Rome was not built in a day.
Beauty of the show poodle is not made in a day.
When a poodle is a Standard, it is not so easy.
I have been involving in poodles for about 20 years now and I showed Toys a long time before. Leanne is the first Standard for me to show and I think I have known well how it is difficult to 'make up' a poodle for the conformation ring. With a SP, it is really hard.
For the first year, I used to spend a whole night to brush her for dematting and it continued until she's about 1.5 years old. Now her coat has become much better but drying her up is tough too. It takes me about three hours and sometimes more!

It is a hard work, however, believe it or not, I am really enjoying this hard work. It is so much fun to groom a show coat.
One of the reasons why I love Poodles is that they have bunch of hair to groom. I especially love making styles (scissors work). It is a very creative part of grooming, isn't it?

To me, the hardest work is setting up the hair. I never can do it perfectly and I need to practice it more. Situation in the show ring for SPs in Japan is not improved. (It is written in Poodle Moments '02.)

Leanne's face
Loss of my dearest friend

About four years ago, I have met one excellent groomer, Aska on line. She had been working for professional Poodle show handlers in USA for about four years. She was much younger than I am but we hit it off together and used to enjoy talking about Poodles and dog shows. After I got Leanne, she has become a great grooming adviser for me. We sometimes got together and had good times too. I believe without her help, I never can groom Leanne like this.

Aska had become ill last June. Her disease was malignant lymphoma. Soon she was under chemo treats but it didn't work very well on her. This May, she even had a bone marrow transplantation.
She had been very positive and we used to talk through e-mails and sometimes on the phone too. Every time I showed Leanne, I sent her some photos later and asked her some advises. She was a good teacher to me.

It was a mid September when I sent her Leanne's photo through e-mail. It was about 10 days before the dog show.
She wrote me "I like this style. Leanne really looks nice!"
I promised her to send Leanne's show shot after the show. I was very glad that Aska liked the grooming I did.

Dog Show Photo The night before the dog show, I had a call from her mother.
I couldn't believe what she was telling me. She told me that Aska had passed away early in that morning.
I believed she could get over her disease someday. It was too quick. How cruel the reality is! I couldn't sleep at all that night and early in next morning, we went out for the dog show.

I was really depressed. Being honest, I really didn't want to go to the show. Nanako was just recovered from her bloat operation and my friend has been gone! How can I enjoy the show? I thought of cancelling but I promised Aska to send her Leanne's show photo.
I did all the grooming for the ring and asked one of my show friends to show Leanne for me.
My friend did a real good job and Leanne was picked up in Group.
I think Aska did a trick from heaven on that day.

She loved Leanne and she was always looking forward to seeing her in the show ring.
Losing Aska is too hard but I think I am lucky to be able to meet her and have precious times with her. She was very excellent, a superb show groomer and a very good Poodle friend.

Innovative tool?

I got a new grooming tool this fall.
I saw its photo one day on internet and soon began to search where to get it. I tried on line search for two nights but couldn't find it at all. I even didn't know its product name.

The photo I saw on internet was a show photo. So I asked one of my on line friends in Canada if she could find it somewhere in Canadian Poodle shows. Then a few days later, she found it! (Thanks a lot!)

The tool's name is Chin Rest. Exactly what it means! When I tried the search, I tried words like 'head rest,' 'face rest,' 'head holder,' 'chin supporter,' etc., and even 'chin rest' but no words could hit the right tool at all.
This is hand crafted and seems not sold at commercial bases. My friend got it from a Poodle show handler and kindly sent it to me.

When I first introduced Leanne this tool, she thought this was something weird and didn't want to get closer to it.
Well, just wait and see. I'm very good at teaching dogs tricks and you know, Leanne is very smart! I said to her, "Hey honey, I promise you. It only takes five minutes or so!"
I don't tell a lie even to dogs. (Really!) In about five minutes or so, she could put her chin on the Chin Rest. Three days later, we used it at the dog show. Now she can sleep on it!

A key to success? Some pieces of lever treats and 'click & treat.'

Leanne & Chin Rest
Is it confortable?
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