Friday, February 27, 2015

Biggie—Year Four

There is nothing like owning a dog, except maybe taking care of someone else’s dog.  Nothing in life prepared me for having a part-time dog, or for the bonding I could have with an animal that isn’t mine to keep.  But there he is.  Right now he is asleep on his bed just beside my chair.  I’m looking down at him and thinking, “He needs a haircut.”

Oh, boy.  When it comes time to groom Biggie, it always begins with a major struggle and ends with a happy dog.  I believe many dog owners know what I am talking about.  For Biggie there is a fear of water, and consequently a fear of a bath.  Somehow, someway, he knows when he is going to get a bath, and he immediately bolts under the bed at the very center near the headboard where he can’t be reached from either side.  And almost nothing will coax him out from there.

For a long time trickery was our greatest asset.  Biggie likes to get treats, and he responds to the rustle of a bag in the kitchen instantly.  Just open the refrigerator door and he is there.  Open a pantry door and he appears underfoot as if by magic.  All of these were used effectively to lure him from under the bed at bath time, until recently.  Now if he suspects a bath is in order, not even a meaty beef rib bone will draw him out.  

Once he is in the bath, he enjoys getting attention and a massage.  And afterward he loves the blowdryer.  When everything is done, he runs up to anyone around to show off how fluffy and soft he is.  And soft he is.  Like a cloud.  Needless to say, this gets him a lot of petting, and he is one very happy dog.

The haircut is a different story.  He just doesn’t like a haircut no matter how you slice it.  It takes both Rachael and me to control most of him during the process.  The rest is done by use of a muzzle.  I really don’t like muzzling Biggie, but I really don’t like getting bit either.  Little dog, big bite.  He will tolerate trimming his body hair to some degree, but legs are a different story—and paws are a book of their own.  (We’re not even going into the art and science of nail trimming.)  When it comes to trimming his face, the muzzle has to come off, and then only my wife can get the job done.  Let me tell you, I hate giving him a haircut more than he hates receiving it.  When it comes to haircut time, I want to crawl under the bed.  If I could manage that, not even a meaty beef rib bone could draw me out.

I like having a dog, and having a part-time dog is perfect for me.  Sometimes I feel as though he is over here a bit too much, but when he is with his owner, I miss him—usually.  The advantage to sharing a dog is being able to go somewhere without worrying if he is okay—usually.

I just looked back down at Biggie sleeping beside me, and again I thought, “He needs a haircut.”  Maybe we will go for a ride in the car instead.

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