A post should appear each Sunday!
Monday May 2nd 2022
On April 21st, when we visit the vet, Isis has a full medical check. We wait for a short while at reception, and the vet comes in with a print-out of the results.
As we know, I have been trying to reduce Hairy One’s weight a little, by reducing bedtime treats and meticulously measuring out her kibble. My lack of success is evidenced by the first observation:
‘Weight updated from 16.600(Kg) to 16.850(Kg)’
Yes, well ……
The rest of her health review is positive:
‘Examination – check ears, heart, HR 96, chest clear RR 48, nad abdo, mammary glands, limbs, teeth great. EAGs +++, coat, chip, LNs ok.’
I’m delighted that little Isis is as fit and healthy as she appears to be.
Now for her coat.
The vet, as promised, has made a note of the clippers the veterinary nurse uses for Isis. I will try out the clippers which Bev has lent me, just to make sure that Isis will tolerate being clipped by Human. If she does, I will order the clippers for her.
I am a little apprehensive as I’ve not clipped a dog before, but I take a deep breath, oil the blade, command Isis to stand, and I begin to shear off a shallow layer of her hairy rear. The result is not great, but with a little practice, I am able to ‘feather’ the right angled chunks so that they look a little less like I’ve attacked her with a machete.
I am astonished by her response: she stands as still as a concrete dog, and doesn’t appear to mind at all. She is rewarded by much petting, after which she makes her way rapidly towards her dog bed, pops in and sits up very straight waiting for her post grooming treat. She is rewarded with a sprat.
On my way to order clippers for Isis, I WhatsApp Bev to report how well the trial went. She tells me not to order them yet, but to hang onto hers for a while, so I prepare to attempt a full groom.
The next day, after we’ve returned from our walk, I take a deep breath and begin on the transformation.
Now, I know, of course, that Isis is very hairy. I know also (only too well) that her undercoat is incredibly dense and very loose. Flutes of it float off from her as she walks. But even after two hours of clipping and brushing, the supply of fluff seems undiminished.
Isis continues to tolerate the grooming. It’s only on the fifth consecutive day that she gives two subdued growls when I turn on the clippers. Then she accepts that it’s going to happen anyway, and just stands and bites the bullet again. Dear little creature.
So on and on we go. I’ve never seen so much hair. Even though the grooming takes place on an old double bed sheet in the front room, it somehow migrates. Fluff floats and settles everywhere.
There are hairs in my coffee and on my toast.
Hair congregates on the inside and outside of my clothes.
Rolls of fluff invade the bathroom and dance on the kitchen floor.
Every day it’s clip the next layer, brush out the emerging undercoat, nip off any straggly bits with scissors, tidy up the ends, brush, comb.
When I finish each day’s session, I am aware that if I were to brush her again, the hair would still come out in handfuls.
No wonder she doesn’t want a coat in the depths of winter.
Even after three days of hair-attack, when I ask one or two people who know her if they notice anything different about her, they peer at her and say, “No”.
I can’t believe it!
On our walks over the last day or two, though, more strangers than usual have cooed over her.
She feels so soft that I have to restrain myself from stroking and fussing her all the time. Before I go upstairs at night, I always stroke her head and ears, but lately, after the third ‘goodnight dear’ routine, she makes it clear that she just wants me to bog off and leave her alone.
The conversation goes like this:
Human, soppily, “Goodnight, sweetheart.”
Isis, grimly, “Grrrrrrrrrr!”
I still need to do more work on her head and chest, but we’re getting there.