This is Mol last week. Her paws had started looking like one of those fancy chickens with feathers that grow over its feet.
This is what she looks like now.
She is the dog for me; her combination of melancholy and merriment is spot-on. In photos however, especially after a haircut, she usually just looks melancholy.
She, and the young woman groomer, were marvellous. No muzzle, no trembling, little restraint. I was astonished that she allowed her to run the clippers all over her face and whiskers without a snap or a murmur, and even to scissor round her eyes and eyebrows, so now we can look straight into her open face, which is lovely. Then the girl just perched on the table chatting and passed the clippers all over her back and sides as if she were just stroking her. The only complaint was when it came to trimming her front paws, which are always a no-go area. The groomer shrugged and said simply 'Elle est comédienne' - a drama queen. But she persevered and got the clippers and scissors right between her toes and pads (coussinets!) to get out the knots and other winter dirt and debris. Now I'm sure she's running more smoothly and comfortably for having unencumbered feet and legs. We had a wonderful walk at the watermill to reward and celebrate.
I can't believe I spent so long battling to keep her coat under control myself, when there's a professional who can do it so painlessly. I know it looks a bit severe, and shearing them like sheep isn't what you're supposed to do with cockers, but it's clean and cool and comfortable. And for half an hour's work, in a spotless premises with two other girls working with her, she charges the princely sum of 15 euros, though I always give her 20 and she puts the extra 5 in a tips pot on the counter 'for the girls'. How she makes any money I don't know. Though the preciously coiffed bichon frisés, poodles, shih tzus, yorkies and the like, all going in for shampoos, sets and blow-dries, who look serenely down their retroussé little noses at my agitated ragamuffin, probably bring in a bit more cash.
But it's a tiring business, all the same.