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Good Grooming

Stinkin' dog is too cute for her own good

As you can see, our dog Ruby is one furry beast. She’s got super-fuzzy ears, a fine ruff of fur around her neck and shoulders, shaggy haunches, and an impressive plume of a tail. While she doesn’t exactly have what you call a double coat, she does have what I call a coat-and-a-half. She has got (or perhaps I should say had) a generous, cottony undercoat which she has been enthusiastically shedding out for the past two weeks. The undercoat is thickest where her fur is thickest – the ruff and haunches. Her midsection and legs don’t require that much work, but her neck and back legs shed out prodigious amounts of fluff.

The results of a fairly short session of brushing
These tumbleweeds were rustled up in about 3 minutes of brushing, if that. A typical grooming session yields at least twice that amount of loose fur. It sometimes amazes me that the dog is not entirely naked yet.

She is pretty significantly de-fluffed, though, compared to the first picture on this page. A friend of mine who hadn’t seen Ruby very recently thought that the dog had lost weight. Nope, just a lot of fluff. I’m going to have to try to get a contrast picture in a similar pose from one of the pictures I took of her during the winter to really show the difference. While she will be shaggy regardless of the season, she’s definitely looking much less fluffy these days.

Also, now that she’s grown up, she looks a lot less Australian Shepherdy. People still frequently guess Collie ancestry on account of her markings and coloration, but her head is a lot rounder than Collies’ heads are, and she’s fairly small (around 40lb).

I gave Ruby a bath today because she was smelling uncommonly terrible. Once again, we let bath day slide about a week and a half beyond when it was due. Today, I got home from running some errands, and the dog bustled up to me, wagging and bouncing, and her stink about bowled me over. Bath Day could be postponed no further.

Bagheera is one of the reasons that Ruby needed a bath!

The last time I bathed her singlehandedly, it was a dramatic and messy experience that left both of us chastened. This time, however, it went really smoothly. I don’t know if Ruby is becoming more amenable to baths (she certainly doesn’t enjoy it, but she was a lot less hysterical about the process this time) or if I’m just getting better at bathing her, but we didn’t swamp the bathroom, nobody got hurt, and I didn’t have to go all WWE on the dog. I sat on the rim of the tub with my left leg in the water and used my knee as a barricade to keep her from trying to escape. It worked very well so I considered it a fair trade off, although I completely soaked the left let of my pants from the hem to just above the knee. The dog isn’t stinking me out of the house now, and that’s the main thing that matters.

2 Responses to “Good Grooming”

  1. Corinna says:

    The best tool for Aussies is called a Coat King. It’s a deshedding brush. The best ones are not actually the Coat King brand, but rather the Oster brand of comparable tools. You can probably order one from the Oster website or you can borrow mine to see if you like it. They’re about $20. Furminator tools also work well on Aussies but the Coat King is better and cheaper.

  2. styro says:

    You should email me your address: I have a Furminator from when we had Rufus, and it is sort of magic on fluffy-ass dogs. It was pricey, even though I bought it on ebay about half-off, and I hate that it is just sitting in the closet. Holla at me, girl. Yes!

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