How To Groom a Little Bichon Named Doo

If Only It Were This Easy

WARNING:  The images you are about to see are graphic.  If you are the owner of a Bichon Frise then you might want to click away now. 

The owner of this Bichon is neither professionally trained nor a studied amateur bichon groomer.  In fact, she has no idea what she’s doing. Driven to desperation, this owner watched a 10-minute video on youtube once, bought a pair of clippers, and had at it. Some of her previous grooming efforts have been so gruesome that no photos can ever be shown.  

Luckily, bichon hair grows. And grows. And grows. Giving this owner lots of opportunities to practice over and over again.

If you are a bichon owner and nonprofessional bichon grooming offends your tender sensibilities then please seek help immediately, because you need it. IT’S JUST A BICHON, PEOPLE. It’s not like I’m grooming Justin Beiber or something.

Grooming Day for The Doo.

Hi, my name is Chloe, and I own a Bichon.  Bichons are very popular. Don’t believe me? Check out this Other Chloe. Notice that this Other Chloe has 531 FRIENDS, well, 532, after she approves my friend request. This means that a freaking Bichon has roughly 300 more friends than I have.

What people don’t know about me (and you were wondering if there was anything left) is that I’ve subscribed to a bichon weblist for about nine years. That’s right. NINE YEARS! Nine years of All Bichon, All The Time.

For nine years I’ve received daily emails from other bichon owners around the world. Bichons are so darn amazing and wonderful that owners of them need their own email list so that we can talk about them all day and not bore other people to death.

What do we bichon owners talk about, you wonder?

Eye stains.

Eye stains are a big problem for bichons and their owners. There are a lot of reasons for this and bichon owners talk about the problem and the treatments for it incessantly. Except those bichon owners who swear that their little perfect bichons DON’T get eye stains like other bichons. I don’t believe them.

Bichon owners also spend a lot of time on the Internet arranging meet-ups with one another at events called “Bichon Bashes” where they watch their Bichons do this thing called “Blitzing” (that’s where bichons run around a lot).

I’ve never attended one. But I might someday. Don’t judge me.

Bichon owners also talk about bichon diet–the basic rule of thumb is the more expensive and time-consuming to prepare, the better; bichon health–they are the healthiest dogs in the world; bichon health problems–except when they are not; horrible bichon puppy mills (Boo. Hiss.)Bichon Frise housebreaking–an oxymoron if ever there was one. Trust me. No bichon is actually ever truly housebroken.  If you tell me yours is, I won’t believe you.

If you are interested in joining this list, here’s the contact page; the address is at the bottom of the link.  But you won’t find any posts by me. I just read the emails. The last time I posted was five or six years ago about something to do with my dog’s water dish. If you think homeschool moms get testy then you haven’t met any bichon owners. Apparently, I wasn’t keeping the water dish the right way and several people let me know in no uncertain terms that I am a big, fat loser and deserve to die a horrible death. Now I just lurk.

Far and away though, the biggest issue that bichon owners discuss is grooming. Grooming a bichon is not optional.  Bichons do not have fur; they have hair.  Hair, like I said, that grows without limit. Snowy white, dense curly hair that grows and mats and becomes a huge, filthy tangled mess if not groomed regularly.  And regularly means all. the. damn. time.

I promised Doo’s breeder that I would feed him ostrich and groom him regularly. What the breeder didn’t tell me is that I’d need to get a second job to pay for the first promise, but then I’d have to quit both my jobs in order to keep the second.

I used to pay a groomer to groom Jean-Luc and considered it money well-spent.  I know. There are children starving and I was paying someone to wash my dog every month.  But look at it this way. Dog groomers need money too.  If we sent all our money to starving children then we’d have starving dog groomers laying on the streets, starving.  Okay.  That was lame.  Sorry.  I have no excuse.  I used to pay someone to groom my dog.  Don’t judge me.

But then I had to stop.

I stopped paying professional groomers because I live in a teeny town and my three available options are no good.  The best groomers I used to take him to did a great job, but for some reason Doo developed a total panic disorder going to them.  He started shaking so hard on the way there that I thought he was going to keel over and die. They seemed very nice, but something wasn’t right.

Then my mom had Doo groomed behind my back by the mobile groomer who mysteriously clipped him to look exactly like my mother’s dead poodle, Betsy.  THAT was terrible.  And took months to grow out.  Then I tried the only other groomer in town, but she also cut him like a poodle.  A Bichon is not a poodle and them’s fightin’ words.  I’m certainly not paying somebody to badly groom my dog and make him look like a poodle.  I can do that myself for free, thank you very much.  So now I home groom.

I haven’t officially groomed The Doo since his attack on May 27th.  He was just too messed up.  But the day finally came when he and I had to bite the bullet and get down to serious grooming.

Serious grooming of Doo is an all-day affair and includes a brush-out, scissor trim, clippers, more scissoring, bath, blow dry, finishing scissoring.  Partly because I’m not any good at it and partly because I try to make it not so tortureful for Doo, it usually takes me about 4-5 hours to completely groom him.

Here are pictures of the process from start to finish.

1. Brush Out the Head

2. Then the Tail

3. Scissor Trimming

“Am I even?”

4. Clippers

“Is This Over Yet?”
Once the pre-cut is done, it is time for the bath. This is Doo’s least favorite part and he looks particularly pitiful while it is happening.
“Is this really necessary??


Gentle Cotton Balls for the eyes

After the bath, it is all down hill.  Doo loves the the dryer and the final brush out.

“I love being clean!”

I’m a handsome fellow, aren’t I?

Bichon Manicure
Oops.  Cut a little too much.
What’s left of the scars from the attack

More Better

Happy Now

“Let’s not do that again, Okay?”

A Little Bichon Named Doo

17 thoughts on “How To Groom a Little Bichon Named Doo

  1. Oh, dear God in heaven.I've never considered owning a Bichon. I now understand with greater clarity my own sheer brilliance. He's very cute, and I'm sure you did very, very well. Well, except for the little toenail nip, but we do that, too, so, no judgment here. The BFM t-shirt works nicely as a dog grooming shirt, I must say. Except for white dog hair on dark clothes. But I bet you change it pretty quickly when you're done.Give your poor puppy a kiss from Auntie Sooze.

  2. I would pay lots of money to get my dog to sit still like that when getting his nails clipped. He's fine in the bath (apart from the looks of "I can't believe you did this to me!") but he completely freaks over the nail cutting. Sigh.

  3. Your grooming day looks a little longer than mine. I just deal with a cockapoo who mats when you look at her cross-eyed. My least favorite part is the hair in the ears and doing the potty area. All the rest of the grooming, she sits still for the whole thing. She also hated the groomers. I don't know what they did but the last time I went to take her, she started shaking & peed on me when I picked her up to put her on the counter. We left.Eyestains – my little dog is black, so I don't deal with those and am eternally grateful.

  4. Yeah, I'm pretty upset with whatever happened. He LOVED his groomer in San Diego and I never had a problem. But it kept getting worse and worse, the shaking and trembling, that I finally just gave up and started grooming him myself. These people seemed very nice and were always nice to him in front of me and nice to the other dogs, but something wasn't working. I don't know if I'll ever get another bichon because of how much work the grooming is. And black sounds heavenly!

  5. Oh, this post was both informative and hilarious! (That bit about starving groomers- lol!) Makes me kind of glad we just have chickens, who never need baths. But Doo sure is adorable!!BTW, whenever I read "Doo", I hear it in Sissy Spacek's voice a la Coal Miner's Daughter (which I am obsessed with). "What'd you git me a dadgum guitar fer, Doo? Ah caint play at ol' guitar!""Stop at growlin', Doo! You sound like a big ol' bar!"If I ever get a dog, I want to name him Doolittle so I can call him Doo too! 🙂

  6. I love Sissy Spacek's accent in that movie and I especially love that line. I definitely think every woman needs a little dog named Doo in her life.

  7. I give all my dogs "bad hair day" haircuts! He's a cute little thing, but I can't believe you backed down to the nasty Bichon water bowl person. I mean, you handled LLL on Sonlight, so I'd think you could stand up to ANYTHING!! I posted once in LLL, fangs came out, and I lurked thereafter! And back to the dog…you groomed him IN your house??…with the clippers…with all that fine hair flying around…??? Wow!

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