Just browsing through the archives of “Jerrychicken – The Diary” brought up this post from July 2006…
5am this morning and a thunderstorm was passing overhead. The rain started first, it was heavy rain, and then it got heavier, sleeping with the windows open for the last week or so it sounded really, really heavy rain and it woke us up.
And then we heard the tiptoe of paws coming upstairs, the rain was so heavy that it had frightened Jake into breaking the upstairs rule for the first time in his life.
And then the thunder rolled across the valley from the airport and we heard a scurry of claws on the wooden floor of Jodies bedroom, presumably as he tried to get under the bed.
Suzanne shouted at him to get down stairs and like the obedient dog that his breeding makes him he went, despite being obviously terrified, she is a cruel woman is my wife.
I got up shortly afterwards because I could hear him pacing about downstairs and panting in panic.
So I’ve had to sit with him holding his paw since 5.30am this morning and even after the thunder went away he wasn’t convinced, I’m a soft sod me, none of the females in the house have even woken up yet and here I am holding a dogs paw telling him not to be afraid of some weather.
I feel like Judy Garland sitting with the cowardly lion.
Thats my dog that is, thats Jake the Golden Retriever, 12 years of age now and starting to get a little slow in the hips when he stands up (Glucosamine is the cure) and he’s definitely more than a little deaf now, except where food is concerned of course, and all through this summer he has suffered from an allergy to something resulting in him sneezing dog-snot everywhere, its easing off now though, he’s a very allergic dog, always has been.
He’s one of those Golden Retrievers with a very thick and very long and shaggy coat, came from a working gun dog family, was bred by a gamekeeper on a private estate somewhere up in the dales, I can only assume that the long and thick coat is necessary in a dog that works outdoors all of its life, which doesn’t explain why Jake needs such a big heavy fur coat when less than ten minutes a day in each day of his life are spent out of doors.
And so on Monday and with nothing else to do of the evening Amanda and I sat staring at him lying on the floor, snoring.
“Go fetch his brush and some scissors will you” I asked of her, and she did, and we began to groom him and like a big wuss he just lay there and let us get on with it.
We now have a dog with a coat so short that he could probably join the Marines and not need to go to the barbers.
With the wire brush I stripped bagfulls of coat and fluffy under-coat off his back and cheered on by me Amanda cut all of the excess hair from the back of his legs and his chest – Golden Retrievers are supposed to have impressive flowing locks down the back of their legs and on their chest, Jakes was more than impressive, it was immense – now it is no more.
And then she started on his tail.
His tail was thick, long and flowing, you held it up and it still trailed on the ground, now it is properly thinned out but unfortunately and with Amanda not being a trained dog groomer she felt for the end of his tail bone and then just chopped off the hair that protruded beyond it, square-cut, not tapered or anything.
It looks totally stupid now, a dog with a still quite thick bushy tail that just ends as though he’s trapped it in a door, we tried to taper it to make it look as normal as possible but there was little left to play with – so now he just looks stupid.
Still, we all have a good laugh when he walks in the room.