Sunday, May 21, 2006

Chop Chop!

Warning: the following is another post about the dog. Yes, despite the fact that we live in one of the most interesting cities in the world, we have no lives.

Lucy has thick, beautiful double-coat fur. Her markings are stunning, her coat is soft as silk, and she is called "Magnifique!" wherever she goes. But, anytime the temperature is above 60 F (15ish C), she is miserable. She is too hot.

A few years ago, our vet (whom we trusted very much because frankly, he was much more concerned about the dog than he was about us) told us that she would really benefit from being shaved in the summer. We hemmed and hawed, not wanting to cut off her luxurious fur, but in the end we gave in.

She was thrilled. She had tons more energy, didn't wake us up in the middle of the night for ice cubes, and didn't require us to leave the air conditioner running full blast from April to November. She looked a little odd, but not bad, and when her hair grew in again, she didn't shed nearly as much.

That was back when we were both working full time, and didn't have to pay for a Parisian lifestlye, of course. (Not that we live extravagantly here, far from it, but Paris is expensive. And I am not a full-time teacher with two extra teaching gigs here either.) This time, we decided to do it by ourselves.

I bought a hair trimmer, and started on Monday by shaving her belly smooth. It wasn't easy, but it worked, and she loved laying across the tile floor with her belly soaking up the coolness. It wasn't enough, though, and we knew we had a big job ahead of us. Sunday afternoon, Dr. B and I decided to sequester her in the bathroom, and shave her down, just like the groomer did, but without the high price tag.

Unfortunately, once we had begun, we realized that the trimmer was not up to the job. After repeated screwdriver adjustments, oilings, cleanings, and attempts to hold it at different angles, we gave up and went to town with the cheap IKEA scissors. We fought with her for about an hour and a half, and did the best we could to make her coat even and look at least presentable. She didn't like it, and attempted to escape more than once (including both the "lean on the door until it pops open" trick and the "fart right in Mom's face" defense), but eventually she gave up and let us work.

When she was finished, she didn't look "perfect", but most of the hair was gone and she was at least kind of even, despite a few bald spots on her back. Dr. B, feeling pretty proud of himself, hooked her up for a quick walk in the rain.

I went to work cleaning up the hair, loading our furry clothing into the washing machine, and doing odd jobs like changing lightbulbs and taking out the recycling while I waited for them to return, so we could give her a bath and see the results of our handiwork.

Dr. B came in, and following her bath, Lucy shook herself dry and jumped into her bed, before presenting her clean, trim neck for a newly pressed red bandana.

Dr. B said that though she may no longer be the prettiest dog in the neighborhood, she was much happier, more energetic and more content without all that hair to drag around. The bald spots will grow in, and she will look a little better in about a week or so.

But I guess we didn't do quite as well as we thought.

A passerby asked if she had a skin disease.

    List of Possible Careers in France

    dog groomer



At 9:31 PM, May 21, 2006, Blogger Joannah said...

Hey, you have to do what you have to do! I was amazed at the number of dogs in Paris. We had so much fun watching them play with each other in the park near the Eiffel Tower. I did take to calling the messes they left behind on the sidewalks 'le poop' - obviously I don't speak French!

At 11:32 PM, May 21, 2006, Blogger Chelee said...

Oh poor Lucy! She looks so ...forelorn. Sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do.

At 9:16 AM, May 22, 2006, Anonymous Roxanne said...

Please post a better picture of Lucy's hair, I can't see it. We will probably have to shave Fredo in the future, but probably not this year.

At 9:22 AM, May 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes though, as a "parent" you must do what is best for your "child" even when they don't like it. And even when it isn't what their friends would do. After all, it's your job to take care of them.(At least that's what I keep telling myself, when the wars over curfew, appearance and grades start up.)
Your Cuz in ND

At 1:37 PM, May 22, 2006, Anonymous Mandy said...

Poor least she's cooler!

At 5:37 PM, May 22, 2006, Anonymous Nik said...

Do you remember when my dad & Pam used to do that to Leo, way back when??

He loved it.

At 11:53 AM, May 23, 2006, Blogger ~steph~ said...

When Darin and I had Colby (he now lives with my ex-inlaws way up north in the bush so he gets to run around all day & loves it!), we used to take him to the groomer to get him shaved in the summer too. He's a standard poodle (chocolate brown) and has gorgeous fur, but the Toronto humidity is just too much for him in the summer. Think we paid about $75 each time. Which is the lowest price we could find. They always seem so sad afterwards, but then get a little spring in their step when they aren't dying of the heat!!

At 1:15 PM, May 28, 2006, Blogger traveller one said...

Oh ho-- I had to learn to shave my shih tzu myself too! I was SOOO afriad but in the end she turned out ummmmm.... good enough!


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