Small Dog had her quarterly grooming session today. A Yorkie's hair grows continuously and doesn't shed, so she goes from looking like a newly shorn lamb to a Hungarian Puli in about 4 months.
We used to groom her ourselves, back in the day when we were full of derring do and cared not a whit about the potential loss of a finger or two. The whole pantomime would take the best part of half a day and generally left all three of us prostrate and trembling.
She may look like butter wouldn't melt, and most of the time she's good as gold, but approach her with any sort of cutting implement and after a brief goodwill period (which usually only allows for emergency fringe or eye hair trimming) she undergoes a Jekyll/Hyde transformation and it's everyone for themselves.
Over the years I've blogged our various attempts at canine coiffeur.....
Barbers of St. Leonards
....some of which were more successful than others.
In the fullness of time, we discovered, via our vet, the whereabouts of a dog groomer with an excellent reputation for dealing with 'difficult' dogs so with a certain amount of trepidation we took her along.
Her first grooming session, several years ago, seemed to go well. We collected a live dog and the groomer still had her full complement of fingers and thumbs. I did cautiously enquire about how Small Dog had behaved and was informed that she'd been an angel.
I repeat..... "An angel"
To say we were sceptical is putting it mildly. Every time we've dropped her off I've left with a feeling of impending doom. Her session takes an hour so we usually drive to a nearby shop for a bit of a mooch before returning at the allotted time.
Today, I arrived to collect her on time, but there was a bit of a queue and the door to the workshop was open so I was able to look in from outside. I could see Small Dog up on the bench, still being done, so I hid where she wouldn't be able to see me in order to watch proceedings.
What I saw was quite simply unbelievable. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would never, IN A MILLION YEARS have believed it actually happened.
There she sat, calm as you like, while the groomer wielded electric clippers, scissors, nail clippers, spray stuff...... she stood up when she was asked and sat quietly the rest of the time with no hint of the whirling dervish I had expected.
On another bench a Westie was whining and trying to struggle out of its harness while its bath was being prepared and Small Dog glanced over at it with an expression which clearly said "Oh for goodness sake.... what a fuss!"
She didn't make a sound when the clippers were whirring, or scissors snipping..... and while she didn't actually OFFER her paw to have her nails clipped, she apparently willingly allowed the groomer to lift and clip them. She even submitted to having the hair between her paw pads trimmed and nice smelling stuff sprayed on her tummy.
I was DUMBSTRUCK.
All these years I've been wandering round that shop imagining traumatic scenes in which Small Dog was being wrestled into submission and suspended from various torture chamber apparatus designed to completely immobilise her and prevent her wreaking havoc in a flurry of teeth and claws.
All these years, when picking her up I have closely scrutinised the groomer for signs of exhaustion, post traumatic stress, and/or flesh wounds.
All these years, when I've asked how she's been, the groomer has assured me she's been fine, no problem at all, the best behaved Yorkie they have on their books.
And all these years I haven't believed a single word.
I wish I'd had my phone with me to record video evidence of her compliance and apparent insouciance but I'd left it in the car. I'm not entirely convinced that PP believes me either, although I have solemnly sworn it's the truth.
Admittedly, Small Dog has been rather subdued since we got home. I suspect it's because she knows her cover has been blown.
Does this mean we will be resuming her grooming ourselves?
No it bloody doesn't. I'd pay DOUBLE not to have to do it, and now that I know that she (or anyone else) isn't being traumatised I feel doubly certain that it's money well spent.
Anyway..... here's her Before and After photos.....