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Archive for September, 2012

I remember one of the favourite family stories about my Aunt Myrt, and the first black & white tv in the family. My parents had it, and she and my uncle would come over to watch the shows sometimes. My aunt, bless her, got hooked on wrestling. And her a good church-going middle aged lady at the time. She apparently bounced up and down on the couch and hollered at the wrestlers. Me, I couldn’t understand the attraction. Even as a small child it screamed “phony” from a mile off. So I never appreciated the “art”, if it could be called that. Until now.

Sunday I decided to groom Grady. That was mistake #1. Saying I’m going to groom him is like saying “I think I’ll mow a football field. With a push mower.” It’s a big job, no doubt because he’s a big dog. Duh. But it was a necessity brought home to me when some of the golden dust bunnies rolling around the floor, started snapping at my heels and growling.

When I had purebred show dogs, they were all trained to the grooming table, which is a heck of a lot easier on the back. But of course, Grady didn’t grow up with a silver kibble scoop in his mouth, and being blind, a table would be far too dangerous. (If he ever fell on me, I’d not get up again.) So I sat down on the floor. Mistake #2.

Grady is blind. But he’s by no means unaware of things. If I am sitting on his level, I am therefore accessible and yippee, he threw himself in my lap. As soon as I determined that my pelvis had not been fractured, I rummaged around in the bag of grooming tools and came up with rakes and combs. The touch of the first comb, set Grady off on a long, protracted session of wriggling in absolute ecstasy, punctuated with enthusiastic and very powerful kicks from his back legs.

That’s when I realized that doing this in shorts was perhaps not wise. Mistake #3. Grady’s nails don’t grow very fast or long, but they develop unholy sharp points, one of which left a 3” cut in my calf. Mind you, I hadn’t even gotten so much as a comb full of hair off his big, empty head yet, and already I wanted to quit. Pain, blood and a heavy dog in your lap are not conducive to forging onward and upward with any enthusiasm.

This is where I gained a new respect for wrestlers, especially the old timers who didn’t have all the glitz and social media hype to make them look good. Yes, what they did was faked. But at times, I’m quite sure it was faked with more than a modicum of pain. This empathic moment came to me while Grady was trying a combination of a double tuck dive and a triple axel while trying to get his head under my armpit, and his leg out of my shirt.

At the end of two sweaty hours, I conceded and Grady leapt up in great surprise that I was not interested in prolonging the fun. Actually, all I was interested in was a bath, and crawling into my recliner to whimper for a while, and admire my now glistening, neatly combed dog. From a distance.

Please don’t forget to vote for Grady in the Fido Casting Call contest. There are only a couple of days left to help him make a difference. Fido will donate one dollar for every vote he gets, until Sept.10. Help him show people that even a blind, cast-off dog has something to give.
Vote here.

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