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Clipper Experiments: A Tail in Two Parts


Poor Dog. Subjected to my most ambitious experiments, she still falls for the old line, "C'mon, Honey, it'll be FUN!" Grooming the Dog and Fun do not belong in the same sentence together. This is a fact.

I bought some handy Oster clippers at the pet store a while back. Even while I stood waiting my turn at the cash register, I could hear Honey's tiny little scream in the back of my head . . . "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" But I did not listen. I forged ahead. Do you have any idea what it costs to get a dog like that groomed? She's half Chow, half Golden Retriever, with the chow's thick fur.

I am not a fan of instructions. I will read instructions if absolutely necessary, if forced to, but in most cases I will just learn on-the-job. This can be hazardous for certain tasks. Like electrical wiring, perhaps, which is why I don't do any of that. So I read enough of the instructions to get a comb thingie attached to the clippers, oiling them first.

Honey is not a big fan of buzzing objects. I don't know why this is. Perhaps she was scared by a loud buzzing object when she was a puppy. Maybe it's just annoying. Maybe the sight of me holding a buzzing object strikes terror into her little canine heart. I don't know. But she will cooperate somewhat, as long as I concentrate on the areas she wants me to concentrate on, and avoid the areas she wants me to avoid. I, however, do not believe in humoring her in this way. What? You don't want me to clip around your butt? Okay, that's where I want to then. You don't want to lose all that fur around your neck? Okay, off with it!

Every so often, or more frequently, she'll get up and wander off in a vain attempt to avoid the clippers. Since we're on a small deck and she can't escape back into the house, I just move closer to her. It's very aggravating to her, I'm sure, but we're really not there for her amusement, but for mine, so I don't care. She'll sit, or lay, and as I gently run the clippers through her fur, with tufts of it falling here and there, I can see her sighing to herself. It is a trial. But I am having fun! There is fur falling off in piles!

I do not read the instructions, nor do I have any training in this sort of activity. That is obvious from what is occurring with the poor dog. A portion of a back leg is clipped, so the fur there is white. A centimeter away, the fur is not clipped, so it long and golden. Her ruff is the same. It is not my fault. She was sitting quietly for a couple of minutes so I experimented with the ruff. I have discovered that when my dog's excessive ruff is reduced, she looks fatter. Let this be a lesson to us all: want to look thinner? Get more hair around an already fat neck.

I have been told that when I have worked on my dog it is embarrassing for her as the other dogs will point and laugh, but I don't think this is true. I don't think dogs CARE what they look like, and I don't think other dogs are that interested in what other dogs look like as much as they're interested in what they smell like. And my dog smells good. Well, she smells like a dog, but she's fine with that.

After being "groomed" rather haphazardly for awhile, Honey develops a new trick. She stands and she gets right up next to me. Since I'm sitting on my crossed legs, she's as big as I am, and she stands as close to me as she can get. A solid immoveable object jammed up against me. Awwww, my dog loves me! Well, yes, of course she does, but that is not the point of this particular exercise. The point of this particular exercise is to make sure I can't use the clippers on her anymore. How can I when she's jammed up next to me? I try pushing her away, but she won't move. She acts as if she doesn't know what's going on. As if she's there just to be close to me, as if she doesn't know what I'm trying to do . . .

The dog is stubborn. I think she gets it from me.

When we finish, it's not because we're finished, not by any stretch of the imagination. The dog is a patchwork quilt of uneven fur, choppy in some places, long and silky in others. And it's not because, despite the title, I have managed to clip her tale in two. It is because the job, to do properly, would take eight hours straight and I don't have the energy, the stamina, or the will to do so. Frankly, we're not that interested in perfection. That's boring. We're after a unique look, and I think we've achieved that. There is no other dog that looks like this, not once I've finished with her.

She stands alone, a testament to amateurism and on-the-job training. It's the American way.

Monique Young writes humor for a living, when she isn't keeping books or doing taxes. Her dog, Honey, does nothing useful but is fun to watch. She (Monique, not Honey), can be reached at [email protected] (website currently under construction).


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sat. May / 08 / 2021

Facial recognition program to help find lost pets - El Paso Inc.
Facial recognition program to help find lost pets  El Paso Inc.

Here's why you should clean and replace your pet's toys - Journal Times
Here's why you should clean and replace your pet's toys  Journal Times

How at-home euthanasia can provide comfort to pets and owners - The Washington Post
How at-home euthanasia can provide comfort to pets and owners  The Washington Post

Pets meant to bring companionship during pandemic are being brought back to animal rescues - WRGB
Pets meant to bring companionship during pandemic are being brought back to animal rescues  WRGB

Pets of the week: Blue heeler mix puppies - wyomingnewsnow.tv
Pets of the week: Blue heeler mix puppies  wyomingnewsnow.tv

Pets of the Week: Max and Ruby - The Mercury News
Pets of the Week: Max and Ruby  The Mercury News

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Jet - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Jet - 47abc  WMDT

Humane society seeking drivers to help pets find homes out of state - WHNT News 19
Humane society seeking drivers to help pets find homes out of state  WHNT News 19

Conservation Department says not to dump pets after red-tailed boa found near Kirbyville - KSNF/KODE - FourStatesHomepage.com
Conservation Department says not to dump pets after red-tailed boa found near Kirbyville  KSNF/KODE - FourStatesHomepage.com

San Antonio Pets Alive! is overflowing with animals, administrators say; fosters and adopters needed - KSAT San Antonio
San Antonio Pets Alive! is overflowing with animals, administrators say; fosters and adopters needed  KSAT San Antonio

Critter Corner: Keep your pets safe from your stash - Inside NoVA
Critter Corner: Keep your pets safe from your stash  Inside NoVA

Pets available for adoption in King William - Daily Press
Pets available for adoption in King William  Daily Press

Many DC-Area Shelters See Drop in Pet Surrenders During Pandemic - NBC4 Washington
Many DC-Area Shelters See Drop in Pet Surrenders During Pandemic  NBC4 Washington

Robotic pets helping local seniors fight loneliness, anxiety - Joplin Globe
Robotic pets helping local seniors fight loneliness, anxiety  Joplin Globe

Pets in the Pandemic: How Going Online has Changed Animal Shelters for the Better – The Pacific Index - The Pacific Index
Pets in the Pandemic: How Going Online has Changed Animal Shelters for the Better – The Pacific Index  The Pacific Index

‘Melon seedlings make good pets’: how lockdown made us love houseplants - The Guardian
‘Melon seedlings make good pets’: how lockdown made us love houseplants  The Guardian

Don’t forget your pets in your family’s emergency preparedness plan - WJXT News4JAX
Don’t forget your pets in your family’s emergency preparedness plan  WJXT News4JAX

Pets may need time to adjust as more people spend time out of homes - News8000.com - WKBT
Pets may need time to adjust as more people spend time out of homes  News8000.com - WKBT

Eastern Area Agency on Aging gets donation to help pets - WABI
Eastern Area Agency on Aging gets donation to help pets  WABI

Pandemic Pet Boom Boosts Results for Animal Health Companies - Bloomberg
Pandemic Pet Boom Boosts Results for Animal Health Companies  Bloomberg

Pets in brief, May 6, 2021 | Paws | santafenewmexican.com - Santa Fe New Mexican
Pets in brief, May 6, 2021 | Paws | santafenewmexican.com  Santa Fe New Mexican

‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office - Digiday
‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office  Digiday

7th annual Hot Dog Run features prizes, costume contest for pets - NewsWest9.com
7th annual Hot Dog Run features prizes, costume contest for pets  NewsWest9.com

In Seattle, the pandemic separates pets from owners — but there's help - Crosscut
In Seattle, the pandemic separates pets from owners — but there's help  Crosscut

'Pet Stars' Fans Will Love These Pet Products for Influencers - Decider
'Pet Stars' Fans Will Love These Pet Products for Influencers  Decider

Tampa Bay area pets hoping to be adopted - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hoping to be adopted  Tampa Bay Times

Can pets get Covid-19? What dog and cat owners should know now - Inverse
Can pets get Covid-19? What dog and cat owners should know now  Inverse

Paws Abilities, a locally-owned pet store, now open on 41st Street - KELOLAND.com
Paws Abilities, a locally-owned pet store, now open on 41st Street  KELOLAND.com

Pets of the Week: Celebrate good times with Beefcake, Buddy and Sissy - Burlington County Times
Pets of the Week: Celebrate good times with Beefcake, Buddy and Sissy  Burlington County Times

Young-Williams Pet of the Week: Slash - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Pet of the Week: Slash  WATE 6 On Your Side

Pet of the Week: Lisa - KGET 17
Pet of the Week: Lisa  KGET 17

Pets of the Week - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week  Clarksville Now

Pets with Potential: Meet Polly Walnuts and her babies - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Polly Walnuts and her babies  WCAX

Smart Home Tech: What are the top smart devices for pets? - Inman
Smart Home Tech: What are the top smart devices for pets?  Inman

Pets of the Week: 4-4-21 – WBKB 11 - WBKB-TV
Pets of the Week: 4-4-21 – WBKB 11  WBKB-TV

More people are returning their ‘pandemic pet’ to shelters - WOWK 13 News
More people are returning their ‘pandemic pet’ to shelters  WOWK 13 News

With more pandemic pets, officials want you to leash up - WCAX
With more pandemic pets, officials want you to leash up  WCAX

Emmet County to consider rate increase on impounded animals - Petoskey News-Review
Emmet County to consider rate increase on impounded animals  Petoskey News-Review

Pet of the Week: PD - County 17
Pet of the Week: PD  County 17

Chesapeake Humane Society opening second location in closed pet hotel; offering crisis boarding program - WAVY.com
Chesapeake Humane Society opening second location in closed pet hotel; offering crisis boarding program  WAVY.com

Meet Luna and Shadow, NewsWest 9's Pets of the Week - NewsWest9.com
Meet Luna and Shadow, NewsWest 9's Pets of the Week  NewsWest9.com

China's netizens call for crackdown after "blind box" pet rescue - Reuters
China's netizens call for crackdown after "blind box" pet rescue  Reuters

My friend set up a GoFundMe to pay for her sick pet, instead of getting a refund on our vacation. I canceled the trip. Who’s right? - MarketWatch
My friend set up a GoFundMe to pay for her sick pet, instead of getting a refund on our vacation. I canceled the trip. Who’s right?  MarketWatch

Pet photos from USA TODAY readers to brighten your day - USA TODAY
Pet photos from USA TODAY readers to brighten your day  USA TODAY

The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms - Vogue
The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms  Vogue

Charleston Animal Society helping pets in a unique way - Live 5 News WCSC
Charleston Animal Society helping pets in a unique way  Live 5 News WCSC

Subaru Launches Pet Accessories Line | News | petproductnews.com - PetProductNews.com
Subaru Launches Pet Accessories Line | News | petproductnews.com  PetProductNews.com

SLT Event focuses on emergency evacuation of pets - KOLO
SLT Event focuses on emergency evacuation of pets  KOLO

Good Works: CBD meets CSR at Suzie's Pet Treats - Denver Business Journal - Denver Business Journal
Good Works: CBD meets CSR at Suzie's Pet Treats - Denver Business Journal  Denver Business Journal

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

Stolen pet dies shortly after return - WILX-TV
Stolen pet dies shortly after return  WILX-TV

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Mustang - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Mustang  KCBD

Destructive Pets with Bob Hamilton - WJXT News4JAX
Destructive Pets with Bob Hamilton  WJXT News4JAX

Adopt a Pet Cat or Dog This Mother's Day Weekend - Long Island Press
Adopt a Pet Cat or Dog This Mother's Day Weekend  Long Island Press

Bissell Pet Foundation hosts adoption event in West Michigan - Fox17
Bissell Pet Foundation hosts adoption event in West Michigan  Fox17

Wondering Why Your Cats Always Lie on Your Clothes? 2 Veterinarians Explain - POPSUGAR
Wondering Why Your Cats Always Lie on Your Clothes? 2 Veterinarians Explain  POPSUGAR

10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents - PEOPLE
10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents  PEOPLE

Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week - WLNS
Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week  WLNS

Man allegedly killing pets has St. Louis neighborhood up in arms - CBS News
Man allegedly killing pets has St. Louis neighborhood up in arms  CBS News

The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work - CNN
The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work  CNN

PAWS Pet Of The Week: Leonard - CBS Chicago
PAWS Pet Of The Week: Leonard  CBS Chicago

Pet Talk with Dr. Scott Blanton - ConchoValleyHomepage.com
Pet Talk with Dr. Scott Blanton  ConchoValleyHomepage.com

Biotech big shots join Bond Pet Foods team - Pet Food Processing
Biotech big shots join Bond Pet Foods team  Pet Food Processing

Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing - WLNS
Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing  WLNS

Humane society Pet of the Week: Bree - Tahoe Daily Tribune
Humane society Pet of the Week: Bree  Tahoe Daily Tribune

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

Pet Of The Week: Kittens - News On 6
Pet Of The Week: Kittens  News On 6

Pet of the Week: Nacho - WITN
Pet of the Week: Nacho  WITN

Pet Adoption Event Planned At South Bay Ralphs Locations - Patch.com
Pet Adoption Event Planned At South Bay Ralphs Locations  Patch.com

Stanwood pet food business charged with animal cruelty - goskagit.com
Stanwood pet food business charged with animal cruelty  goskagit.com

Vote 4 the Best: Pets - Voting - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Vote 4 the Best: Pets - Voting  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2  Summit Daily News

Petco Love launches facial recognition technology to help reunite lost pets with owners - KFOX El Paso
Petco Love launches facial recognition technology to help reunite lost pets with owners  KFOX El Paso

Global Pet Care E-commerce Market Report 2021: Market is - GlobeNewswire
Global Pet Care E-commerce Market Report 2021: Market is  GlobeNewswire

Ask the Vet | Microchips in pets don't work like a GPS tracking device - The Columbus Dispatch
Ask the Vet | Microchips in pets don't work like a GPS tracking device  The Columbus Dispatch

The Eastsider Pet Care Guide | Eastsider on the Go - The Eastsider LA
The Eastsider Pet Care Guide | Eastsider on the Go  The Eastsider LA

The Pet Stop: Hope is still looking for a home - KLFY
The Pet Stop: Hope is still looking for a home  KLFY

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21)  ABC15 Arizona

EU and US defense leaders pounce on new pet project: military mobility - DefenseNews.com
EU and US defense leaders pounce on new pet project: military mobility  DefenseNews.com

10 Eco-Friendly Pet Products to Help You Celebrate Earth Day with Your Cat or Dog - PEOPLE
10 Eco-Friendly Pet Products to Help You Celebrate Earth Day with Your Cat or Dog  PEOPLE

Pet stocks beat S&P500 by 48% in 2020; Freshpet up 127% - PetfoodIndustry.com
Pet stocks beat S&P500 by 48% in 2020; Freshpet up 127%  PetfoodIndustry.com

Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes  Tampa Bay Times

U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress - Reuters
U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress  Reuters

Pet of the Week - Bongo - WTVA
Pet of the Week - Bongo  WTVA

5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police - ABC News
5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police  ABC News

Megan Thee Stallion's Hosting A Show About Celebrity Pet Owners, And I Have To See This - BuzzFeed
Megan Thee Stallion's Hosting A Show About Celebrity Pet Owners, And I Have To See This  BuzzFeed

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

Dog stolen in Arlington Heights pet store burglary - WGN TV Chicago
Dog stolen in Arlington Heights pet store burglary  WGN TV Chicago

Veterinarians, rescuers warning pet owners about new strain of potentially deadly parvovirus - WXIX
Veterinarians, rescuers warning pet owners about new strain of potentially deadly parvovirus  WXIX

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Meet this week’s Perfect Pet: Tootsie - WSAV-TV
Meet this week’s Perfect Pet: Tootsie  WSAV-TV

Pet of the Week: Meet Ivonne! - WKOW
Pet of the Week: Meet Ivonne!  WKOW

Purina Presents: Meet Mack Daddy in Pet of the Week - KNWA
Purina Presents: Meet Mack Daddy in Pet of the Week  KNWA

Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds  PEOPLE

Your pets can catch coronavirus, but don't spread it - Spectrum News 1
Your pets can catch coronavirus, but don't spread it  Spectrum News 1

SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets - American Veterinary Medical Association
SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets  American Veterinary Medical Association

German 'dead fraudster' exposed by pet poodle in Majorca - BBC News
German 'dead fraudster' exposed by pet poodle in Majorca  BBC News

Tri-County Animal Shelter Pets of the Week (copy) - The Daily Advance
Tri-County Animal Shelter Pets of the Week (copy)  The Daily Advance

Buddy Ryan Is Scotch Plains-Fanwoods Pet Of The Week - Patch.com
Buddy Ryan Is Scotch Plains-Fanwoods Pet Of The Week  Patch.com

More big-money pet projects from US lawmakers revealed: Restroom renovations, tree-planting and more - Fox News
More big-money pet projects from US lawmakers revealed: Restroom renovations, tree-planting and more  Fox News

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