By Dawn Omboy
Toby is one of my favorite little poodle dudes. He is a faded red, oversized toy that I just happen to adore. I have to laugh when he is being checked in and my husband, who runs the grooming salon check–in for a few hours in the morning, asked Toby’s mom if she would like the same haircut as last time. Truth is, I have free reign with Toby and his mom never knows what he is going to look like when she comes to pick him up. So it made me giggle to hear the question asked, then she says “just surprise me”.
On this particular grooming visit, I decided that some strategically placed color enhancements were just the thing that would make my day. I would like to share with you what I did to achieve the new look for Toby.
Normally Toby gets a freestyle teddy type head, a 5 body and scissored in legs, but today I started off with adding color enhancements to outline his jacket with a brown dye.
Fig 1) I used a dye application brush to evenly apply the dye, creating the outer edges.
Fig 2) Once I finished this part, I went back and clipped out the inside of the jacket with a 5 blade so I could then add an animal pattern to the shorter hair. I only clipped inside the dye lines, so once rinsed, there will be depth to the jacket pattern.
Fig 3) With this part done, I used a small, firm paint brush to add a random animal pattern to the inside of Toby’s jacket.
Fig 4) Moving right along to his ears, I put on disposable gloves and rested his ear in my gloved hand. I first outlined, then filled it in with the dye, coating the hair well.
Fig 5) Next is my famous trick for protecting the head from dye, should the dog try to shake while processing. Hold the ear in your gloved hand and, with your other hand, gently pull the glove off your hand and up over the ear, trapping the dyed ear inside the glove. Secure the glove to the hair above the ear with locking hemostats, taking care not to catch any skin. Repeat on other ear. This will keep and protect ears during the process of setting the dye. Foil could easily become color projectile, decorating your shop in an unwanted manner. And I have found dogs do a lot less head shaking with my method.
Fig 6) Lastly, I wanted to add color to his cuffs. Making sure he was standing on something to protect my table top, I also brushed the same dye on his cuffs, starting from the foot working up in a line brushing fashion. I placed baggies on his back feet and tied them in place so dye would not smear, should he feel the need to sit and relax while I timed him for 30 minutes with my handy kitchen timer.
Fig 7) Toby was then rinsed until the water ran clear, then bathed and dried as normal. To groom this out, you would just follow the pattern set with the dye, leaving the colored outline fuller.
Now, just enjoy all that cuteness! It will be hard not to take a bazillion pictures, and make sure to watch mom’s face when she first sees him. That little bugger makes my day every time I have the honor of working with him. ✂