Things I Wish my Sheltie Knew

Memo to my Darling Doggie:

1) There’s no prize for beating me up or down the stairs. So you won — big deal. You also took a chance I’d step on you or cause us both to topple to the ground when you cut in front of me. In short: it wasn’t a race, okay?

2) I can use the bathroom by myself. Seriously. It’s unnecessary for you to follow me in there, to make sure I’m doing what I said I’d be doing. I’ve been doing things like this for years now, without your help, and while I appreciate your concern, it’s misplaced.

3) Lunchtime is for me, not you. As an “adult” dog, you’re supposed to get one meal per day. Because you’re so insistent, I’ve split that meal into two smaller servings, one at breakfast and the other at dinner. So when I eat at noon, I eat — not you. And stop that begging with your soulful eyes — you’re one tough customer to turn down!

4) The vacuum cleaner is not an assassin. Thank you for trying to protect me, but carpets need to be swept now and then. The “sweeper” isn’t attacking me just because it’s moving forth and back and making a roaring sound. And no, I won’t chase you all over the house with it!

5) There’s NO food in the backyard. I try to keep your “leavings” picked up, but I can’t prevent other animals (cats, squirrels, rabbits, etc.) from using the lawn as their bathroom. However, those leavings are not tasty morsels left outside for your dining pleasure. Besides, that’s just gross!

6) I don’t particularly like cutting your toenails and cleaning your ears. I do it because that’s one of the silent bargains I made when I took you into my home. Somebody would be responsible for doing for you what you couldn’t do for yourself. So be still and let me finish; this will go quicker and less painfully if you cooperate.

7) One bark is sufficient. When the doorbell rings, you really don’t have to bark a dozen times to let me know. I heard you the first time, and trust me, whoever’s there won’t simply go away! That goes for the annoying squirrel playing in our neighbor’s tree, too.

8) Suitcases don’t mean forever. I take you on trips when I can, but sometimes I can’t. Pulling out suitcases doesn’t mean I’m leaving forever, and it’s really not necessary for you to slink off into a corner and pout.

Love, Mom

Sheltie Paws

Like many other long-haired breeds, Shelties require at least periodic grooming.

They’re naturally clean, but you still have to bathe and brush, as well as trim excess fur in places like ears and feet.

Normally, I do my doggin’s grooming myself. His breeder has graciously mentored me and, while I’m no expert, my dog comes away looking like a Sheltie should look.

It also gives us a chance to bond, accustoms him to being handled, and saves a few bucks!

But last week, after returning from Gulfport, I decided to take him to a local groomer, one he’s been to several times before, one who usually does a decent job with him.

Until this time.

This is what his front paws look like after her grooming:

Bad Sheltie paw

Eeek, ugly!











Notice how the nails look like talons and the fur is “sliced” back to expose the claws? Notice the sprigs of hair sticking out all over? You can’t really tell in this photo, but it’s cut in layers, almost exposing the foot.

Nothing close to what a true Sheltie paw should look like. She must have used straight scissors, when you’re only supposed to use thinning shears to blend the furs.

So what does a true Sheltie paw look like? This:

Pretty Sheltie paws, thanks to Sheltie Nation for the image










See how the nails don’t stick out? See how the feet look like tight cotton balls?

It’s not easy to do, but if you’re going to capture that pretty Sheltie look, you’ve got to make the feet right!

In all fairness, my boy’s groomer admitted to feeling lousy with a head cold; she didn’t admit (or deny) having a flunky sub on the grooming for her, but what else can I conclude?

No, my Sheltie isn’t a show dog, but he’s MY show dog. And I know he knows he’s not at his prettiest with paws this ugly.

Still, fur grows out eventually, and his will, too. When that happens, count on me to do the trimming!

Sheltie beautification

OK, don’t all jump on me at once, but I finally broke down and hauled my Sheltie to a professional groomer.

I know what I said (Nov. 10, 2009) about doing the grooming myself. It still holds true.

However, I found myself in an unforeseen situation and needed a “lifeline.”

You see, the dog I was “boarding” for my friend had a rather maddening habit of yanking on my dog’s ruff, slobbering on his furs, and making him less than presentable. She went home on Friday, the day I was planning on leaving for South Bend to pick up My Favorite Domer. I wanted my dog to be at his prettiest when MFD came home, but I didn’t have time to groom.

For less than the price of a pair of jeans, I had my fur-kid shampoo’ed, blow-dried, nails trimmed, anal glands expressed, etc.

It was worth it.

When I arrived at the groomers’, my Sheltie was in a clear-enclosed “box,” with a strong drier blowing out his furs. He’d already been bathed and trimmed, and his heavy undercoat had been helped out.

He was sweet-smelling, and the white portions of his markings fairly glistened.

Of course, I still need to take my thinning shears and even him up a bit, but that’s a task I don’t mind. I’ve learned how to do it, it doesn’t take long, and I want him to remember who’s his primary groomer!

Now all I need is for his nails to grow out a bit. I purchased one of those battery-operated dog-nail filers, and I’m eager to give it a spin (get it? ha!)