Artist triumphant in “Chow Time” Challenge {Groomer Has It}

May 18, 2008

I usually don’t react strongly to what’s happening on TV, but I was mortified when Kathleen put a muzzle on Zoro, her Chow Chow, before giving him a bath. How much damage can a dog do when tied up in a washtub? Zoro, who according to the judges had a nice personality, was scared and helpless trying to bat Kathleen away with his front paw. Imagine taking your Chow to Kathleen because she has all this grooming experience, only to later find out she insisted on muzzling your dog because of her “issues.” I hope Kathleen can digest the hunk of humble pie she was served this week.

Chow Chows by nature are one-owner dogs and are very protective. They are are naturally suspicious of strangers, so the groomers’ challenge this week was to remain calm and win over their dogs’ trust. Kathleen, Artist, and Jorge had all been bitten by Chow Chows before. Kathleen and Jorge dealt with this professional shortcoming by not grooming this breed. But Artist said he had to groom 10-12 dogs/cats a day just to pay the bills and to feed him and his son (including “dogs from the pound and three legged cats”). Artist put on his army boots and psyched himself up for the Chow Time Challenge, not even packing a suitcase in case he lost. “Why would I pack if I’m not going home?” he said. Jasper and Artist were selected as the best groomers this week, but it was a confident Artist who prevailed. I thought Jessica deserved to be recognized, but for the fact that she didn’t use her “leg up” prize from her Quick Sniff Challenge win (5 minutes with her Chow’s owner to calm the dog down).

Kathleen and Will ended up at the bottom, and Will was sent home for not grooming the Chow to the breed standards. His dog looked great, but she did not look like a Chow Chow; she looked like “an American Eskimo.” Will made the mistake of thinking that “the haircut varies” and “you pretty much can do whatever you want.”

(Above: American Eskimo dogs)

There were some funny moments, too.

1) Jon and his double entendres: “Kathleen didn’t really know how to use her nuts. Me? I go crazy for nuts all the time.”

2) Poor messenger dog, Nemo, had to watch the groomers bake dog treats in the “only five star dog bakery,” Three Dog Bakery and not be allowed to do a taste test.

3) Jorge’s comment: “How hard can it be to make dog biscuit? A dog eats his own poop, sometimes.”

4) Jessica’s winning dog treat was based on her commitment to her ingredient, cheese.

5) Animal Planet censoring Jessica’s cigarette habit by pix-elating her hand while she was smoking. OK, now the Veterinarian Judge, Karen “Doc” Halligan, had a habit of lifting each Chow Chow’s tail and examining it’s you-know-what. I finally found something worse than second hand smoke. By the way, did you see the look Judge Joey Villani gave her? They can’t stand each other! I’d love to see him pull a Bill O’ Reilly freak out!

Groomer Has It is seeking applications for Season Two. I’m not sure if it’s possible to find another cast as amusing as the current bunch.

PJ

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Malissa loses cat fight {Groomer Has It}

May 11, 2008

I really want to like Malissa, but on Groomer Has It this week, she made it difficult for me to take her seriously. After telling us that she knows the difference between stuffed animals and real animals, she actually managed to get “bitten” by a stuffed German Sheppard. Later she said she had a “seventh sense,” realizing later that there are only 5 senses. The worst mistake was cutting off a cat’s whiskers after a judge told the groomers specifically “do not scissor the face or cut the whiskers.” That’s actually a mean thing to do because cats use their whiskers to judge distances. So Malissa went home. It was no contest between Malissa and Artist, who ended up at the bottom because he lost confidence when his cat “boo-booed three times; three times it put chocolate truffles on my table.” Mean Kathleen said that Malissa “is an insult to my gender,” but Kathleen is not impressive when it comes to her interpersonal skills (although she won “best in show” this week for cat grooming). Kathleen impressed the judges by knowing her role in the process: “I am her (the cat’s) servant, I am not her friend.” OK, but I wouldn’t claim cat worshiping as a credit to our gender, either.

What’s the difference between grooming a cat vs a dog? According to Jorge, dogs want to please you, but with a cat, “you have to please them…basically, they’re like a woman; you have to tell them what they want to hear, and they’ll work with you.” Jessica, the resident cat groomer, also had a difficult time with her cat. Earlier Jessica had begun to show claws in her personality, prompting Jorge to say, “I would like to put a muzzle on Jessica.”

Last week I wondered what CPR had to do with dog grooming, but this week I learned that a good groomer needs to know basic animal first aid in case of an emergency. The groomers had some pretty funny things to say before the Quick Sniff Challenge (performing 3 different types of first aid on three different dogs–2 stuffed animals and a CPR dog).

Jon: The CPR dog looked kind of like a stuffed-bear-sloth-creature. It needed a brushing.

Will: That CPR dog was crazy looking…I’m not putting my mouth on that thing, no way girlfriend.

Jorge: I had given a little Yorkie CPR and he had the worst breath.

Artist: You can’t be walking around with your scissors in your hand saying ‘I can give a Continental Cut like nobody’s business’…you’ve got to be solid.

Next week: Chow-Chow Challenge


Amber is first groomer voted off the island {Groomer Has It}

May 4, 2008

Fans of Project Runway and Survivor felt right at home in the doghouse this week on Groomer Has It. Amber was sent home by two of her teammates because she did a superior job during the Challenge. Will, the winner of last week’s show, got to pick his own team of three for the Quick Sniff Challenge: designing a collection of three outfits for a Poodle from each breed class: standard (big), miniature (small), and teacup (tiny). Will also received the added advantage of putting the rest of the teams of 3 together. He should have picked judges’ favorites– show front runners Jonathan and Kathleen, but instead, chose Amber (for her creative ideas) and Jessica (who said dressing up dogs is “stupid”). The most entertaining team was Jorge, Jasper, and Artist; they had the least designing experience, yet won with their line of red and white satin poodle sportswear. They were picked by two “top designers in dog-dressing fashion.” (Stop. You mean to tell me that there exists such a hierarchy?) Jorge was impressed with Jasper’s cloth-cutting skills saying Jasper cut like “he’s been playing with dolls all his life.” Jasper, a man built like a tank, and who admitted his wife dresses him at home, “got in touch with his inner metro-sexual,” according to Jorge. Watching Jorge, Jasper, and Artist select their “models” grew funnier by the minute. Jasper picked Kenny, a black standard poodle “because he was easygoing and he let me play with his paws.” Artist picked the miniature poodle who had the most “testosterone.” Artist’s technique comprised of sniffing each poodle butt (this is a unique talent of Artist’s; detecting dog hormones was his method for identifying breeds while blindfolded in the first challenge). Ironically, this dog ended up wearing a cheerleading outfit. Jorge grabbed teacup poodle, Patches: “When I saw Patches, I said, ‘that’s the spirit I need today.'” (At the time, Patches was humping another teacup poodle). The contestants also had to create their own copy for the catwalk and Artist had the most original with his hip-hop inspired description: “We have here the tough traina. He does not like no complainas. He works hard, he has flair, his bling-bling is hot to wear. He gives us a sweatshirt with a team logo with matching colors–Oh no no!” Their ability to work together and have fun with a tough challenge won over the judges. Jasper, the MIP, (Most Improved Playa), was the overall individual winner.

Now for the bad news: Malissa was singled out by the judges as the worst groomer this week for a single act of shaving a poodle’s “top knot” too far back. You learn something new every week, and I learned that poodles are supposed to have bangs. Sweet Malissa responded by saying that “the eyes are the most beautiful part of a dog.” But she is safe for now because, as Artist had pointed out earlier, “grooming is 20% of this challenge.” Amber was sad to leave the show, but happy to return home to “build her business and her family.” As if to remind the viewers to keep life in perspective, she shared with us her happy news that she is pregnant.

What’s next? The groomers will be tested on their EMT skills. Can they perform CPR on a dog? There is more to the dog grooming profession than grooming!

PJ


Small dog groomers had a leg up in challenge {Groomer Has It}

April 28, 2008

On Animal Planet’s Groomer Has It, dogs are people too. Puppy size mattered when volunteers handed over their puppies to Reality TV groomers for the third challenge. Will was awarded the “top dog” prize because he showered his Pomeranian puppy with hugs and kisses. The judges were sympathetic to Will’s transformation; last week, they poo-pooed Will for using the wrong brush on a Bearded Collie. This week Will was determined to show how much “he loves dogs.” Sadly Jon was told to “leave the doghouse” after “failing to meet the grooming standards of the puppy grooming challenge.” Never mind that Jon’s puppy was a Great Pyrenese and with the exception of the Leonberger, was the size of a full grown Labrador Retriever! Contestants who were given small dogs definitely had the advantage with the 90 minute time frame. But they had to please the owners of small dogs who are very picky about their dog’s appearance. Groomers of small dogs make house calls and call themselves “dog stylists” instead of “dog groomers.” Kathleen, the”Quick Sniff” contest winner, was the only groomer allowed to choose her puppy, a white Pomeranian named Princess who arrived wearing a little red skirt. The rest were given their puppies at random, and it took poor Jon a full hour just to dry fur of the giant Pyrenese pup. This left him little time for the actual “grooming/styling” phase. Jon chose to focus on styling the fur on the puppy’s head because did not have time take care of the other end. The judges offered him no sympathy and bolted from their chairs and headed right for the tail. It wasn’t fair that the judges didn’t scrutinize the other groomers, and I wish Jon could have summoned Tyra Banks to give his dog “a Brazillian Booty Facial.” The moral of the story? Who cares if there’s a Writier’s Strike when you have shows like Grommer Has It? Next week the contestants have to design doggy outfits–another contest where size matters. What does designing clothes have to do with dog grooming? It doesn’t really matter becuase until Project Runway begins, I’m watching Groomer Has It.

See ya’

PJ


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