Leaving It to the Pro

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.



Spa Day

Oakley is getting a spa day today. OK, not that elaborate. He went to an extra day of day care today. The on-site groomer will give him a bath, do his ears, and trim his nails. Not cheap, but a good investment in health and aesthetics. 

He doesn’t mind the baths. Those he enjoys. He smiles and lies down in the tub with the same expression of someone in a whirlpool after a long day.  It’s getting all 75 pounds of him in the tub that’s the problem. It’s his issues with getting his ears cleaned and his nails trimmed that don’t help. He’s always been touchy about his paws getting handled, possibly due to rough handling somewhere along the line.  He gets a tag team pedicure with Ms. Marcy running the Dremel and clippers and Ms Judi, the day care center’s owner, giving him lots of love and affection to keep him distracted.

At the end of the day, Oakley gets a bandana and extra treats, and we get a clean, happy dog who doesn’t try to bathe himself at 3 AM. We all end up winning.