I try to brush the dogs every Sunday. In the winter, the grooming table is inside the garage, but once the temperatures moderate; I set up the table on the back patio. There’s a ritual, of course; and all three dogs recognize it instantly. It starts with the special plastic bucket from the garage for all the fur that gets combed out of their thick coats. Just picking up the bucket brings on excited dancing and yelping. The girls all know what’s coming and they can’t wait. Then I put on the black grooming apron, and fill each of the two pockets with a handful of cheesy cookies, grab the brushes and we’re ready to go.
Mia is always first; she has the thickest coat by far. I lift her up onto the table and she gets three cookies, which she chomps on whilst I take off her collar. We start with the big rake, followed by the collie pin brush, the metal comb, the slicker brush, and the scissors for any areas that need trimming. The final brush, the boar-bristle and pin brush is the last one, immediately after which they get their collar slipped back on and three more cheesy cookies. Quilly goes next, but gets only the rake, slicker and a comb; then Rowan is last. After all three are done, they each get a last cheesy and only then am I free to pick everything up and put it away.
Gusty winds today whipped all the dog hair out of the bucket, and across the yard. The dogs thought it quite humorous that I ran around the yard with the special bucket, chasing down clumps of dog fluff. It refused to allow itself to be stuffed into the bucket, and instead clung to my arm like socks from the dryer. I got most of it, but finally decided that the birds needed that fur for nesting material more than I did.