What does it take to have a clean border collie?

Even the local deer stopped to stare as Stewart walked by!

Even the local deer stopped to stare as Stewart walked by!

A good dog is a clean dog.

A good dog is a clean dog.

For those of you who do not live in the Chicago area, you might not understand why this is a big deal. Stewart is the first dog we have that actually needs to visit the dog salon for a wash and a brush. We are actually not able to meet his fur needs ourselves despite the almost dozen pieces of equipment that we have to keep his fur from being matted and dreadlocked. We have tried, Mike can actually pretty much keep up with it but I have given up. Each time I have tried, I end up with fur all over me, fur all over everything else, and a less than happy dog, as I do my best to keep him comfortable but don’t achieve that goal.

His fur, strangely enough, does not end up all over the house the way one might expect. What seems to shed is his undercoat, which has the consistency of a lamb’s wool. Seriously, we ought to card it and spin it on a spinning wheel and create family heirloom sweaters. Once in a while you might find a small clump of it somewhere in the house, but overall, the only mess he creates is what drops out of his furball exterior.

He loves dirt, loves to roll in the grass, and ends up with bits of twigs and leaves and mulch. The other day he was swimming in the lake and continued to drop sand for days.

The reason that this spa-needy canine had not had a visit to the ladies who all ooh and ahh all over him when they treat his fur is the canine flu which made us afraid to take him to the local Pet Store salon. Yesterday, it had gone too far so we took him in, assured by the Pet Store that they had seen no cases of the flu. What should have been a couple of hours (they always say that it will be about two hours) was actually four hours. He went in at 1:00 PM and came out somewhere around 5:00! The poor guy (although they go crazy over him for his masculine border collie beauty) was tired from a long day.

When I walked in to pick him up, I asked the cashier if she had his bill (which has to be paid for and then given to the salon people). She said, “Wait, are you the owner of that border collie?” I replied that I was and she immediately told me how she had called her boyfriend when she saw Stewart because he loves border collies and they all went crazy. Usually I get to hear stories of everyone who comes to see him as they go through the paces of making him look presentable again, it is absolutely hysterical.

Stewart got a lot of stares this morning as we took our post-downpour walk and I am doing my darnedest to keep him clean as we are having a birthday lunch, brunch, early dinner, today. Given the moisture out of doors, I can see mud creeping onto those pristine white paws.


About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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