White Dog settled onto the pillows of the couch. "This is going to be greatly entertaining," she told her brothers.
A friend is making sweatshirts for Puff, whose furs at 15 years of age aren't as thick as they once were, and for Bella, whose furs were shaved and hacked before she joined the Army. Nancy loves the White Dog Army and hates the thought of the girls being cold this winter. She sent me a chart of measurements that she needs to customize her pattern. It came with an informative diagram that showed exactly where each measure was to be taken.
We decided that Puff would be calmer and was a better first choice for the project. Besides, she might set a good example that Bella would follow when it was her turn. Steve made a nice little tabulation sheet for recording the data. He then got out the tape measure from my sewing kit. "Not the one with the safety pin," I told him as he walked out carrying that one. "Why not?" "Because it is not accurate with the overlap to pin." "Why keep it then?" "Sentimental value. Just go get the other measure."
The minute Steve picked Puff up and took off her little red t-shirt, she began to shake. "I just want to measure you, Baby Girl," Steve cooed. "Then we will put on your pink shirt." He stood her in front of me. She sank to the ground, suddenly without bones. "Come on, stand up." "Just do the measurements we can do with her like this and then we get the others," I suggested. He touched the end of the tape to her collarbone and began to wrap it around for a neck measurement. She began to whimper. The rest of the WDA instantly crowded around. "Puff, it is just like putting your collar on. It does not hurt." Steve hastily read the number and scribbled it down. Next was the length of her torso which she accepted resignedly. The chest girth prompted roaching and rolling and enough drama to make the boys nose their way between Steve and Still Another White Dog. "I will pick her up and we can get the rest of the measurements with her in my arms," I said.
After being kicked in the face and fighting a squirming demon dog, Puff relaxed enough that I loosened the grip I feared was too tight. Big mistake! She was off my lap and out of the dog door! Fortunately all that remained was her leg length which we will get when Steve leashes her up for tonight's walk.
And then it was Bella's turn...It took Steve ten minutes to play chase behind the chairs, under the chair, into the crate and deep into the closet before he managed to get a firm grip on the Tiny Dancer. "There is NO way, she will stand placidly and let us take her stats," he said. I wrapped her in my arms and stroked her while speaking softly. She was accepting of my holding her. The minute Steve slid the tape along her leg to take its measure, Bella curled into a tight ball pulling legs and paws under her and tucking her chin firmly against her chest. We worked together to wiggle the tape into position and slide our hands along it to make sure it was correctly placed and untwisted. Clearly, this is not an optimal fitting session but we did finally did get the numbers, thanks to brushing (which Bella loves) and bribes. I am hoping there is some "play" in Nancy's pattern making because I will certainly not vouch for their percentage of accuracy.
But White Dog was right, the experience WAS entertaining...and the Army offered plenty of sympathy at the girls' ordeal. "They need jerky, momma, we all do. It was traumatic to watch them suffer" YoYoMa concluded..