When my Great Aunt died recently, I inherited her Cocker Spaniel, Taz. Actually I guess I inherited her when Pat went into hospital last winter. At that time, she was vastly overweight. 48lbs. A 48lb Cocker Spaniel is wider than they are tall. Believe me. Her hind legs were starting to give out on her, and she could no longer go up two stairs. The poor little dog could barely walk. My great aunt loved her dearly, and liked to feed her. Towards the end, as her dementia became worse, I think she must not have realized just how much she was feeding her. But she’d taken to pushing dog biscuits into Taz’s mouth against the dog’s will. I was alarmed at just how big she was, so I put her on a diet. She’s lost quite a bit of weight so far. Not all of it yet, but she’s at least somewhere in normal fat dog range anyway. Last time I weighed her (a couple of months ago) she was down to 34lbs. She should be a bit less than that now I would think.
I have a cat named Taz already. But it’s hard to rename an animal when you’ve known them a long time. So I have a “Taz the Dog” and a “Taz the Cat” now. But I think I may finally be able to rename this little dog “SwampDog”.
Yesterday she went missing. When she didn’t turn up by nightfall I was sure something had eaten her (a coyote perhaps). But this morning the neighbour called to say that she’d found Taz on her front steps. When I went to pick her up, I was greeted by a matted, smelly little ragamuffin. I immediately called my friend Virginia with my dog emergency. She is a professional groomer (http://www.doggiewashsalon.com).
It’s a bit of a drive to Virginia’s, and that dog REEKED. I think she must have found some dead frogs to roll in. Or maybe just a dead skunk. I dunno. It was really truly disgusting to sit in the truck cab with her. I opened both windows, and the sunroof. And I ran the air conditioner full blast too. I was pretty much gasping for air all the way.
Virginia was quite impressed with the magnitude of Taz’s bad hair day. But set right to work. I decided to document her makeover…
Here’s the raw material that Virginia had to work with. Those are little burrs and stickers all through her coat.
The mats were so dense that she had to do a partial clip before bathing her.
It must be admitted that I let the grooming thing get a little behind schedule. She should have been done a couple of months ago. So there was a LOT of clipping to be done.
Then she had her bath. Although not obvious in this photo, she seems to like her bath. I guess it’s a spaniel thing, liking water.
Then there was more clipping and trimming. And toenails. And ears.Can you see the little fat roll still hanging off the end of her behind? That used to be at least twice that big.
And in the end, this is what SwampDog turned into.
She’s actually kind of cute isn’t she?