White Dog whispered to Quinn, "looks like she is determined this time, big boy. Just know it won't hurt and it will be over in no time." Immediately The Other White Dog went into panic mode. "Thanks White Dog," I said, "you have him all worked up over nothing."
For quite sometime Quinn has needed a pedicure and feet de-floofing. He slides on the kitchen floor regularly and of late has been having the same troubles on the wood and carpets as well. We have avoided taking him to the groomer since his incident of biting Steve hard enough to break his watch crystal; he just is too excitable in chaotic places these days (and the dogs barking and blowers going and water splashing and phones ringing...well, you get the idea). We know our boy HATES having his feet manipulated and feared setting off a manic session or seizure if we insisted on foot grooming.
But after reading Bailey's (Bailey Be Good!) post of getting HER feet trimmed, I decided tonight was the night. I started preparing Quinn this afternoon by playfully running my hands along his sides and down his legs; he didn't like it much but he didn't pull away. He and I talked about trust and his knowing I would never allow harm to come to him and that I would be there to protect him. Before dinner I gave him a Composure, an herbal calming chew that reduces stress and relaxes.
The plan was after dinner, Steve and I would do some play/cuddle time with the entire White Dog Army in the bedroom. When the time was right he would lift Quinn onto the bed and I would hold/soothe while Steve buzzed and trimmed. That way, we thought, TOWD would not have the others sticking their snouts into what was happening and that the height would make it easier to control and work with him.
The alternate plan, constructed after Quinn started screaming at the prospect of being picked up and the rest of the WDA charged to his defense nearly toppling Steve, was that Steve would sit on the floor surrounded by the WDA while I wrapped TOWD in my arms and held him securely enough that he wouldn't bite, that he felt safe, and that he was in a position that would allow Steve to shave and clip. We decided we would ask Dr. Julia's staff for help in trimming nails when Quinn went to see her next week (then he would hate THEM not us)!
Our boy twisted and bucked like a prize-winning bronco, swinging his head and clacking his teeth. I held him and pressed my cheek against his whispering to him the entire time (wise? probably not but I was asking him to trust US right? turnaround is fair play). Steve managed to do a admirable job on all four feet; his work validated by Quinn's increased stability. Of course Quinn got duck jerky as a reward, which made his siblings a bit jealous (but not enough so to come too close to the clippers).
Happily, now that it is over Quinn is not showing any signs of manic-ness and my fears of a seizure caused by this "trauma" are fading. Best of all is that I think he really understood when I asked him to trust me...and for this boy who learned never to trust anyone, giving me his belief is an amazing gift.