Lucy Lab - Groomer to Groomer

The Cat's Meow

Lucy Lab

By Dawn Omboy

Putting a tiger in your tank, or at least the back seat of your vehicle, is exactly what this particular client of mine decided to do. As a surprise birthday gift for her adult son, who is a fan of Auburn University, she decided to have me dye her son’s yellow Labrador Retriever, Lucy to resemble a tiger.

The results have been – to say the least – “Traffic Stopping”. As they were making the drive home to another state, a lady pulled up beside them at a rest stop gas station just to look at the dog. Laughing, she told them she was so happy and relieved to see the tiger dog. She thought she was going to have to punish her young child for telling lies when he kept insisting he saw a tiger in
the SUV!

Lucy began her tiger transformation with a visit to my salon and grooming table. I already knew that I would need to mix the colors to get the shade I was looking for. I did not want this to be as bright orange as the product would be straight out of the bottle, so I deepened the orange dye by adding red to the mix. When you are mixing color, be sure to keep up with the ratio so that you will be consistent should you need to mix more as you go.

Fig 1) I then free handed the color mixture over the top of Lucy’s head and face using a combination of small dye applicators and paint brushes, taking care not to get any dye near her eyes.


Fig 2) Moving on to the body, I brushed the mixture onto the top of the coat in the direction the coat lays using a large application brush. I did not try to saturate the dye all the way to the skin. I wanted a more natural looking tiger rather than a bright orange one and the undercoat would just suck up the dye and be very bright if I did.

Fig 3) Once all the orange/red dye was applied to the body, head, and tail in the desired areas, it was time for our Lucy to kick back and relax on the grooming table while waiting about 25 minutes for the dye to set.

Fig 4) To save time on this dye job and shorten the session for Lucy, I mixed up the black dye and hand painted the black tiger stripes right over the orange dye without first rinsing the orange hair color. l knew this rich black would cover her hair texture and also pull the
look together.

This process took about 20 minutes, after a processing time of an additional 25 minutes. The dog was then rinsed, bathed, and dried. Lucy became the talk of the town and a true traffic stopper!  You might say she’s the cat’s meow. ✂

Making the World more Colorful, one dog at a time… 

Queen of Color

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