Groomer to Groomer

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Brody is on Fire!

By Dawn Omboy


I love groomers, and I love creative styling. For me, it is so much fun to be able to travel and share in the enthusiasm of talented groomers who are looking to learn new skills or just gain a bit more confidence in the colorful art of creative styling.

During this trip, I found myself at the home of groomer Amber Powell Brooks in Guyton, Georgia. If you recognize the name, it is because her fabulous artwork has become very popular with a strong Facebook presence. At Amber’s home salon, we had a small group of great groomer ladies, old friends and new ones, who had ideas of what they would like to be able to achieve with their dogs, knowing this would be a great marketing tool for their businesses.

Dawn Maki of Dog in Suds in Henderson, North Carolina, wanted her two-year-old cream-colored Standard Poodle, Brody, to sport bright flames. She had seen the design on a pickup truck and chased it down to snap a picture on her phone to bring it to the class. Brody, in a lamb trim with short jacket and scissored legs, was ready to sport this style.

We began by drawing the flame from her photo onto a sheet of sticky back foam (thank you, Amber) and then cut it out with an X-acto knife. We then carefully peeled off the backing and placed it onto Brody’s side. With the stencil in place, we got a can of black Pet Paint, gave it a shake, and then did a light spray over the stencil. After gently peeling off the stencil, we had a perfect outline for hand-painting our brilliant flame colors.

The outside edges were painted in using a firm, medium-sized paint brush dipped in Avatar Orange dye. The yellow used was the new color product Energetic Yellow made by Davis, which comes in a spray bottle, so it was very easy to spray the color right into the center. Whenever you are spraying anything, always test the range of the spray away from the dog on paper so you get the feel of it first. This can really save on unwanted “oops.”

Repeat the process on the other side of the dog. After letting the products sit on the dog for 20 minutes, it is time to rinse. To keep color from splattering onto Brody’s legs, we used my bag trick. This is when I stand the dog in big trash bags – in this case, one for the back legs and another for the front legs – securing each one over the back so that only the bits we need to rinse are exposed. Besides protecting from color splash, it also cuts drying time! I use this in my everyday grooming as well. It is great when you have to send a dog back to the tub to have just one body part re-bathed. Brody looked great at the end of the first day of this two-day class.

The following day, Dawn was ready to flame up his legs. We began this look by first coating Brody’s feet by thickly brushing cholesterol onto them for protection against color drips. Next, she separated the hair with vet wrap and started from the bottom line, brushing in her red dye. She chose to use Kiss Express Truly Red for this, as it is a deep red and long-lasting product.

Unwrapping the next section, she line-brushed in the Avatar Orange, another long-lasting dye, before moving on up to the last section, which was the Davis Energetic Yellow spray in semi-permanent color. The Davis color does bleed a bit, but that’s okay for the flame effect.

Fifteen minutes after the last color application, Brody was off to the tub to have his flaming legs rinsed and dried. Next, I showed Dawn a couple of different methods of adding glitter to bring out the flames for a bit more spark.

I want to say how cool he looked, but really, he was HOT!

You can see Brody moving on the Facebook page Creative Grooming.

I am doing my best “making the world more colorful, one dog at a time.” ✂