Wednesday, May 7, 2008


We bought a set of clippers for the dogs. We had one, but it wasn’t very good. This one is a professional series clipper that will seriously handle Tanner’s coat. It came yesterday. I went to work right away clipping our dogs. My poor Tanner is already hot. He pants constantly. From March to November. Some people will say that clipping a double coated dog is wrong. It ruins their coats, they use their hair to stay cool. Tanner has been clipped probably 5 times in his lifetime so far. The first time, yes, it changed his coat a tiny bit. Some of his fur turned brown instead of growing back black. But he was also young and may have still been growing his adult coat. But having lived with the dog for 3 summers now, I can tell you from experience that he needs to be clipped. He is so utterly miserable when he isn’t clipped. Plus, it is amusing that his undercoat is white, and so he ends up being black and white instead of brown and black. And it grows SO FAST! He really needs to be clipped 3 times a summer, but at $40-$50 a pop, we can’t afford it. So he usually gets done twice and Nicki gets done once. We leave hers a little longer. She has to stay pretty after all. So now that we have the clippers, we can clip him as soon as he starts panting (if it is more than 70) and as often as necessary. We are careful not to clip him too close to winter. We don’t want the poor guy to freeze.
Since this is my first time clipping with good clippers, they are both looking a little ragged. I tried to clip Tanner once or twice with the other ones, but mostly just gouged his fur and took him to the groomers. Alann got halfway through one side of him once, then the clippers stopped working, and he took him to the groomer. Three days later. Poor thing. The other dogs at the dog park probably laughed at him.
By the time I was done with Tanner, it looked like I had shaved a bear. There was so much fur. He definitely takes after his mom (me) and has super thick hair. I half filled the trash can with just his hair. Then I bathed him and (like his mom again) his hair still managed to hold more water than one would think it could. There was a lake in my bathroom when he was finally dry enough to run around the house like a crazy. (Both his and Nicki's favorite after bath ritual- run around, dry yourself off on the bed, couch, rug, each other, cat, then get treat.) I know you should bathe them first, but he, like my car, has about 3 months worth of winter grime on him. I didn’t really want to face bathing him, drying him, clipping him, and bathing him again. It is so much easier to bathe him clipped. We leave about ¼” of hair on him. The clippers came with a set of combs, but none of them were short enough to actually do anything. So I just used the blade it came with. (It has a built in comb at ¼” in case you were concerned.)
For Nicki, I looked over the combs again, and discovered the other blade it also came with. This one was about 1/2”. I clipped her with that. She was of course a big fat wuss and wanted to run and hide the whole time. I poked her once on the elbow. I didn’t cut her at all, just poked her with the end of the comb. She yelped like I had cut an artery. What a brat. And she HATES baths, so I had to take a break between the clipping and the bathing and give her lots of treats and clean the hair out of the bathroom as much as possible. Of course, she shed about as much hair in the bath as I had cut off.
Like I said, they look decent for a first time. And I can always clip them again and even it out a little. Tanner has so much skin it is impossible to hold it tight enough to get a good even clip. Nicki just won’t stand up straight. She always curves or bows down. I did learn a few things though.
1) Hair slivers HURT! I got one in my big toe. Ow ow ow.
2) Don’t wear good clothes. Tanner wasn’t so bad. His hair tended to fall and stay on the floor. Nicki’s jumped all over the place and I was covered.
3) If the cat really really wants to be clipped, go ahead and let her see what all the fun is about. She kept pawing at us anytime we can near the door. I threatened to clip her, but never actually did.
4) Remove bathroom rug before starting the clipping process. Don’t just roll it up and expect it to stay out of the way.
Overall, I think it is worth it. And, the clipping keeps the house cleaner because they shed a LOT less.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Ooh sounds like fun! I guess that's one advantage of kids over dogs, they don't shed. :) But they do poop and spit up and all kinds of other disgusting things. :) You should take a picture of you babies to post!