Written 9/14/16

You know how those artists who carve weathered faces from pieces of wood say that they have to “find” the character in the wood?  I’m paying the penalty for 7 weeks of not trimming – bathing and combing, but not doing most of the trimming.  My more familiar big girl is somewhere under mounds of coat that could only rival a llama.  There have been a couple of times when I got behind in trimming, but this is longer than before and she is growing “spayed bitch coat” at an unnerving rate.

I have had to approach it much like a lawn in early summer that hasn’t been mowed for two weeks:  a little at a time, and in layers.  I started on her ears, first one ear, then another.  Part of this step-wise approach is related to my temporary limits with combing.  I can’t do too much at once still.  On Sunday, I started taking down the hair on her belly, using curved shears to take off the outer mass and being careful to leave a wide margin from skin.  She has so much coat that using curved shears doesn’t leave cut marks after using the comb.  Oh my!

She had a vet appointment last week, in between ear trimmings.  The vet must have been a little amused, but she didn’t show it.  I’ve been trimming toes and ears, but it seems like the closer she is to shedding, the faster it grows!  Her head between trimmings can look about 15” wide, especially when it is fluffed after a bath.  Now imagine that one side is trimmed.

I took a little off the front of her neck and have a lot more left to trim.  At this rate, she may shed before I finish, or worse, after the upcoming trips in the next two weeks, I’ll have to start over again!

The satisfying part of all this coat/grooming drama with Jade is that once you’ve uncovered the masterpiece, it is reassuring.  In the end, it’s still enjoyable – like the little girl trimming her sister’s hair with school scissors, only with good tools and enough skills now to do a decent job.  ; )

It is now very clear why people are sometimes stopped for “walking a bear on a leash”.  As funny as it sounds, it has happened, along with “bear” sightings posted throughout an area.  Seeing Jade walk from the rear, I realized how easy it was to genuinely make that mistake.  Many Newfs have tails like Banner, where it is up in the air – not gay, just as a “banner”.  Some carry their tails down when they walk, especially as they mature, so from the rear when they are in full coat, it is an easy visual mistake.  My first acquaintance with a Newfoundland was in the 70s, after watching from behind as a lady in the area was walking her “bears” on a leash, calmly sauntering to and fro with each step, as the movement of a bear casually walking across a field.

Hopefully my “bear” will look more like a Newfoundland again by the end of the week.

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  1. Pingback: Basic Coat Care for a NewfoundlandThe BigFoot Club

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