Over the weekend I had the honor of grooming Chloe, a slightly anxious, sweet-tempered senior husky mix.
Chloe lives with Ceiba the dingo-like 3-legged dog, Hari the spirited Border collie mix, and Moth the cat, also known as Cesar Millan because of his old-school, dominance-oriented approach to dog training.
I do try to maintain some semblance of professionalism in my dealings with dogs who are not my own--at least, to a greater extent than some others I could mention--but these dogs did not escape without some serious kisses.
Cesar Millan, I left alone.
Then it was on to the grooming. Chloe is not a huge fan of being handled, and is a bit unsteady on her paws due to a neurological issue, so I spent some time just talking to her and massaging her ears.
Then we got serious. Chloe is one of those amazing dogs who just billows forth vast plumes of excess fur. With a healthy dose of hot dogs, her mom and I were able to convince her that it would be in everyone's best interest if she stayed in one spot while I went at them.
My ally in making this a 2.5 hour, rather than a 7-hour endeavor was indubitably the Furminator, but I added a bit of sugar with the Zoom Groom.
Much as I love my golden doodles and bichons, there is something uniquely satisfying about the huskies, the collies, the Belgian sheepdogs, the long-haired dogs in all their shed-tastic splendor. As you work on them with your deshedding tool of choice, you have a steadily growing pile of dog hair to show for your labors, and a correspondingly dwindling dog.
Everyone is left with a proud trophy of your experience together.