August 4, 2010

Boyish New Me

If you know me — I mean, if you are in my inner circle and I wiggle when I see you — then you know I’m pretty much a boy’s boy. I like to be rough and tough and throw my boyish weight around. If you don’t really know me, then you’d think I was pretty much a fella who is in touch with my girlish side not necessarily because of my behavior, but because of my haircut. The Page Boy ears kind of make the boyish side seem oxymoronic. Every time I go to the groomer, they puff me up and my friends kind of tease me because the look doesn’t fit my personality at all.

So today, when Gretchen walked Monty and me up to the groomer, I was expecting the same foofy look. Boy, wasn’t I surprised!

Ann, my other Mom, says I look like a meerkat. I had to look that up to see what exactly what she meant and I guess I kind of see the resemblance, though I still have one question: What exactly IS a meerkat?

But since today was muggy and hot, the shorter hair (and ears!) was worth the time at the groomers. And I have to admit, I look kind of cute except that the gender confusion thing still happens. During one of our walks (in my new hairdo) a woman stopped us and said, “My, isn’t she a beautiful Doodle!” Oh well. It’s a good thing I’m comfortable with my androgynous appearance.

Of course, I didn’t get to walk with all the dogs today. Nope. Monty and I got to walk up to the groomers and then Gretchen went about the business without me for most of the day. When she brought the photos home, I did take a look at them to see the various hairdos of my friends and that’s when I realized, not everyone has to get their hair done. Monty, yes. Me, yes. But there are many in our crew who don’t. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first dogs of the day were (after Monty) Oshi and Perrito. Yes, they get groomed because their hair, like mine, grows and does not shed. While not shedding makes our families happy, it means we must submit ourselves to the snip snip snip of the razors. Okay, it’s not all that horrible. They’re very nice at the groomer and they talk to me in Spanish something that makes me feel very manly for some reason!

I don’t think Rosie would like the groomer very much. Fortunately for her, she doesn’t have to go because she has fur not hair and instead of it growing, she sheds it. She doesn’t mind the shedding if it means she doesn’t have to get in the car to go somewhere (doesn’t like car rides) and if it means she doesn’t have to hear loud noises (like blow dryers) or get a bath. This, as you can see, makes her very happy!

Two other happy dogs are Gemma and Zoe. They are happy for reasons far too numerous to recount. While Gemma doesn’t shed, she must get “striped” to keep her hair short and red. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but just the word “strip” puts a chill up my spine. Zoe, on the other hand, must get brushed to keep her coat so shiny and beautiful. As you can tell, both of their families do a magnificent job keeping these two gorgeous even though the two of them are both outrageously goofy…especially when they are together!

On their walk, they ran into another dog named Lambeau — yes, named after the football stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Gemma saw him first and boy, did she ever want to play some football with this guy!

Even after Lambeau left, Gemma (and her tail) were on high alert! Zoe, on the other hand, was just happy to be taking a rest away from the heat!

Being a Mountain Dog, I imagine Zoe gets mighty warm on days like this when the humidity is high and the temperatures are high as well. Gretchen says that her coat actually protects her acting both as a cooling system as well as an insulator.

“Do I have that?” I asked.

“Nope, buddy,” she informed me. “You just have one coat. Zoe actually has two.”

Wow. That’s pretty impressive. I can’t imagine what it’s like when she gets brushed out! When I get brushed there’s maybe a handful of fine, soft hair in the end. When Zoe gets groomed, I bet there’s enough hair we could make another dog out of it!

On the way home from walking Zoe and Gemma, Gretchen got the phone call that Monty and I were all coiffed and ready for pick up! So Gretchen got Saber first and then headed up the hill to fetch us! Boy, was Saber surprised by our clean scents and new dos!

Saber said, “I don’t have to have a haircut to look manly!”Monty and I had to laugh, but we made certain that Saber didn’t hear us! Instead, Monty said, “Dude, it’s not what’s on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside!”

And I added, “It’s important to let yourself be who you are, Saber. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!”

Now Woobie…I know she gets brushed because when she stays with us, Gretchen will often give her a grooming. Woobie, surprisingly, seems to like it, but I wonder if she’s ever had her hair cut?

She was happy to see us, but had all sorts of questions about my new haircut. “Does it hurt?” Monty and I reassured her that it was a painless process and we could tell she was relieved!

Woobie thought Monty looked particularly beautiful and I had to admit, Liliana did a particularly nice job on making Monty maintain his manly appearance at the same time making him look gorgeous!

As you can tell, today was a busy day. And while we spent most of it at the groomer, both Monty and I were tired after Woobie went home.

In fact, Monty was so tired, he decided to take a nap. I didn’t realize he’d made this choice until I went around the house looking for my best friend. I couldn’t find him anywhere and then Gretchen whispered, “He’s found his favorite bed!”

And guess where he was? Upstairs in my bed! He barely opened his eyes when I went to check on him! And he quickly fell back to sleep!

I kind of wanted to sleep after Monty went home, but apparently Gretchen had a surprise in store for me. We all piled in the car and headed over to the pool where Gretchen works. She’s been trading time in the pool by walking her boss’s dog, Paige. Generally, Gretchen swims me in the pool, but she wanted me to experience the joys of a massage and swim by a veteran expert. Let me tell you, there is experience in that woman’s hands! And the swim was fantastic, too!

While I relaxed in the lap of luxury, Gretchen and Paige went for a nice walk, though it was mighty hot so they had to stop and rest, which of course meant photo time!

Paige and I hung out for awhile after that and she told me all about her grooming regime. “I get a bath like once a week!” she told me.


“Yep, and when Gretchen brought me back from the walk tonight, she hosed me down to cool me off.”

“Wow!” I exclaimed. “Do you ever go in the pool for a swim and a massage?”


What a lucky dog, I thought. I could get used that kind of life!

But really, I have a pretty wonderful life myself. I get to spend the days outdoors with my best friends, and only occasionally do I have to be beautified.

And now I get massages not only from Gretchen, but swim time and massages from Gretchen’s teacher.

Nice, really really nice!

Until tomorrow,

Rubin (aka Meerkat!)

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