Thursday, March 23, 2006

Shearing Day

Ah, spring. 34 degrees and a light snow this morning. I got a Dolores Mug in the mail when Jill and I took our two youngest on a walk--her ADHD puppy and my ADHD dog who I think turned two years old last week. Both girl doggies. They were thrilled as peaches to be out and about and Jill and I had a good catch-up chat.

I was running about doing things for one of my clients this afternoon and decided to take Emily along for the ride. (The lady in the copy shop saw us pull up through the window and she looked worried--not that I intended to bring her in--but what can a standard poodle do in a copy shop? Chew on a ream of paper?) Enclosed with her slightly damp self in White-Bread Fred the toyota pickup, I realized that the girl was LONG past due for a bath. She stank.

The idea of bathing her myself terrifies me. First, she has a pelt, not fur, second, it's particularly long right now, and third, nothing in my house is really equipped to bathe her properly. But I knew Thor badly needed a bath, too--so I went to Petco and bought some detangling spray and a thing that attaches to the showerhead.

I went home, made everyone dinner, brushed out both dogs to the best of my ability, and then informed everyone that it was shearing day. It took six towels, an hour, half a gallon of dog shampoo and entire water heater tank of water to wash both dogs, but they were washed. I cranked up the thermostat downstairs so the pellet stove would stay on long enough to help the dogs dry and then called on my fellow-boy-rustler to start bringing me the wee lambs. We shaved enough hair off Ben and Milo to knit another sweater--Max gets a "get out of shearing free" card because he has SO much hair that it jams the clippers (that's not hyperbole. That's the sound of $115 clippers jamming.) and because he likes his hair longer in an actual style of some sort.

I have a degree in elementary education and a minor in theatre. I can't do a style. I can shave you with no guard thingy, I can shave you with a one or a two or a three--but I can't do a style. So Max will get a paid-for hair cut tomorrow.

When the twins were nearly bald and in clean pjs I tucked them in bed and sheared Chris who is always the baldest of them all--in part because things don't grow quite as densly as they used to and also because I like it that way and don't use the guard thingy on his head. One of these days he'll be sleepy and not really paying attention and when I'm done shearing I'll whip out the shaving cream and razor and THEN he'll know bald.

ha ha ha!!!

Whoa. Moment on the dark side. Where was I? Oh yeah. So anyway, now I feel like I rustled cattle or sheep or something all day and all I want to do is go to bed but I really, really, really should clean up upstairs. If nothing else I have like ten towels to put in the washer.

Anyway, the dogs get real haircuts next week and at least now I don't have to worry they'll report me to PETA or something when I bring them in.


Fe said...

I have a friend who went the 'shearing it off to work with the retreating hairline route'. He used to then follow it up with getting his head shaved by whatever female he could persuade to assist him (he is _quite_ keen to meet someone, and I think he saw it as an opportunity to get to know them!)

We'd often turn up to a mutual friends house for largish gatherings (a weekly event) to find him outside on the patio getting his head shaved, because he'd managed to persuade someone to have a go at shaving it.

He was also keen on the effect that people often liked to rub his head as the hair grew back in because it felt like velvet:-)

Eliza said...

Ah, head clippers. To me it's the sound of angst riddled youth acting out with shapes and a bottle of either black hair dye or hair belach and kool-aid.

I expect that the lady at the copy shop was expecting Emily to lift her leg on a copier. Maybe we should send her note saying girl dogs don't lift? I hope it wasn't the non-customer service copy shop!

Oi, now I have mental images of a standard poodle running around a Kinkos with two formerly bored looking employees screaming in terror "YOU CAN'T DO THAT" and said standard poodle thinking it was all a fun game of chase. Do we think Emily could hop the counter in one leap, or would she jump up on it and look around for a second and then go copier hoppping?

The Queen said...

She would hop in one leap.

Truthfully? She's a little girl in situations like that. She'd hide behind my skirt and wag her tail madly at anyone who just looked at her.

Eliza said...

So what does Emily do while hiding behind you and wagging her tail if someone talks to her in an "I love dogs" voice?

Freya hides behind me and if new people talk to her, she responds by shaking.

The Queen said...

She crawls out waving her tush like a WMD and cautiously offers to lick them to death.

Dy said...

Wow, I'm impressed with Emily's social graces. Balto gets his hackles up (he has a great razorback ridge thing that looks very impressive) but once you speak to him, he starts wagging his tail so hard he knocks himself over and proceeds to piddle all over everything. It's like having a 60 pound cocker spaniel. *sigh*