Sunday, 9 December 2012

Nico's First Haircut

before the cut, and hardly able to see.

Growing up, I have been around a decent number of babies. I myself have three brothers that are a lot younger than me and remember their toothless drooling stages well. Parents often get emotional over their child’s first haircut with some even keeping a lock of the baby’s hair and growing up I found it to be utterly ridiculous. People would talk of what a big moment it was in the child’s life and how something was different afterwards and I scoffed inside because the baby would still drool and try to shove a crayon in its mouth when it got home. It is just a haircut right? People get them all the time and it is not like the child is only ever going to get one so in my eyes there was nothing to get worked up or fussed about.

Then Nico needed clipped.

Suddenly I got it parents of the world, I just got it.

I booked him for his first grooming session when he was 18 weeks old and found myself getting steadily more nervous about the whole thing. Part of it I put down to my General Anxiety Disorder and the way everything gets me wound up but there was something more to it, something that just felt like it would have been there regardless.  There were the normal things to get anxious about, of course, like how would he be in the groomer’s bath considering his escape attempts at home and would he sit still long enough to get clipped?  I knew the woman would know what she was doing but still I worried he was going to move at the wrong moment and get a chunk taken out of him. Nico is just as unpredictable as a human child in that way.

Then, there was the fact that he would look different. He would be moving on to another stage in his floppy eared life and not be a right baby any more. He gets more independent and bigger every day and while it is amazing to see, there is also a feeling of loss in there too. I gain a wonderful personality a little more each day but at the same time his ‘puppyhood’ gets chipped away. This was going to be a rather large chip I slowly realised.  I’m still pretty sure that the sharpness of his claws and the fact that he was half blinded by his own coat was what made me stick to my guns.

When he was younger I was all for letting Nico’s coat grow out so he would look like the stereotypical Lhasa Apso dog you see on the front cover of books, but I decided against that as soon as he was getting outside. Nico is fond of rolling around in grass, and brushing him after that with a short coat was hard enough work as it was. Then came the fact that he would get his claws stuck in his coat very easily despite the brush going through his coat with no problem at all. Apart from the fact that it is easier on me if his coat is at a shorter length, Nico seemed to be getting genuinely irritated with his coat as it grew longer and since his clipping has seemed more content. He can see, which is a bonus.  The getting his foot stuck to his own head two minutes after a brush did play a part in my decision though. It is very easy for people to say ‘if his coat was brushed properly that wouldn’t happen’ but he is a puppy. He likes to roll around like a fool as I said and that doesn’t bode well for his perfectly brushed locks.

His nails needed clipped and I confess getting the groomer to do that is because of a lack of confidence on my part. I have the clippers required but when I try I just can’t tell if I am hurting him or not and while I can afford to get his nails done with his trim I don’t want to risk it. We walked along and it started raining halfway along but hey, he was getting a bath so I didn’t feel too bad about presenting a drip to the woman. He was a happy drip.

I was able to see everything that would be used and proceedings were explained before the choice came as to whether to stay with the wee man or leave. Nico was perfectly content to wander around the room sniffing things and didn’t seem all that aware of my presence now he had new things to explore. He had the previous week gotten a hold of my glasses and chewed them, putting some scratches on the lenses. (We had words about who they belong to after that and since they have been safe) I decided to leave Nico in capable hands and see about getting some new windows as it were. If he was going to squeal the whole time, I wasn’t sure I could handle hearing it and I admit I took the cowardly route out and toddled off down the road. However, I was assured this was a good thing and must once again bring in the dog to toddler comparison. If was there, Nico might have tried to get back to me at the waiting area and been constantly aware of what I was doing or how I felt about things and he would probably be nervous enough about the giant buzzing clippers coming towards him without me feeling just as, if not more, scared in the corner. So off I went.

right after. totally different dog!

I returned to find an adorable puppy sitting on the woman’s lap at the computer some hour and 15 minutes later and did a double take. He looked nothing like the dog I had deposited there just over an hour before! As you can see from the pictures, he is far lighter now. I adore being able to see his eyes and it was a rather emotional moment to see him hop down and come running all bright eyed. He just felt so soft and I guess I felt a deep sense of relief that no meteor had hit earth because of my choice or something. I was assured the groomer would do what Nico allowed her to and not force him and cause him distress and gave herself 2 hours to work, thinking she wouldn’t need it. She was right and Nico was a star that behaved perfectly. I must add, it was wonderful to get his bum hair cut. People don’t like talking about it but little dogs with big coats can get poop stuck to their bums and cleaning that up is about as much fun as changing a nappy.

I just kept looking at him for most of the remainder of the day. As a reward for good behaviour I got him a bone and that meant he just sat at my feet for most of the afternoon while I fawned and stared. They don’t warn you about going all soft at your pup’s first haircut that is for sure. It was a very emotional experience in many ways and yes I admit to being sappy over it all. He’s just so damn cute though, I can’t help it!

Sam and Nico