One day a long, long time ago when I was not quite 13 months old, my mum took me to a very scary place. Mum must have known something unpleasant was going to happen to me there because about an hour before we went she gave me a couple of tablets that she got from my vet. They made me feel kinda relaxed …just a little bit anyway.
Mum put me in the moving kennel …she calls it a car. “Oh boy! Car ride …I like car rides! So many things to look at all at once. A dog could get very dizzy trying to look out both sides of the car at once, but I always try my best. Mum usually yells at me to “SIT!!” and I try very hard, but there’s just so many things to see. If I just sit I might miss something happening on the other side! …or out the back! …or in the front! Car rides can leave me quite breathless! Mum makes sure I’m comfortable on the very back seat of the Tarago with the middle back seat pushed right up against it to make a comfy travel space with no floor to fall onto. I don’t like being on the floor as it’s too hard to see out, and my leash gets tangled. I also like to sniff and lick the cold, smooth things she calls windows. I’m reassured that it’s my territory because the windows are covered in dried snot and drool from the last time I was there …it smells good. My people-brothers are supposed to wash the window-things for Mum, but they never do …Mum gets annoyed with her disobedient pups.
We drove straight past my vet’s kennel, so she wasn’t taking me there. I like going to the vet …it’s always fun and I get treats! We didn’t go along the road that leads to my holiday place either (I’ll tell you about that another time) so where were we going?? She stopped the car outside a different place I’d never been before. It had letters on the big window. I read them one by one (Mum says I’m a very clever dog) …they were D-O-G-G-R-O-O-M-I-N-G. “What is this dog grooming?” I wondered, as I was led inside. It smelled different and made me uneasy. Mum talked to the different-lady and told her that I’d had my tablets and then Mum patted me, said bye bye and left me there …on my own …without her! I was very confused and worried. I hoped Mum would come back …she always comes back …doesn’t she?!
The different-lady led me into another room with scary sounds and smells. There was a little dog in there having terrible things done to him! Another lady was holding a buzzing thing and it made the little dog’s hair fall off! Oh dear, this was not a good place. The different-lady was nice though …she tried to make me feel better and patted me, then put me in a strange looking kennel that had see-through walls which looked and felt just like my puppy fence. I think it’s called a cage. At least the cage was comfy and away from the scary buzzing thing, but I could sense the anxiety of all the other dogs who’d been in the cage before me. As I nervously watched I thought it was strange that the little dog didn’t seem to mind that his hair was falling off. He just stood still and let it all happen.
I waited and waited and then the different-lady came for me. She put me in a big thing that squirted water. It was very frightening so I struggled. It made noise and it smelled funny …I just wanted to get out but I was trapped so I had to bravely endure the water torture. Eventually I was allowed out, all wet and smelling wrong. Then the lady grabbed the snake-thing that blew air out of its mouth and tried to dry me. I didn’t like that either. I was not happy and I wanted to go HOME!
Oh no! …the scary buzzing thing! In spite of feeling a bit woozy, probably because of the tablets Mum made me take, I struggled with all my might to get away from the buzzing thing. I tried to give the different-lady a warning bite but I couldn’t because there was a thing on my face that stopped me. I can’t remember exactly when they put that on me …it’s all such a blurr. Still I struggled, growled, whimpered and cowered, narrowly managing to slip out of her grip every time …it was horrible! Where was my Mum?!!
Then finally the different-lady stopped trying with the buzzing thing. Phew! I won! …or so I thought. Then she tried to take my hair off with small, shiny things that made a snippy noise. Nope, I wasn’t going to let her steal my beautiful hair with those either. She gave up and put me back in the cage. I settled down for a snooze as I was feeling really tired after all my struggling. Out of the corner of my eye I could see her in the other room using the talking-thing.
The next thing I knew, my Mum and one of my brothers had walked into the room. Rescued at last! The different-lady let me out of the cage and I ran to my mum, overjoyed to see her. She and my brother sat on the floor beside me and talked to me and cuddled me tightly, then the different-lady came at me again with the buzzing thing. I got worried again but this time Mum was holding my lead and talking to me to make me feel better and my big man-brother was holding me so I couldn’t move. The buzzing thing moved over my back a few times and chewed off my beautiful hair! Then the different-lady said something to Mum which sounded like, “Oh dear, I’m so sorry. I used the longest comb, but it looks so much shorter than it should.” She and Mum agreed that she had to keep going, otherwise I’d have an awful bald patch (whatever that is?). I didn’t know what I looked like but it was sounding very bad! The different-lady kept moving the buzzing thing all over me, except for my tail and my head. My lovely hair was all over the floor, all over my Mum and all over my brother and the different-lady. I tried to roll in it to stick it back on but they wouldn’t let me.
I was very relieved and happy when the horrible ordeal was over. Mum had more of my hair on her than I did now and the different-lady kept saying sorry as she tried in vain to clean my hair off Mum. It just wouldn’t come off her outer skins (people are strange animals with all their different layers of skin that they sometimes take off). Mum was laughing and saying something about “synthetic” and “static”. My brother’s outer skins somehow let the hair fall off so he looked normal.
Finally it was time to leave, but before I could get away the different-lady put a silly little blue bow in what was left of my hair. Oh, the shame! …the mortification! …the indignity of it all! Then when we got home, Mum took a photo of me …you can see how embarrassed I look!
…but then Mum gave me a nice bone to chew on and that made all the scary things and the embarrassment fade away. I like bones!
Although I felt much cooler in the hot weather after being clipped and I could fly higher when jumping up to catch balls, I have never been to the dog groomers again! Mum says I don’t have to because she knows it’s too traumatic for me, so she grooms me instead, usually with the help of Dad or one of my brothers (I have 4 people-brothers) because I still hate being brushed and trimmed …but I am getting a bit better at putting up with it. Plus, I still look handsome and dignified, the way I should, after Mum has trimmed off my scuzzy butt hair and shortened the rest of my coat just a little bit. I love my Mum! She’s my special-person.