Part of our spring routines is getting our dog herd cleaned up. We have found a wonderful groomer Korreen Giovenco here in the East Mountains, whose business is named “Doggie’s Day Out.” Lee scheduled each of our dogs for a day at the spa.
The house dogs, Osita and Yeti, went first. Because they sleep inside at night, we did not have to worry about the spring weather fluctuations, which invariably include a late April snow storm and extended below freezing nights. Their “do” is an all over shave, including tails. When they return, they love the feeling of our hands on their short fur. Yeti, whose hair was hanging over her eyes, has the delight of seeing again. The downside? The alpacas do not recognize them and chase them from the pens as if they were strangers.
The next dog scheduled was Atticus. Atticus’ fur is shiny and it sloughs off the mud he collects as he crawls beneath the gates in the alpaca pens. He did not look like he needed to go the groomer. Last year, he traveled to and from the groomer with Osita. He now considers her his “bestie.” This time, though, he had to go alone. He enjoyed riding in the car. He did not want to stay. The groomers fell in love with him and he with them. He came back gorgeous. We rediscovered he is actually white!
Last, and certainly not least, is Sundance. Although I always try to do the worst thing first, I saved Sundance for last. He DOESN’T want to get in the car and he DOESN’T want to leave the ranch. Last year was the first year we took him to be groomed. Previously, I had sat on the ground using scissors to cut away the matts and brushed him a section at a time. It took weeks. Sundance had never been in a car and his stubbornness coupled with his size made for a difficult experience for both of us. I won’t go into details, but I will say Lee took my car to to be detailed after the return trip. Today I woke knowing this was the day and I was dreading it. Lee managed to be gone on Sundance’s day (visiting his mother in Lincoln NE … good planning on his part… yes he DID make the dog grooming appointments).
So Danita and I grabbed the 145 pound dog and wrestled him into the car. Easier to say than to do. We manually lifted his front legs into the back seat of my Subaru and after much struggle and resistance, were able to shove the rest of him in the car and get the door shut. Wrestling with Sundance is not fun. No, not fun. He was scared, he shook, he would not even eat a biscuit. Atticus was trying to help Sundance escape from the torture. Sundance treated him like an enemy emitting these ferocious lion-like growls. Atticus worriedly followed my car to the gate, throwing himself at the car windows. I had a hard time leaving the property because of Atticus’ frantic behaviors.
Sundance filled the back seat and fidgeted as we drove. We arrived at the groomers and I was knocked down as Sundance lept from the car. I managed to hold on to him and coax him into the groomers. Once inside, he responded to the groomers kind touch and words with wriggles and tail wagging and walked happily back to his waiting area. REALLY, Sundance?
When I got home, I found Atticus had climbed the 6 foot fence in his efforts to save Sundance. He was outside the gate, happy to see me, but more interested to see Sundance. He got in the car with me, but seemed lost and truly distressed not to find Sundance. He spent the day in the loom room with me, missing his pal.
It took 3 hours to brush out most of Sundance’s matted fur. The groomers looked tired but proud. Sundance came out looking gorgeous and eager to go home. Of course, he still refused to get in my car. It took three of us this time. Atticus was waiting at the gate and was so happy to see Sundance. Sundance climbed out of the car and after lots of sniffing and licking he ambled up the long drive with a gaggle of dogs. Tired and so happy to be able to feel my hands rubbing his chest and back.
Wait a minute, you say, I know you have 5 dogs. What about Salty???? I think I am just going to wash Salty in the shower.
What punishment awaits Lee on his return? Oh, the gods frowned at his absence and sent hail, rain and tornadoes to Lincoln, Nebraska. After two hours shielding his mother in the basement from three tornadoes and lots of rain and hail, he pledged never to miss Sundance’s grooming date AGAIN.
This weekend it’s the alpacas. Lots of pictures for next week’s blog.
Til next time. Sandy