Rigsby and I made an agreement. If I can catch him, I get to bathe him and give him a haircut. Fair enough.
If you recall, I am trying to save sixty dollars here. Chasing a dog seems worth it. I do that for free all the time. If it’s too cold to take him on a walk, I chase him until one of us tires out. Before agreeing to this haircut deal with him, I should have remembered that it is always me who tires out first. Always.
Once he is caught and bathed, I need a break. By the time I’m back his hair is dry, but I am able to offer more patience and less profanity to the endeavor.
I prepare all of the necessary supplies tweaked for his personal preferences. I line treats up on the counter within easy human reach but out of his sight. Once he sees them-boom-he obsesses. Then the whining starts. Jumping. Panic sets in. He must have the treats. It becomes the most important thing in the world. Hard to divert that kind of intensity for a haircut.
I find and set out the right comb. (We have five wrong combs.) And the professional scissors that cut easily and don’t tug with each snip. (We have three wrong scissors. Pet stores—I am your friend.)
Experience dictates the location of this haircut. I lock us in the bathroom. This will best contain the tornado of hair that happens even when I try to be careful. I try to place it in a bag or even flush it, but no matter what it always ends up blanketing the floor and me. Being in a small room also better prevents escape, and the inevitable tag game we play when he is anxious about something—see above: dog chase.
I usually do this in painting clothes because what I wear becomes permanently fur lined. Even laundering does not remove all the clingy black hairs that burrow and weave into the fabric like termites.
I open the window for air, do some practice air snip snips, and then I get down to business. FYI: Don’t try this at home.
Rigs is extremely patient and cooperative at the start, for a whole four minutes. Then he looks around. He knows the drill. He gets treats. So I break a small piece of ham off and keep pruning his face hair (mustache/eyebrows/chops.) This is where I found two full ticks this week, which prompted the haircut.
In ten seconds, he is ready for another treat. My hands are both busy with the snipping. I use one hand to comb through his curls, and the other to snip what hairs extend over my knuckles. This way I am sure to get a uniform length and it’s impossible to accidentally snip his skin. FYI: If you pull the hair up and then snip with no protective barrier, you can really do some harm. Ask YouTube.
Then I remember the difference in our IQs. And I put the ham on my head. Discreetly. Like I’m scratching my scalp.
I give him the ham. Then I hide the next treat in a washcloth. He rummages. While he is busy, I trim his booty.
It’s been two hours. Believe it. My hand starts cramping. I finish his front half, excluding the feet which I save for last.
He lies down. I start the feet. He does not like the feet. I trim in between the pads of his paws and between his toenails, and up his little shank legs that seem part rabbit, part frog. He is very unhappy now. I have two feet to go and he is sitting on them. I know he is doing it on purpose.
Through the open window I hear the school bell. EEKS! I have to go get the kids. I’m in my holey, paint splattered jogging pants--covered in a second skin of dog hair. It’s a horrific sight. Once I hear that bell, I have three minutes to walk over.
Dog not done. Bathroom floor looks like a shag rug. I look like the shag rug’s twin.
For today’s work, he’s sporting a new uniform. With his back feet not trimmed and the rest of his body all sleek and short, he looks like he’s wearing dog bell bottoms.
When I return with the kids, the only thing they find funnier than how I look is how he looks.
He rolls, shakes, shimmies, and wiggles in the wettest muck pile he can find.
When I get out, I see he has done that adorable dog shake move and gotten hair all over the place again. I will be vacuuming one more time.
What would you do to save sixty dollars?