I love dogs. Everyone knows I do. I have a dog and I dog sit for friends that go out-of-town. I never really had a problem with a dog until recently — and it’s not at all the dog’s fault, but he was at the root of the problem.
The boyfriend and I have a lot in common, including the love of dogs. He lives in High Point and was leaving his dog, Gonzo, home all day while he was at work. After we started dating, he was spending even more time away from Gonzo when he came to see me after work.
We both felt sorry for Gonzo. It wasn’t long before I told him to bring him to my house so that he wouldn’t have to be alone all day. I suggested that he could stop by the house on his dinner break to take him out for a walk.
At first the transition was not an easy one. My dog Lucy is territorial and has been the Dog of the Manor for some time now, so sharing my tiny 900-square-foot house with a bigger dog was not her idea of fun. Needless to say, Gonzo wasn’t happy either.
As time went on, everyone warmed up to each other and all was well until I realized that Gonzo is a shedding machine. I had never seen a dog shed so much in my life. There’s hair all over both my chocolate colored sofa and love seat. There’s hair all over the wood furniture and floors. My daily routine was consumed with chasing Gonzo’s hair around the house.
There were some nights that I would go to bed with fur-free furniture and floors, only to awake up and find that it looked like I hadn’t cleaned at all. I was frustrated.
In an attempt to make me happy, the boyfriend retrieved the metal hoop with teeth that he used to comb Gonzo from his house. He spent time daily using the hoop to capture loose hair to no avail — there was still dog hair everywhere.
In a continued attempt to make me happy, he went out and bought a Furminator, a dog de-shedding tool, which is supposed to cut down on the amount a dog sheds. He also bought anti-shed shampoo and gave Gonzo a bath. I have to give him credit; this truly shows what an upstanding guy he is, however, none of that really worked.
He finally realized that the only way he was going to cut down on Gonzo’s shedding problem was to shave him. I could tell that he was opposed to the idea when he said, “But he’ll be naked.”
Here’s when it dawned on me that men seem to internalize what is going on with their dogs more so than women. My dog is a golden retriever mix and has long hair, so every spring I take her to a groomer and have all of her hair, minus the hair on her head and tail, shaved off. It’s a simple thing. She’s not shedding everywhere and she’s much cooler. After it’s all said and done, everybody’s happy.
After he bought the trimmer and was getting ready to “do the deed,” as he put it on Wednesday, I could tell he was nervous about it. He said he knew Gonzo “knew something was up” and I had to laugh.
Before shaving commenced, he sent me the following text:
“The inmate will be escorted into the shaving chamber at 1:25 unless a pardon is signed by Gov. Tilley. The shaving will commence at 1:30. The shaving is open to the public, but only those with strong constitutions may bear eyewitness to the event.”
Gov. Tilley (that would be me) was unmoved and ordered the proceeding to continue. I promise you I’m not heartless. There are just not enough hours in the day to clean up this much dog hair. Some of you know what I’m talking about.
In an effort to calm his nerves and make him laugh, I responded to his text by telling him that I was in the process of looking online for dog smoking jackets so that his “naked” dog wouldn’t feel so embarrassed.
Under the guise of doing research for this column, I decided to go home to witness the shaving, and I’m glad I did.
What I witnessed was a very calm dog and a brave, but nervous boyfriend with clippers in hand. It was slow going at first, but then he started making some headway, or should I say tailway? When he realized that Gonzo was really enjoying the quality time they were spending together, he relaxed, too.
When all was said and done, the boyfriend not only had a happy dog, but a happy girlfriend as well.
Mondee Tilley is a staff reporter with The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.