While waiting for the Victory Garden to show some progress, my next most immediate concern was to straighten up Pola Negri, aka Chia Pet. She is a two-year-old Schnoodle passed on to me after she misbehaved with some chickens. A more loveable, friendly dog would be hard to find. When she is not barking herself silly outside, she is a Velcro dog.
She is a Velcro lap dog a lot because of the barking habit. She doesn’t bark in the house so she must stay in the house. She sees the same people day after day, but has a big need to holler at them. I am reminded of Gary Larson’s cartoon about barking dogs. What we hear vs. what they are saying: Hey, hey, hey, hey! She just has to “Say Hey!” to everyone. When she sees her dog friends, she escalates to hysteria. Beyond barking, her next most noticeable habit is growing volumes of dense, curly Poodle hair.
Ya’ll will just have to put up with my unprofessional backgrounds for photos because I have to groom in my kitchen. I know: eeeeeeewwwwwww.
Pola Negri is not runway model material. She has one photo pose: sitting with her little beady eyes bugging out. Sometimes she can be coaxed to stand up for a couple of seconds. I attribute this behavior to mulishness. Her bad manners are just waiting to emerge. She knows the rules but wants to be baaaaaaaad, oh so bad!
Not only is she no model, she is naughty for foot handling and nail trimming. We often have to go eye-to-eye over that habit. I really hate seeing her pearly white teeth and those lips twitching in silent, restrained fury. For you groomers out there, we all know these behaviors are verbotin on the grooming table. I’m sure she would not actually try (operative word: try) to bite, especially with me using my “groomer voice” and the evil eye.
I assume that she was groomed by the breeder because she is perfect for face combing and trimming. Where she got those other ideas, we can only guess. No matter, though, I’ve got The Whammy (look it up, young’ns) on my side. I can get real beady-eyed myself when I have to.
Today we did an experimental haircut, combining standards from both the Poodle and the Schnauzer clips. I used a #10 blade on the body, leaving no furnishing except on the hind legs. I used a #4 skip tooth to prep the legs. Deviating from anything usual, I left a lot of hair on the nub at the end of her spine. Pola has practically no tail.
Don’t get me started on tail or ear docking. The British have the right idea on that score. Pola has only about a one-vertebrae extension–way too short and not healthy. Still, it is her most expressive attribute. Fortunately she has plenty of hair on it to create a puffball for the Bowlegged Nubbin-ness. Sorry, I have to say it: It Is Way Cute!
She got a Schnauzer style on her legs because her rear needs that accent. However, she does not have terrier front legs. She has skinny Poodle legs. “Stick legs,” as one of my Poodle clients appropriately named them. Hence the prep with a #4 blade so I would have something fluffy to shape with scissors later.
In the past I have used the Schnauzer standard for the head: smooth top, cheeks and ears with a trimmed beard and triangle-shaped brows. For a change this time, I left her a topknot, trimmed with a 1/2-inch snap on blade, #15 ears and a round face. Her brows are too curly to make the crisp triangles required on a Schnauzer. She has a very pointed Poodle nose and looks goofy when it is trimmed too short. Might be that we are just used to seeing her with a beard.
So, that’s what I did with my Saturday! Dog looks pretty good and is now safe from sticker infestations when we go for walks.
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