Ren’s Puffy Shirt - Groomer to Groomer

Ren’s Puffy Shirt

By Dawn Omboy

I told you all in previous articles about Ren, my husband’s mini poodle who came to live with us in December of 2012 right after our ‘no more dogs’ discussion. The idea was that I would have a smaller dog to practice creative styling on and a smaller travel companion. That part about him traveling with me never happened. Klaus and Ren are so attached to each other that the only way, according to hubby, that I will be able to take Ren out of town (and I will quote hubby’s words) “Is to get another dog and name him Ren”.  On one of those rare occasions Ren was allowed to stay the day with me at the salon for a day of Canine Design. I decided to dye a new jacket onto Ren to match one of his dad’s. That way when they took off their matching raincoats (yes, ‘Mr. No More Dogs’ bought matching raincoats for the 2 of them) their shirts would also match.

The process began with cutting in the collar on the shirt (Fig. 1). So the first thing I did was to cut a line around from one side of his neck, around the back of the neck and to the other side, leaving a wide enough gap at the throat. So that when I made the second line (Fig. 2) about an inch and a half from the first one, they would line up and be joined by a straight line making it appear as the collar of the shirt. Then I used the tip of my shears to first draw the line for the shirt tail (Fig. 3).

From there, I randomly gathered small round tufts of hair and banded them off (Fig. 4) to separate and protect them as I would later cut the surrounding coat much shorter to create the puffs and give the puffy shirt life. Use two bands for each puff, one at the skin level and one at the outer end, to help you hold the hair out of the way during the next few steps. After all bands are in place carefully cut the hair within the outline of the shirt shorter, leaving all the banded areas alone (Fig 5). They will become the puffs. Once the dog’s coat has been relieved of the excess, you will then need to start coloring in the shirt. For this particular shirt, I had 2 products that were ready to use, just like they are straight from the bottle or tube they came in. I used a small tint brush to paint Blueberry Avatar Hair Color to the outer edges of the shirt and then in between all the puffs. (Fig 6) I left some of the puffs white and others were randomly dyed Marine Blue Dyex to match his shirt collar, also dyed the same Marine Blue. After about 20 minutes I removed the remaining bands from the coat before quickly rinsing Ren in cool, not cold, water and drying him. Tidy the whole thing up a bit with scissors and WhaLa! Ren was wearing a shirt similar to Dad’s Hawaiian shirt! This made hubby very happy since both guys (he and Ren) now had matching shirts.

What really made me laugh when I saw them is that, not only did their shirts match, but they were also wearing identical raincoats right down to the reflective tape on them both.


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