Wednesday, January 25, 2012

No dignity for the fur'ed

I had a class cancellation this afternoon, so I used the time to do something I've been putting off for months: grooming Princess Fur. I've been clipping her myself for nearly seven years now, so I'm pretty good at it. I can do the entire job, including clean-up, in under 90 minutes (my yoga practice runs longer than that).

The best part is, besides the time spent, it doesn't cost me anything. I recieved professional quality dog clippers as a birthday gift several years ago and I taught myself the skill through trial and error (dogs don't care if they have 'bad hair'). Since dog-grooming can cost upwards of $80 in this burg, I generally consider it time well spent.

But I still put it off endlessly and I'm not sure why. My back no longer tweaks out because I finally got smart and moved the whole operation to the kitchen counter. It's the perfect height for dog grooming (and yes, I realise that all you hygiene-nuts out there are clutching your throats in horror, but it works for me and I clean the kitchen thorougly afterward).

Princess Fur is calm and well-behaved as I groom her, mainly because she's wallowing in misery. She just stands there and looks persecuted the entire time, occasionally hanging her head or shooting me an anguished stare ("howcouldyoudothistome?!"). Grooming her is fun, in a reductive, sheep-shearing sort of way.

Anwyay, it's done now and I can proceed to put it off for another two months or so until my dog resembles a small, gray wookie and then the cycle will start all over again: Procrastination. More fur. More procrastination. Too much fur. Too much procrastination...and so on.

Two things:

Each time I groom the Princess, I notice the age spots more and more. Schnauzers tend to get them and she's covered in them now. She's starting to look like a dalmation! They make me a bit sad - it's a sign she's getting old.

She's turning into an eccentric old lady! A few years ago, I had to get her front incisors pulled so now her tongue sticks out whenever she's relaxed. She's the goofy spotted dog with the tongue sticking out! Someone get her a polka-dotted cane to match!

Also, I tend to keep Princess Fur's coat longer in the winter to give her extra protection against the cold. But this winter has been so mild, she's been a bit *too* warm. So I gave her the summer cut.

Giving your dog a summer cut in the winter is probably just asking for trouble. It's like washing your car because you're *sure* it's not gonna rain - you're bound to regret it.

Just watch! I'll bet within 48 hours, the temperatures will drop to -30 or so. I'll need to double-layer my shivering dog and I'll feel like a Bad Lady for it. But you can thank me for bringing back winter!

You're welcome!

See the spots? After her post-clip bath, she stumbled around shivering with great drama. So I let her come up on the bed and covered her up in my flannel pyjamas.

She wouldn't turn around for this photo, though. The Princess is NOT amused!

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