White Dog glanced pointedly across the red carpet in the living room. "Looks like it is that time of year, again," she commented. "You mean time to vacuum?" Bella asked as she hopped up on the chair in case the roaring beast was, indeed, brought out.
"Thank you Tiny Dancer," I said to her. "You make dad and I seem remiss in household chores." White Dog shot her a "you hurt momma's feelings look" and completed her original thought, "It is time for the great White Dog Army Spring Coat Blowing Season."
Despite the weather ups and downs that has jostled New Mexico the past weeks, the WDA's internal clocks are telling us warmer days are coming soon. And the wisps and clumps and dust bunnies everywhere offer the physical evidence.
I pulled out the brushes and the shedding comb. The WDA gets casually brushed out every day but it was time for a Serious head-to-toe groom.
Some of the White Dogs actually enjoy the feel of being combed out and then brushed. They arch their bodies to expose the spots in particular need. They gladly roll over and expose belly. Puff is our most perfect customer although her thinning hair rarely yields more than a brushful. She sits and would let you brush all day; her furs are always soft and gleaming.
Bella loves to be held in my arms as she gets her treatment; she is quite patient with being turned this side and then that. She gets squirmy at the underside but can see the treat waiting on the arm of the chair for when I am finished so she endures.
Sachi does not mind getting spiffed up but prefers to be held with his back against my chest as I work and lift and turn. Generally, about halfway through, he gets bored and we play "Let's try to grab the brush and bite at it." For such a Little Man, Sachi is a hair machine. I can always count on at least two brushfuls of fur and lots of detangling results of his being a drooly, sloppy eater and from Zsofia slobber (when they wrestle).
Steve is the only one who grooms Taiko to our boy's satisfaction. Our Tender Heart will stand and lean against Steve for quite a while as Steve combs out feathers and rear floof and ruff. But the instant he decides he is done, he walks away. Even treats won't lure the always shedding boy back.
Our Darkest White Dog loves to be groomed as well but the difficulty is usually to interrupt her play cycle long enough to get her to sit and get started. Her furs are deceiving and are much thicker than they look at a glance. She stretches and rolls on her back and pulls her legs out of the way so Steve can drag the brush across every inch. It is clearly bliss to her and she never passes up the post brush cookie.
White Dog can be a wild card. If she is in the mood and wants to feel waited upon or like she has servants, she is very cooperative. She has the silkiest furs of all the White Dogs and she is always proud to look good. If she is in boss mode or just wants to be left alone, she can be difficult to persuade. And there is ALWAYS an expectation of at least two cookies...one before we start; one after.
YoYoMa HATES being curried. There is nothing about the process that he sees the need for even though he is frequently the one chewing at his legs or pulling tufts from his side. His is the thickest coat and he is the heaviest shedder. He cries and whines and carries on as I work with him...to the point he gathers a WDA audience to offer sympathy. Rarely can I get entirely around his body before his bucking drama makes me stop. Still, a cookie is expected. And then he avoids me for hours.
The question today was how Storm would react to being brushed out. I gently gathered her into my arms and showed her the brush. She did not seem nervous. I started on her front paws, where she could see what I was doing and slowly moved around her ruff and down her sides. She turned to curiously watch but was relaxed. When I shifted her to work the backside, she got a bit uneasy so we stopped there. I realize that she might be tender from her colitis issues and I did not want to make getting brushed a negative thing. She refused the cookie to the shock of the rest of the WDA, gave herself a good shake to arrange her furs back to her liking and went to sit on Puff's mattress.
Steve and I gathered up nearly a grocery bag full of floof. Then Bella's wish was granted as Steve dragged out the vacuum cleaner.