It started yesterday after my neighbor stopped by while I was on an errand. My phone buzzed and the text read, “Your poodle needs a haircut. Starting to look like Justin Bieber.”
Well, I’m already feeling rather inadequate as a new dog parent. I haven’t had a dog in my life for as many years as I haven’t had a husband. Our old farm dog died right before we sought sanctuary in the East. He had been an Australian shepherd-mutt with muddy paws, bad breath, and no manners. (I loved that dog—most especially on the day he met my soon-to-be in-laws and put those muddy paws right square on my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s large white blouse-clad breasts.)
Mrs. Sadie Snufflemuffin is not that sort of dog. I have been asking other dog-likers after a good and gentle groomer. After her last coif, Mrs. Snufflemuffin was stiff and sore for two days, which I am told is not normal. So last night I thought I would just trim a bit of the Bieber off her bangs, even though I had been warned previously by Sadie’s former caregiver, “one snip leads to another with Sadie.”
I cut a little off the top and it was uneven, so I cut a little more. My scissors aren’t as sharp as they used to be. I cut a little more. She was so patient, even when I snipped too close to the skin. It was still uneven. I am sorry to say that what started as a trimming of her topknot to make room for her eyes ended badly—very badly. To make matters worse, I subjected the poor pup to the indignity of a bath.
Afterward she growled at me whenever I petted her. It wasn’t a threatening growl, but a bitchy one. She avoided me. “She’s mad at you about the haircut,” my youngest son observed.
“I would be,” my daughter put in. “She looks like a Manhattan sewer rat in a sweater.”
“No,” my son said, “She looks like a abandoned Christmas elf, one Santa didn’t want because she was too ugly.” (I am quite sure Santa is not like that.)
“I think she’s cute,” I said. “She has a faux hawk.” The children looked at her.
“She looks sort of like ‘Puck’ from Glee,” my daughter observed.
Mrs. Sadie Puckerman Snufflemuffin looked up at us pitiably.
The friend whose text message started it all came by. “She looks like Yoda.”
Like a fellow who worked on his motorcycle himself only to give up and deliver it to his mechanic in baskets, I need to turn this job over to a pro. (Mechanics charge extra for that, I hear.) Anyone know of a good (and gentle) pet groomer in my neighborhood?