Clipping better left to professionals

One of my daughters has a toy poodle named Rudy (short for Rudoph Valentino Price, since he’s a little lover.) He’s a really fun little guy who is exceptionally smart. The only problem is his curly poodle hair grows really fast. A groomer lady informed me that he should be clipped at least every eight weeks.

It got expensive. So I “put the pencil to it” as country folks like to say. I figured out I could buy a set of small, poodle-size clippers for the amount I’d spend on three (maybe four) trips to the groomer. After that it wouldn’t cost anything beyond having the clipper blades sharpened now and then. As far as I could tell it wasn’t much different from sheep shearing.

So I bought the clippers.

The blocking table we use for lambs and goats didn’t work — he was too little — so I put him on an 8’ X 12’ table and got myself a folding chair to set beside the table. Nothing to it, I thought.

Wrong.

Rudy didn’t want me touching his face, or feet, or any other part of his body. I tried talking to him in a calm, reassuring voice, promising this would be a good deal that would make him handsome.

He didn’t care.

When you’re dealing with an animal, if it becomes a contest of wills you have to win. Otherwise you might as well go back to bed. I was thinking that’s what I’d like to do — go back to bed.

I brushed his pretty long ears and trimmed them with scissors. He didn’t mind that at all, so I moved on to his tail, and that worked well, also. So then I had a long-haired poodle with snazzy ears and a puffy, pretty tail.

Finally, I just held his head while the clippers cruised down the top of his back. When I got about halfway he jumped, leaving a deep dip in the hair along the middle and longer hair the rest of the way. By then I had been out of patience for quite some time. I held his head and ran the clippers over his back and down each side.

When I let him go I noticed some sections clipped down to the skin and other sections really long.

Ugly.

I decided to treat him like a show lamb for the fair and slick-shear him. Actually, it wasn’t too bad. When I got his body sheared I could set him up like a lamb and he even “braced” for me. Whoo-hoo! Too bad they don’t have a Poodle Class at the fair.

I backed away and looked him over again. His legs were a problem — the hair on them really long. Also, he grows hair in his feet and in his ears — imagine that.

By then my daughter showed up. Surprisingly — she did not brag on my work. I talked her into holding him while I sheared his legs and underbelly.

Maybe after eight weeks I’ll have something figured out. Luckily, Rudy’s hair grows fast.