Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dandy Lions

I just spent the morning working my dog over. Not in a really nasty abusive kind of way, I hasten to add - although she might disagree with me. Rosybelle got brushed.

Sometimes when I'm fighting with dog and brush and scissors and wishing I actually HAD a third hand, I question why someone so intrinsically lazy (Me) would be dumb enough to acquire 3 dogs. And these aren't your Jack Russells or your Boston Terriers or even your Pugs with their nice short coats that basically just need dunking in a soapy bath once a month. Noooo. We have a Cocker Spaniel (Clinton), a Shih Tzu (Katie Xiao Lin) and a Pekingese/Poodle mix (Rosybelle).

Now I've seen people who have packs of Yorkshire Terriers and manage to keep them all perfectly silky, with matching little pink bows atop their heads. And it's not that mine CAN'T look that way. Every time Rose and Katie go to the groomer, they arrive back with a little topknot in a bow (Katie) or bows over each ear (Rosy). Naturally this lasts until they figure out how to either remove the bows themselves or enlist the aid of one of the other dogs to do it for them, but that's beside the point. When they walk out of that groomer's store they look absolutely fabulous. If only they STAYED that way for half a second.

Pekingese and Shih Tzus were called 'Lion Dogs' in China. Mostly for their temperament, but also because of the mane-like fur which sheathes them from head to foot -or floor in Rosy's case. It has a thick undercoat below the top coat which has a tendency to mat. Wait a second, did I just say a 'TENDENCY' to mat? How about you can sit there and WATCH it matting. How about it can mat from ONE DAY TO THE NEXT!! Especially when your little teeny dogs who are so close to the ground on their little teeny short stubby legs go outside to use the facilities. And the ground is covered in pine needles. And the soil is clay-ish. And their fur drags on the floor.

And mats are what we absolutely extra specially LOVE! Now a human - even one with hair as long as mine - can go for three days without brushing their hair and the most it's going to do is tangle a bit. Not so with my dogs. They go for three MINUTES without brushing their hair and it BONDS. It forms big clumpy wads of hair - picture human hair + lump of chewing gum you forgot was on the nightstand, and you sort of get the picture. You cannot brush out a mat. The only solution is to cut it out with a pair of scissors. And dogs have a sixth sense about scissors. They know they can hurt them. Don't ask me how they know this, since I've never accidentally cut one when removing a mat. But the MINUTE I pick up the scissors, the nice quiet dog who was rolling over languidly from one side to the other during the brushing process turns into a squirming little creature who needs to be held down bodily while you hold the mat in one hand and cut with the other. That's where the need for three hands comes in.

So now Rosy is groomed, and I have a clump of fur big enough to make a tribble out of sitting on the nightstand beside me. But my little Pekingese is all prettified and looking like the dandy lion she is. And she looks up at me with those big liquid chocolate eyes and makes that cooing noise that I never heard come out of a canine mouth before I met her, and stretches herself before snuggling down as close to my lap as she can get without actually sitting on the laptop computer. And that's when I remember why I have these small dogs with their impossible to maintain coats. Nobody else in the world could adore you in such a shameless and absolute fashion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your hunny Azrael can make the same noises if you were to de-matt him. (do I even know anyone named Matt?)...coo coo coo (way lo toh ho)
translation= I love you in Furbinese

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Yorkshire Terrier Puppies said...

Well now, Rachie, I'm holding you personally responsible for making me think today. I really wasn't planning on it! I was lurking around Blogspot for stuff on Teacup Yorkshire Terrier and I ended up on your blog. More specifically, on your post this post. I figured I could get away with out thinking at all today, but along comes your post! Can't say I agree wholeheartedly, but against all odds you got me thinking! Thanks for the wake-up call ;o) .

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Yorkshire Terrier Puppies said...

Hey there Rachie! Considering this post, good on ya mate! I might not agree with everything, but you certainly caught my eye. I was searching Google for Yorkshire Terrier Rescue and Google (in it's infinite wisdom and ubiquitous web presence) landed me on your blog. Couldn't be all bad 'cause I liked what you had to say enough to stop and make a comment! Not my usual practice to be sure. Anyway, well done. I'm always telling my kids how important differenct perspectives and paradigms are so I thought I would make a comment and mention that your's was refreshing and made me think! Thanks again....

11:54 PM  
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6:12 PM  

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