This morning Larra sweetly came to me, and, with her weight on one leg and swaying back-and-forth like a little girl, she asked if I’d help her take the Chars – Charlie and Charlotte – to the groomers.
When I teased her about her body language, Larra claimed she didn’t even realize she was doing it. I was soon to learn how big a favor this would be.
I thought it would be like it was with my dog, Lulu Belle. I’d say, “Ride in the car,” and she jumped in. She’d stay there until I said, “Out.” No problem. Easy-peasy.
Bear in mind that Charlie is almost blind, so he doesn’t like climbing into and out of the car. He weighs 80 lbs.
Charlotte, Michelle’s dog, has bad hips and doesn’t like going up or down stairs, or any form of climbing. If you try to pick her up, it hurts her hips and she nips at you.
So getting them both to the groomer’s entailed… Gosh, what it entailed.
First Larra pulled the car out of the garage and parked it in front of the house, so the dogs only had to climb from the curb to the back seat. We then leashed both of them, brought them out of the back of the house to minimize stair steps, and walked them down the alley, around the block, and to the car.
We loaded Charlie first. After balking at climbing into the car, even when Larra offered him his ball from the other door, I picked him up and set him in. He grabbed his ball, content to chew on it.
Now for Charlotte. If I try to pick her up as I did Charlie, she nips me. So I don’t touch her. Larra tried to order Char into the car, while I offered treats from the driver’s seat – treats that Charlie kept trying to get. After several fruitless minutes of this farce, Larra finally grabbed Charlotte’s front end, and boosted the front half of her body into the car. A couple of taps on her rear end, and she finally crawled up in there, half lying on Charlie.
Now I understood why we left 45 minutes early to make a ten-minute drive.
On the short drive to the groomer’s, when Parnelli Jones, I mean Larra Jones, slapped on the brakes, Charlotte fell down to the floor of the back seat. Finally, after the third slip, Char decided to stay there, with her head poking between us and panting her fishy doggy breath into our faces.
It was the longest ten-minute drive I’ve ever been on.
Once at the groomer’s I took Charlie’s leash, and Larra took Charlotte’s. I ordered, I begged, I pleaded, but Charlie wouldn’t budge from the car. Finally Larra reached in and gave him a push on the butt, and he jumped down lightly, like it was no big deal. Harumph!
Larra literally dragged Charlotte out of the car. “Well, that’s one form of discipline,” I smiled to myself.
Ah, we’re there! The girls at the groomer’s came out and took the Chars to the back, where they went eagerly, knowing they got lots of love and attention here. “If the dogs are so happy to be here, why all the drama?” I wondered.
Anyhow, we’re free!
Larra and I ran some errands, and before I knew it 90 minutes had passed and it was time to pick up the kids. I pointed out to Larra that the groomer is open until 5 pm, and since it wasn’t even noon yet, we could have a peaceful day together if we let the groomers dog sit.
Larra said she wouldn’t do that to the girls – that they were too nice. I offered to tip them generously, but Larra was adamant.
When we got back to the groomers the Chars were super-excited to see us. Especially Charlotte. After Charlotte wrapped her leash around my legs as fast as I could unwind her, I handed her leash to Larra and took Charlie’s, who just wanted hugs and petting. By the time Larra had finished paying, Charlotte’s leash was wound around Larra’s legs so tight that Larra was teetering, and I had to catch her before she fell.
Now, back out to the car, and this time there was no curb to make it easier for the dogs to climb in.
I didn’t mess around. I gave Charlie one chance to do it on his own, then lifted him into the car. He looked at me like, “WFT?” but he stayed put.
Charlotte was a different story. We ordered, we coaxed, we begged, we bribed, but to no avail. All this while Charlie kept trying to get out of the car – he wanted to go back inside for more treats and love.
Finally Nicole (pictured) took pity on us and came out to help. She and Larra lifted Charlotte into the car without getting nipped. Apparently Charlotte only nips men.
Ah, but we’re not done yet! When we got back to Larra’s she parked in the street again, I leashed Charlie, and he jumped out eagerly. “Huh? What’s that all about?” I wondered.
When Charlotte stood up we saw that she was lying on a big pile of dog shit. Hers. Something she does when she’s upset.
Well, Larra about freaked. Charlotte’s fresh-groomed fur was covered with dog shit, her leash was covered with shit, the back seat of the car was covered with shit, Charlie had shit on his paws, and Larra had shit on her hands.
“Just leave it,” I said, “I’ll take care of it. Let’s get the dogs home and we’ll clean them up in the back yard. I’ll take care of everything. Well, except Charlotte.”
We got bucket, rag and garden hose, and went at them. Charlie was easy enough to clean, he seemed happy that I was getting the shit off his paws.
But Charlotte wanted nothing to do with the wet rag, not to mention the garden hose. I ended up holding her down on the grass while Larra went at her with soapy rag. After ten hours of whining and whimpering (probably ten minutes), Larra told me it was OK to let Charlotte up. Charlotte immediately stopped whining, and I stopped whimpering.
The dogs trotted into the house and went to their beds, just like they do after any enjoyable outing. I love how they can act like nothing unusual happened.
Larra, however, was a nervous wreck, covered with soap, water and shit. I suggested she go into the house, shower and change, and I’d take care of cleaning up everything else.
Imagine my surprise when she agreed, and went into the house without making sure that I knew where the rags were, where the bucket went when I was done, and generally making sure I knew exactly how it was supposed to be done. No micromanagement! A Larra first!
In the heat of the moment, while we were wrestling with Charlotte, I might have said something about flying home to Maui the next time I learned that either one of the dogs had a vet or groomer appointment. Was I serious? Don’t test me!
It took a couple of hours, but I cleaned up the yard, the car, and the rest of the mess. Now if we can keep the car windows down for a few weeks, it’ll be as if it never happened.
Oh! Wait a minute! This is the car we’re taking on our trip!
Maykeyda’s Pet Grooming: https://www.facebook.com/Markeydas-Pet-Grooming-272568076170618/