Sunday, February 28, 2021

Shearing time

Last week, the dogs were shorn again. Neither one likes it, but sometimes it’s the only way to do it. Like when they’ve been neglected, for example. Jake always gets over it fairly quickly, but Leo? He becomes neurotic for about a week. Next week they should both be back to normal.

The dogs both needed grooming for quite some time, but so did Sunny. I didn’t want to groom her because she was so unhealthy, and because she’d look even worse after: She was nothing but fur and bones her last few months. But the bigger truth is, I was so wrapped up in caring for her (and worrying about her), that I just didn’t have any room in my head to figure out how to get the other two groomed.

I knew I couldn’t leave Sunny at home alone while the other two were done because she’d become a bit more emotionally needy as her disease progressed. Ordinarily, if I wasn’t there, Jake and Leo were. So, I could get a dog sitter to stay with her all day, or I could get a mobile groomer to come to the house. This latter one is a good idea because Leo gets car sick, and their usual groomer is now located about an hour and a half away. It was all too difficult for me to figure out while I was so focused on caring for Sunny.

Sunny died before I could resolved the dilemma, and instead my cousin-in-law arranged for us to take Jake and Leo, her dog, and a friend’s dog all together to be groomed. We’d have a human day out while they were at the doggie beauty parlour. She drove so I could hold Leo the whole way: My mother-in-law and I accidentally found out that if someone holds Leo, he doesn’t get car sick. It worked.

My cousin-in-law and I went to Te Aroha first and had a late breakfast, wandered around a little bit, then headed off to the larger town of Morrinsville. There we had a coffee and wandered around the shops. I also took a photo of one of the many cow statues in town, and I also posted one with me and of the more unusual cow statues. I originally planned on sharing them here, too, but—yeah, this time getting away from me thing is really, really common.

At any rate, we picked up the dogs pretty much on time and headed back to Hamilton. One of my sisters-in-law requested before and after photos, and those are above. Jake always looks so much older after he’s been shorn, but not so much when his fur is a bit longer.

Leo always looks like a completely different dog after he’s shorn. I don’t mind—his fur grows out soon enough. But when he gets groomed—shorn in particular—he’s neurotic for around a week afterward: Running from one end of the house or the other, hiding under the bed or under a pillow on a sofa (photo below), jumping up in my lap in any chair I happen to be in (and sleeping there for hours if I let him), and often compulsively licking himself (usually his forearm). This usually takes about a week to go away, so by the middle of this coming week, he should be back to normal (he’s part way there already).

I’d like to have a go at maintaining their look, but I don’t know how that’ll go. Jake will let me, but he can’t stand for very long anymore, and Leo—well, the very last time Nigel and tried to groom him he bit us both and drew a little blood. He’s mellowed since then (I think he was two at the time), but he doesn’t like me to trim the hairs over his eyes when they get too long, so I’m not optimistic this idea will work.

Instead, I’ll probably need to get them trimmed professionally, and I’ll do it much sooner this time. The last time I had them all trimmed was in June, not long after a lot of Sunny’s teeth were removed. That’s an unusually long time between groomings, but just like late 2019, whne they were also were also way overdue, there were extenuating circumstances that delayed me getting them.

Still, they’re shorn, and that will make it easier to maintain them, whoever does the actual grooming. That’s the main thing.


Roger Owen Green said...

This reminds me of that story about the sheep that hadn't been shorn in years, from which 78 pounds of wool was retrieved.

Arthur Schenck said...

Yep, and there was recently one in Australia, too.