This Friday, Oakley will have a spa day.
Not as fancy as it sounds. He gets an extra day of day care with a break while the on-site groomer gives him a bath, then does his ears and nails. His coat landed on the hound-y side of his ancestry, albeit very fluffy by hound standards, and he just needs a good brushing once a week for routine maintenance.
Oakley loves baths. The problems are 1. getting 75 pounds of stubborness into the tub, 2. getting him to cooperate while his ears are cleaned, and 3. the nail trim. 3. is the worst. Somewhere along the line, he must have been trapped by a paw either under a crate or by someone grabbing him by a back leg. Despite a lot of work to desensitize him to paw handling, he’s still really skittish about having them touched, making nail trims are a tag-team event. Ms. Judi, the day care center’s owner, hugs him and talks him through Ms. Marcy’s wielding of the Dremel and clippers.
But at the end of the grooming session, he looks and feels better, strutting around in his clean white coat and bandana. He gets to go back and play with his friends until I pick him up and fuss over him. He’s had a good experience; I don’t have to try and lift him or push him up the ramp into the tub; all is peaceful between us.
We both relax on the sofa, happy to have had good days.