Jasmine, our Golden Retriever, needed a special bath to help sooth a skin irritation. My idea was to shear her hair shorter so the bath concoction would penetrate better. I have a friend who shaves baby cows to prepare them for the county fair—BABY COWS! How hard could clipping a 60 lb. dog be?
Ah, the naivety of a first time dog owner.
I decided I should give her a haircut before I got out anything electric. Jasmine “laps up” any attention I give her, so for the majority of the grooming session, she lay in her deep-sleep, “Butcher Chart” pose, still, aside from her tail thumping. The books will tell you to have her either stand or sit…but I didn’t think to consult those books.
Using the “Grab a Hank and Cut” method, I felt like the White Witch from “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” with Aslan on the stone table. After an hour and a half of squatting, rolling and panting (me, not the dog), one slightly molted canine emerged and one garbage bag of 4” hair was harvested. The books would tell you to bathe the dog before you trim her hair too. Next time…
For step two, I found Fred’s hair clipper (which I use it on him semi-monthly) and popped a ¾ inch hair measurey-thingy on the end and started it up. MY GOD! Animals are covered in hair! With the exception of a small portion of flesh on her belly and maybe her nose and eyeballs, everything else had follicles. I sat on our porch outside on a non-windy, humid day with Jasmine across my lap and buzzed and buzzed until my buzzer hand was cramped and the clippers and I whined for a break.
Then I had to flip her.
As I turned her over on her opposite side…a sudden wind blew. A flurry of Jasmine’s fluffy white butt-hair, made fluffier from the procedures, blew up at me and stuck to my sweaty skin. All of a sudden, I was itchy and I didn’t have enough fingers to scratch all the itches. I wanted to quit, but I was only half done. Back straining, arms shaking, I shore my last stripe 30 minutes later. “Alternate Dimension” Jasmine was born--not quite a dog, not quite a sheep. A SHOG. She happily ran off.
Covered with dog fuzz, I wasn’t quite sure what to do next. I didn’t want to go in the house like this. I considered just hosing myself off outside, but I didn’t think I could do that to myself. Finally, my solution was to strip off all my clothes in the garage, with the door closed of course, plug a small fan in and hold it up to my face to release the hair that wasn’t cemented to my skin. I then streaked into the house for a shower.