A Dog Story: A Necessary Grooming for Rudolph
Posted on April 25, 2012 by WayCoolDogs
Two white dogs were brought in by the same person –– one very tiny girl and a medium-sized boy. The larger one was in much worse condition, so I focused first on him.
Rodolfo’s fur was badly matted, and stained a dull, yellowish brown (don’t ask by what), and the only part of his body which seemed to have been looked after at all was around his mouth, which was how I knew that under all the mess was a white dog waiting to be freed. He sensed right away what I was doing and why I was doing it, and gave no trouble at all.
He lay on his side meekly while I worked on his ears and neck and down his back, then accommodatingly rolled over when I needed to get at the other side. I knew, however, that this must be stressful for him, so I never wanted to push him too much. After a little work session, we would take a walk around and invariably I would know he had had enough when he stopped walking, came back to me and stood on his back legs with his paws on my knee, asking to be lifted up.
Actually, he was very clingy. When I opened the cage door he would jump right out into my arms and hold on for dear life to my shoulder. He was so tightly fastened that I didn’t need to put my hands on him at all, and we could walk through the passages to get outside with me opening and closing doors without any need to manoeuvre him out of the way, or stop him from jumping down into the nearest puddle. When we got outside he still wasn’t too keen on being put on the ground, but once he realized I wasn’t leaving him out there alone, it was alright.
As I worked on him, a little each day, I realized just how soft and pure white his fur was underneath, and it began to look like angel fuzz all over his body. I puzzled at how his owners could have allowed him to deteriorate with no care at all, till he ended up in this disgusting condition, but Rodolfo was enjoying it all immensely, because along with the snipping and trimming went massages and soft words and tummy rubs, for which he dutifully licked my cheek whenever he got the chance. He was now so relaxed he would lie on his back and I could sort out the mats on his tummy, and he would even let me get hold of his paws, one by one, and fold them underneath so I could work on the overgrown hair between his toes and in and around his pads.
I noticed that he had a little difficulty seeing, because while walking outside he would bump into a tree, or a fence post, then quickly reverse and walk around whatever it was. I began to suspect this was why he didn’t want to be put down on the ground. But the vets examined him and said they couldn’t find anything wrong, and I had to go along with that, plus he never had a problem finding his food dish, so it couldn’t have been a very serious defect.
Just as I had got him all finished and looking splendid I heard that he was adopted, so everything went like clockwork. He was duly neutered, and I had a day or two to clean up the mess that inevitably follows surgery, what with the sprays and stitches, and to make a great fuss of him, as I knew I wouldn’t see him again. They told me it was a gentleman who took him for his little daughter, so I hope he will get a lot of attention and love.
But I do miss him holding on so tight to my shoulder.
Guest Post by Cindi Scholefield, a volunteer at the local animal shelter in Kingston, Jamaica.
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