PP and I girded our respective loins earlier today and decided to finish what PP had started last week, ie trimming the back two thirds of Small Dog's torso. I've blogged before about these annual haircuts, and Small Dog's 'goodwill period' which can extend to as much as 8 or 10 minutes before she goes bitey.
I was well impressed that PP had single-handedly managed to trim an entire third of Small Dog's body in the allotted goodwill period, but it says something for the bitey period thereafter that it's taken both of us over a week to work up the courage to finish the job.
In the interim, we've been walking her more or less in public, fully prepared for the "What eejit's been cutting your dog's hair?" comments, and putting on a brave face.
Today, we decided that we couldn't put it off any longer. She looked like two different dogs, stitched together in a weird Frankenstein styley, plus people were laughing at her.
Which she hates.
But not as much as she hates having her haircut.
Bit of a Hobson's Choice really.
Anyway, we tried to set up the
A further room-to-room search located her cowering in one of the upstairs bedrooms, looking like a dog on the very edge of biting someone if they came anywhere near her with either a comb or scissors.
Thankfully, she doesn't have the same reaction to the muzzle, and within no time she was standing on the kitchen table, muzzled and trembling with fear which rapidly turned to biteyness as soon as the comb and scissors made an appearance.
When having a haircut, Small Dog starts off at frenzy pitch and everything escalates from there. By the end of the session, all three of us were panting, dishevelled and fraught, but at least all of her component parts matched .
She's still not talking to us. Which is why we tried to make peace by showing her our dinner (See I told you I'd get round to telling you about the fish).
Tesco have a special offer on sea bass at the moment with whole fish at £2.00 each, so we decided to buy two for tonight.
Now, I have a chequered history with fish. When I was a child (around 7 or 8) I have a vivid fish-related memory. My grandfather loved fish, and whenever we visited we would invariably have some sea creature. With child-like innocence I ate whatever was put in front of me, and genuinely enjoyed fish.
Until one day I got a fish bone stuck in my throat.
The whole family rallied round and tried all the prescribed ways of dislodging a fish bone...... I was force fed almost an entire half loaf of bread, drank loads of water, was made to cough till my throat felt it was going to explode...... nothing worked, and by then I felt my entire neck and throat swelling so that I could barely swallow and hardly breathe.
At that point I was rushed to our GP, and such was my distress that I was able to jump the belligerent queue in the always-full waiting room without being lynched.
By then I was in desperate straits, and convinced that I was going to die. I remember vividly sitting on the examining couch, while our (usually) lovely GP shone a light down my throat trying to locate the offending piscine protuberance.
I remember even more vividly him rooting through his instrument cabinet and coming towards me with something held behind his back. Sensing that no good was going to come of it, I resorted to wailing and crying, to no avail. He requested that my mum give me a hug, good and tight, restraining my arms, and while my mouth was wide open, flourished a set of very long, curved forceps, with which he adroitly reached down my throat to grasp the offending bone and wrench it out.
Traumatised doesn't even come close!
He gave me the fish bone as a souvenir, which I kept in a tissue in my 'secrets box' for many years and despite having a swollen throat for a day or so, and a lifelong aversion to fish, I was none the worse.
I didn't touch another fish for over 30 years. I couldn't even manage a fish finger. However, PP, being born by the sea and loving all things nautical, has, over time, persuaded to me to try fish. I like to think I've become quite adventurous. I now love skate, monkfish, cod.... anything which doesn't look like it's going to be boney.
Like this for example.....
Nevertheless, sea bass tonight was a step too far. PP dutifully cut off its head, and all its fins. And carefully explained to me how to minimise the risk of bones.
So getting a few horrid, hard, spikey bones in my third mouthful was a bit of a setback. I did try to recover, but by then my heart wasn't in it. I couldn't even manage the stir fry vegetables as I could start to feel my throat constricting in response to all the vivid fish bone related memories which flooded my brain.
Paradoxically, Small Dog LOVES fish, and polished off the sea bass cheeks with lip-smacking fervour. Predictably she now has a lingering fishy odour, which is all to the good, as she has to have a proper post-haircut bath tomorrow to get her hair to lie flat.
All in all it's been quite a difficult day........might have to have a hot chocolate in bed.