Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bear's Bad Hair Day

"Lord, this hot weather's hard on a fat girl!" (Overheard at a local store.)

And if the girl in question is not only big-boned but also covered in a double coat of black fur . . . no matter how often she takes a dip in the creek, she's still going to be pretty miserable.

I began with the clippers, but Bear's coat was so thick and there were areas of matted fine fur that seemed more appropriate for a sheep shearer to deal with. I had set the clipper guard at three-quarters -- wanting to leave Bear some sun protection -- but at that height, the clippers just weren't cutting it.

So over the past three weeks, whenever there was an opportunity, I've been snipping at Bear's dreadlocks and generally lowering the level of her hair to the point that the wimpy little clippers could actually be used.

The picture below is the result of only one of our sessions with the scissors. One could construct a small to medium size dog from that fur -- or maybe just a nice winter jacket for William. In any event, this should provide luxurious nest-lining material for all the birds in the county.

It took three or four scissor sessions before I could finally use the clippers. And when I did, it was still hard to get through that thick fur. Once or twice the guard flew off, resulting in the punk/moth-eaten look you see below.

It looks as if the bad haircut has driven our poor Bear to drink. But I guarantee she feels better.

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Pat in east TN said...

Bear looks happy, and that's what counts, right?

vicki archer said...

I am sure Bear is much happier, I am about to do the same with my Charlie....Happy weekend, xv.

Liz said...

Oh, he will be thanking you for that! Having two German Shepherds, I feel your pain, Vicki. I put the dog hair from the brushes in a mesh bag and hang it from a tree and the birds pull it out and use it for their nests (I used to just shove handfuls of it into the bushes, but this seems more civilized). Have a great (hairless) day.

Susan M. Bell said...

I'm saving the cat hair I get when I brush my cats. I know someone who is going to spin it into yarn for me and I'm going to knit myself a scarf. Going to toss in some dryer lint to help. (It has tons of fur in it anyway.) She had a friend who did this with dog fur. Problem with that was, you couldn't get the scarf wet. It smelled like wet dog. :-)

Vicki Lane said...

It's kind of unending -- I also did Molly, whose coat is almost as heavy as Bear's. And even the short-haired dos are sloughing off their undercoats. Eddie is shedding and I can get in only a few passes with the brush before he starts to growl.

But, As Pat and Vicki A. and Liz say, Bear Is much happier -- our new summer-weight Bear, we call her.

Susan -- In my last book I kind of hinted at a scarf with cat hair in it -- a devious way of attacking someone with a severe allergy!

Auntie Knickers said...

I love Bear, the dog we should have gotten -- laid-back, mellow, etc. Instead we got an English Springer Spaniel. I love him too now but Bear would have been a better dog for us!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Oh Vicki, our Bro needs to be sheared in the worst way. I may have to take him to the groomer, though, as he runs from me when he sees me coming with the clibbers and it's hard to pin him down. He weighs nearly 80 pounds. There's just so darn much of him!

Vicki Lane said...

Auntie K -- Bear is such a sweetie and mostly undemanding -- her biggest fault is that she doesn't want to be bathed and has to be dragged to the bathroom and lifted, a foot at a time, into the bathtub. Once there, she's fairly cooperative.

Kay, I can say with authority that the groomers earn whatever you pay them no matter how high.

Tammy said...

Looks like you did a good job and Bear looks much more comfortable. I'm still struggling with Ariel and just need to bite the bullet and start scissoring. It isn't going to brush out. I have two sets of clippers boughten over the years and both of them just spaz out in all that undercoat and fur and shut down. I broke down and turned on the air conditioner mid day today. Then I brought the two dogs in and they are sprawled in front of their (individual) fans. I love the over heard comment in the store! ha.

Carol Murdock said...

Jake needs a hair cut so bad but I just haven't got to that chore yet!

The mint is thriving!

Eric had several hoses put together and he pulls them all around and two sprinklers set up in the garden!

You and Bear keep cool! I don't recall June ever being like this!

Tess Kincaid said...

I'm with Bear. I hate the heat!

Merisi said...

So much hair, hard to imagine how you ever managed to cut it back!

I was thinking what wonderful nest-lining material, there you said it! Yes, will make a few bird babies feel like little twitter princes and princesses. ;-)

My parents had sheep and I found it always amazing that the sheep survived all that shearing year after year.

Vicki Lane said...

That WAS a good one, wasn't it, Tammy? My husband brought it home for my collection. And our dogs are hogging the space in front of our various fans too.

Carol -- if I just stayed in the shower all day it might be possible to keep cool. At least it cools off at night, thank goodness!

Willow -- I actually know people who adore hot weather -- but as for me, it saps my strength and fries my brain.

Merisi -- I'll bet it felt WONDERFUL to the sheep, once that heavy, probably dirty, wool overcoat was removed. I imagine the shearing part though was pretty terrifying.