Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Emma's Makeover

One of the rites of spring is that Emma, the senior dog, gets her, uh, makeover.

Emma, a mixed sheltie (probably mixed with a sheep and a Brillo pad), has bad hair. Really bad hair. Hair so bad it mats up into impenetrable thickets. Hair so thick that in winter poop-sickles hang from her nether regions, necessitating some delicate trimming.

Emma really does have a head. She usually turns it away when being photographed.

As Emma's hair gets longer, debris clings to it. She's so insulated, she stays out in the cold some nights and frost often dusts her hair on wintry mornings.

There really is a dog under this hair.

Long hair grows between her toes.

This morning, she went to the vets for her vaccinations and a hair cut. Loading and unloading 76 pounds of Emma wasn't easy, but I did it. Fortunately, she loves to ride in the truck.

I dropped her off at 7:30 this morning, then went to Wal-Mart and Kroger's (Senior Citizens' Day!). When you live 15 miles from town, you try to maximize your trip. Also, because the Pet Clinic gives a multiple pet discount if you bring in at least three critters in one day, I scheduled a late afternoon appointment for Dylan and Eddie-puss, who were due for their vaccines. After all, I had to go back for Emma.

I brought the cat crates in early so Dylan and Eddie-puss would have time to get used to the idea. I also closed Dylan in the bathroom before he had time to suspect anything.

At 3:20, I started loading cats. Correction: I attempted to load cats.

When I closed all doors to the bedroom and study (the dining room and living room doors stay closed—those are designated "Cat free" areas), Eddie-puss got wise. For a cat with a heart murmur, he put up a good fight. (Note: Trying to catch a cat under a plastic laundry basket doesn't work. Neither does dropping a quilt on him.) I grabbed him a couple times, but he got loose. (The claw marks on my arm aren't as bad as I originally thought.) Finally, I grabbed him and managed to stuff him in the big crate.

That meant I'd have to get Dylan in the small crate. I went into the bathroom with leash, collar, and crate. Dylan was cringing in the sink. (Note: A black cat doesn't hide well in a white sink.) When I put on his collar and leash, he relaxed. No doubt he thought we'd go out for a walk around the house, one of his favorite activities.

Too late he realized that the leash just gave me a better way to hang onto him.

He was harder to stuff into the crate than Eddie-puss was. Plus it was a smaller crate. Even though Dylan is a little cat, he's strong and wirey.

At 3:50, I had the cats loaded in the truck. Dylan yelled the whole 15 miles.

In the vet's waiting room, they hid behind me until the vet saw them. Dylan was yelled out, so he just growled while waiting. After they'd been examined and innoculated, they both got into the big crate, I collected Emma, and we rode home in silence the whole 15 miles.

Emma's new look:

Emma smelled so pretty after her makeover that the other dogs didn't quite trust her.


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Blogger CountryDew said...

Emma does look a lot better! That was a very hairy dog!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Amy Hanek said...

What a difference! My Emma looks better with her long blonde hair, but we are talking apples and oranges there...

3:12 PM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

I can hardly type this because I'm laughing too hard. Bless her heart! I would love to know how they got the hair out of her toes. My animals pout for hours after we come home from the vet. Here's a tip for the cats; try a pillowcase next time. It works wonders for mine!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Wow, that's a great tip about the pillowcase!

At first I thought that dog was some kind of Virginia critter I didn't know about!

12:15 AM  

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