Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sometimes They Lie

Here's some info that would have been helpful a few months ago:

Sometimes the dog books lie.

This is devastating to me because I'm a teacher. I believe in books. I think books are the one thing that separates us from the animals. Almost anything in the world worth knowing can be learned from a book.

Except, apparently, dog care.

See, when we were planning to bring Princess Snowflake Sassypants home, I got a book about the proper care of a Maltese. It specifically said, if you're planning to grow out your puppy's hair, you should get a pin brush.

This is a pin brush.

The theory is that this type of brush will work gently through the tangles leaving the dog's hair soft and smooth as a baby's butt.

The truth of the matter is that, if your dog's hair is thick and full, a pin brush will work gently through the tangles IN THE TOP LAYER of hair,  leaving that as soft and smooth as a baby's butt. Unfortunately, the hair UNDERNEATH that smooth top layer is tangled and matted in the manner of Rastafarian dreadlocks. But SECRET Rastafarian dreadlocks, way down near the surface of the skin.

I mean, does this picture look like a dog with hidden dreadlocks?

Even this ultra staticky mess after her bath doesn't look like dreadlocks!

In fact, I didn't even know she had dreadlocks until I took her to the groomers and she told me they would need to SHAVE HER EARS.

I did NOT take this news well.

"Maltese are a lot of work," the groomer told me. "You have to brush them every day."

"I do brush her every day," I protested. 

"With what?" She asked skeptically.

Which was a little insulting...I mean, come on, what did she think I was going to say? "Oh, you know, a mixer. That's what I use to really stir those tangles up!"

"A pin brush!" I said instead.

"Ohh," she said, shaking her head and making a face the way I do when one of my students asks something particularly obtuse. "You can't use a PIN BRUSH."

"The book said to use a pin brush," I told her. 

"Well," she said making the face again. "Books!"

And just like that, she completely negated my entire world view.

The irony of this is that I already own the stupid slicker brush the groomer recommended.

This is a slicker brush:

I used to use it on the late great Peek-a-boo. I just hadn't used it on Sassy because the BOOK SAID NOT TO.

I will be using it on her in the future, though, because I'm not sure which of us was more traumatized by this look:

It is interesting to note that I have clearly, at some time in the past, convinced the groomers that I am a crazy person. Because, even though they had warned me this might occur, and even though I gave them the go ahead in advance, every groomer in the store plus the manager of the store was  waiting with my groomer to give her moral support when I walked in.

A situation not helped by the fact that I burst out "Holy shit!" When I saw my dog and I kept saying it for the next five minutes.

Then I tried to be funny and said "You're sure that one's mine, right? You're not giving me some imposter dog, right?"

At which point I'm pretty sure they were sure I was a nut job.

It's also interesting to note that Opie also must think I'm a nut job because when I texted him a picture of our poor, shorn puppy he texted back "Did you ask them to do that?"

Yes, I decided to throw caution to the wind and bald my dog.

In any case, to summarize,  I'll be using the slicker brush in the future, the groomer is a little afraid of me, Opie should be more afraid of me and I'm considering spending the intervening weeks of puppy hair regrowth cyberstalking the authors of the maltese book and bombarding them with hate mail.

Be afraid.
Darling Dame


  1. Maybe the solution would be to use the slicker brush first on the deeper hair. Then use the other brush to give the hair the outer look you want.

  2. That's a great idea--I'm getting her used to the slicker brush now.