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Grooming for a Living with Dezynadog
– Wisbech Cambridgeshire

ONE AGAIN, the Dezynadog Grooming for a Living roadshow heralded their agenda. At this time of the year, it can be an awesome task to put on a show, as one never know how the weather will be, it can change overnight! However, the powers that be were kind, and two-hundred-and-sixty groomers came from near and far to attend this event at Wisbech.

On average, groomers had travelled a total of one hundred miles plus, to be there; it is amazing how dedicated they are to their trade. It was very nice to see some of the colleges bringing their students along and this is an ideal opportunity for them to watch and learn, to see the experts at work.

The day kicked off with the City & Guilds practical examination with Diana North commenting. Diana has been instrumental over the years with her tireless dedication to the grooming industry, she is always there to give practical advice to everyone.

The three demonstrators, all of whom have their City & Guilds, were Jane Pavelly clipping a White Highland White Terrier, a black Poodle by Jan Newdick and Joanne Angus clipping a Cocker Spaniel.

Diana expressed the importance of choosing the correct dog with which to do your exam. Not everyone can have their preference of the perfect dog, but a dog needs to be as near as one can get to it, and if the coat is a concern, it can be nurtured for several months.

Rodney Eastall of Daedal fame brought along two Airedales, one had a clipped coat and the other a show coat. The difference in the coats was remarkable, and very noticeable, the show coat was wonderful and oozed elegance. It is strenuous work stripping out these larger dogs, particularly if they are pets and only come into the salon twice a year!

The American Cocker Spaniel was demonstrated by Amy English (from Mucky Paws), a beautifully presented dog. A lot of continuous work is involved with the upkeep of this breed, and Amy made it look effortless.

During the lunch break, there was a presentation to a very special person, namely Peter Young. Carol Flatt told how, for years, Peter had excelled as ambassador to the grooming profession. Peter is always very much the diplomat and has never been known to speak ill of anyone. It was a great pleasure to present him with a small gesture of thanks for all his tireless efforts. Peter owns ‘Peter’s Posh Pets’ in London, has shown numerous breeds including Poodles, German Shepherds, Shih Tzu, American Cockers and Tibetan Terriers.

Peter is also an international judge and has won many grooming competitions both here and abroad.

Into the afternoon programme, and there were fifteen demonstrators on display, covering every part of the hall which catered for everyone.

Carol Witham of Pericraig Bichons scissored her way through a beautiful little dog, the head of this breed is indeed so elegant.

Jenny Harrison-Smith of Nenevale Schnauzers is one of the giants’ top UK breeder with thirty-five champions carrying her affix; her demonstration on one was superb and her tips on head trimming extremely informative.


Pauline Friedlander of Dezynapet, Norfolk, handstripped a Scottish Terrier for showing. These smart little dogs always appear so alert, and Pauline campaigns for this breed very successfully.

On to the demonstration of the Puli, ably shown by Avril Lacey and Stan Szyczewski of Weetonneon fame. Avril and Stan have owned and shown dogs for thirty-five and twenty-five-years respectively. They have the top winning Hungarian Puli, Turbo, he is the only Puli to have won a best in show at an all breed championship show. This is definitely a breed that requires a lot of attention, and Avril explained how to divide the coat when it begins to clump together, to pull and separate it into cords. This is a breed where dedication is foremost.

The Poodle had its limelight in the shape of two toys, one in a show coat and the other in a ‘T’ trim, both owned by Joanne Angus. Joanne is our currant ‘Groomer of the Year’, owns Salon 2000 and shows Toy and Standard Poodles which are always immaculately turned out. Joanne scissored the show coat to perfection with not a hair out of place!

Emma Walton, one of our youngest up-and-coming groomers clipped the Toy in the ‘T’ trim. Emma has been runner-up to ‘Groomer of the Year’ twice, and it will only be a matter of time before Emma hits the top accolade, as her talents are numerous.

Gwen Barber of ‘Beautiful Dog’ is a professional groomer and has exhibited many breeds including American and English Cocker Spaniels, Pointers and Setters, to name but a few.
Gwen demonstrated the use of the ineffable ‘Coat King’. This is a new piece of equipment, which can leave some users completely confused. There are different sizes for the various coats and maybe it is trial and error to find the most suitable one to achieve the best result. Gwen had obviously found the correct one to demonstrate on the Cocker Spaniel.

The Bedlington Terrier was ably scissored to perfection by Sheila Bladwin of Woollytops.
This breed foxes some groomers as to the correct shape but when completed can look so elegant, as Sheila managed to show everyone.

Melanie Winters-Holmes, (note the new name, as Melanie got married in December, I am sure we all wish her well for the future), has branched out since her marriage and now teaches grooming on a one-to-one basis. Her model was a Cesky Terrier – a very interesting breed and one that was immaculately trimmed by Melanie.

Marion Lovelace of Burtonbrook Kennels stood in at the last minute to trim a Kerry Blue Terrier, this breed demands lines to be definite to achieve the correct balance, which Marion certainly demonstrated with precision.

Jeanne Sergeant of Jetstream fame brought along a Smooth Fox Terrier and a Wire Fox Terrier. Two completely different breeds sometimes confused for being the same. Jeanne has been active in dogs for many years, she has produced many champions, has judged both here and abroad; even at Crufts! She is the leading authority with this breed which Jeanne demonstrated with her expertise.

Jan Newdick is a groomer of thirty-seven years standing and her talents have also taken her around the show circuit breeding and showing Poodles. Jan has also been a championship show judge, and only recently has become interested in the grooming competitions after having been placed in several classes. Today, she not only clipped the Poodle in the mock City & Guilds, but she also scissored an Old English Sheepdog. This breed can be difficult for the pet owner to cope with, as its abundance of coat can prove to be unmanageable, but Jan showed her audience the best possible solution for a short and maintained coat.

Sheila Watkins of Tamarley brought along a Golden Retriever, demonstrating how to thin-out the coat. Sheila has bred a number of champions, is a champion show judge and continues to enjoy showing.

In a small corner of the hall, Claire Andrews had brought along two Persian cats. They were indeed so well behaved it was difficult to imagine what they must have been thinking, as either side of them were dogs! One of the cats was only a kitten, but Claire and her assistant reassured their charges constantly and neither of the cats seemed at all nervous!

Cats are not for some groomers, but if you can offer feline grooming, then maybe it can be very rewarding. Claire explained how to introduce a kitten to the grooming sessions; life as a Persian is not easy and for the average pet owner it can be a nightmare! The adult cat had quite a few knots, which Claire had deliberately left, to show her captivated audience how she dealt with this particular regular problem. It was certainly fascinating watching Claire at work. Sylvia and Philip from Cliverton Insurance were again on hand to give advice on any insurance-related issue. They are always so helpful and can explain, in layman’s language, any difficulties you may have with deciding upon the right policy to purchase.

The Dezynadog team were kept busy all day on the trade stand answering the many enquiries from groomers on the various pieces of equipment, they all coped admirably.

It is amazing how events like these bring groomers form near and far to gain that extra piece of knowledge, to return at the end of the day to be shared late on with clients, employers, employees and students to the trade.

I am sure that you will all agree that Carol and her family have again brought together an informative and wonderful day of events – I am quite positive that not one person left at the end of the day without learning at least one new thing!

The next Grooming for a Living Roadshow will be at Liverpool on Sunday 14th April.
See you there!