing andbreakage. This may have been true of early silicone-based products, but times have changed. Grooming educator Barbara Bird has written extensively on the subject (see references below for more information) and often talks about the usefulness of silicone on the award-winning GroomPod podcast she hosts with Suzy Scott.

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Sanitary Trim Basics

When I was training to be a pet groomer, my mentor used to tell me, "You don't have to be the best groomer in the world. If you send home clean dogs that are tangle-free, have a cute face, and a tidy potty area, your customers will be happy." While I strive always to do my best, I realize there is some truth to my mentor's words.

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Spring Spruce Up

Spring cleaning is traditionally a home chore to prepare for the warmer season. It is time to get rid of the dust, grime, clutter, and debris that has collected over the cold months and make things lighter and brighter. Applying the concept to your grooming space can be a pleasant and practical way to prepare for our industry's typically hectic time of year.

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Groomers Helper

Groomers Helper

Sometimes, we find a tool that changes the way we work for the better. It has been almost two decades since I was introduced to such a tool, the Groomers Helper. The starter kit for the Groomers Helper system has become a steadfast companion to me as I work on almost every dog, every day.

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Taming the Dreaded Fuzzies

Taming the Dreaded Fuzzies

You have brushed, you have combed, you have fretted, but still, there are strange little wispy, fuzzy patches on the dog you are grooming. You know the ones I mean; you have seen them on Golden Retrievers, some Spaniels, Setters, or mixes with similar coats. They are the patches of unusually textured, soft, dull fur that show up on the fronts of the legs, the sides of the thighs, or the ears and maybe cheeks of some of these breeds.

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Skunked!

Skunked

If you live in a climate that experiences winter weather, your phone may be starting to ring now that warmer weather is here with frantic pleas for help with pets that have met a skunk. In cold climates, skunks spend the winter in a sleepy state called torpor. In the spring, they awaken and search for food and a mate. 

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Putting the “Smooth” in Smoothies

Putting the “Smooth” in Smoothies

Sometimes, dogs must be clipped smooth, also known as shaving. Occasionally, it is by owner request; often, it is because there is no other humane way to rid the pet of a matted, neglected coat. It is often not a groomer’s favorite thing to do, but sometimes shave we must. Here are some tips and tricks to accomplish the job as safely and attractively as possible.

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