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Groom wars was a dog grooming competition located in Rotorua on February 1st and 2nd. There were 10 competition categories to choose from + many seminars and business workshops.

On Friday 31st January, I picked up wee Ashley who is a Maltese X Chihuahua and we set out to drive from Gisborne to Rotorua. Ashley's owner David kindly agreed to let me 'borrow' her for the weekend. She was chosen because we had been growing out her coat for some time (I had always wanted to cut her in this style), she doesn't have terrible separation anxiety, she is great to groom and David said "do whatever you want", so there was no limitations to the style of haircut I could do.

That evening I attended a grooming workshop focusing on what equipment to use on what breed and different techniques of brushing to achieve a perfectly brushed coat. This was hosted by Australia master groomer Melanie Newman. Following that they hosted a Q and A and what to expect at tomorrows competition.

There were 10 different competition categories to choose from and you could do more than 1 over the weekend. I decided to keep it simple for my first time and only enter the one category; ASIAN FUSION. The definition of Asian grooming is: "Asian fusion is a grooming style that amplifies the cute, the stylish and the creative. Asian fusion styled pups look more like anime characters than poodles or Yorkies".  Basically its a creative category that doesn't have as many rules, think shaved bodies with long fluffy legs and cute round faces.

Heading into the competition I was so nervous. Ashley was a great model and stood and lay on the table and was unconcerned with the 20 other dogs in the room. I pre bathed and dried her before the competition started and had two hours to complete her hair cut. Ashley is a tiny dog so we had plenty of time. I shaved her body very short and left her legs long. I gave her poodle feet and a lion tail and a very short face and ears. She looked absolutely adorable. Part of Asian fusion is dressing your dog up so i put a pink necklace on her and a butterfly clip on her head.

Once completed the judges come along and assessed my work. They run a comb through the coat to make sure there is no knots. And that's it. There was about 10 people in the Asian fusion category and it is divided up into different levels, Novice, Intermediate and Master. I was in the novice section with 3 others. The judges decided that Ashley's groom was the winner out of the novice section. I WON!! Was absolutely blown away. 

Later that afternoon I attended another seminar where they did a demonstration on a Westie and on a Miniature Poodle. I learnt some new techniques from each of these breeds.

It was a great weekend and I hope to go back next year and enter more than one category!