I had extra time off over the Christmas weekend and was unable to drive up to the farm. That meant that I could attend to some tasks which have needed doing for quite some time. The first was to clip my three long haired dogs. It'd been too long since their last hair cut and they were getting very shaggy.
I began with Wally, putting him on top of the dryer. That gave me a clean white surface on which to work, good lighting and I could stand instead of sitting on the floor. Wally's hair was overgrown and full of tangles. Here's a before picture:
Wally is the easiest dog to clip and he was finished quickly. I just use the scissors as the expensive electric clippers I bought simply won't go through the matted hair. Here's Wally with most of his excess hair removed:
Then I began on Fergus. His fur is so thick and so curly that it resembles sheep's wool. Also, he's extremely high strung and holding still is difficult for him. A before shot of my little sheep:
The scissor clipping has just begun and Fergus is not happy about this. See the reproachful look?:
Maybe if I just slink quietly over the edge of the dryer like a snake I can sneak away and avoid this terrible experience:
OK, Dad, now you've sent me into hyper-mode and I'm very nervous:
All done? Now I'll give you a little smile:
The waste basket is half full of hair from two small dogs. The main even hasn't even begun:
And here's the main event. Giant Seamus, all 110 pounds of him, with hair so thick and oily that I sometimes wonder if it will require hedge clippers:
Look at that paw! I don't call him Sasquatch for nothing:
Besides being big and thickly furred, Seamus also hates this process. I tried clipping him on a tarp this time hoping it would make the clean up easier. It did. When finished, I simply rolled and folded the tarp, tossing it in the trash with almost all of the hair clippings:
The scissors wouldn't cut through much of Seamus' hair so I tried the clippers without any spacers. That worked in most places, though I had to take occasional breaks for the sake of my nerves, Seamus' nerves and also so the clippers could cool down. In places where the clippers wouldn't cut, I used the scissors. Here's Seamus about a quarter way through his hair cut:
During a break, Bramble the cat wandered through to check out the growing mound of poodle hair. "You wouldn't do that to me, would you Dad?"
Back to clipping. The results are not pretty but are highly functional. The uneven spots will even out in a week or so. Hey, has this poodle been transformed into a borzoi? Well, Seamus lived through the experience and is, in fact, becoming calmer than he used to be. Now my three long haired dogs are short haired and ready for our next trip up to the farm: