Eight months ago-ish, you told me that before summertime your dog (AKA “my son”) had to be stripped. And did that thing where I nod my head with conviction but actually have no concept of what you are referring to. Simultaneous to this facade of comprehension I was wondering, how much apparel is this animal usually layered in if removing his clothes is an annual summertime ceremony? But I later learned that Carrin terriers have special fur/hair that requires extraordinary grooming habits: ei, having the dead hair plucked like a giant wriggling eyebrow (I was going to say undead chicken, but that seemed morbid or disrespectful somehow; a fowl play of sorts).
A few weeks ago, I got to witness this strange process firsthand. We sat crossed legged on the planks of your back porch and you handed me a plate of hot dog slivers, apologizing that I had to endure the duration of doggie makeover. Genuinely glad to help, I shooed away your apologies along with the May flies that were looking for a landing deck on my sun-bathing forearms. And I watched you gather up tendrils of hair and wince a little with the first few pulls. It’s not painful for him, your words said with an explanatory tone and I realized I had creased my forehead over with a rippling worry that came from watching the fluff ball squirm. You so gently reminded him repeatedly that this would make everything better: wearing a light coat is much better in the heat of July than walking around covered by a Persian rug.
And besides the oddness of this process, this is what I marveled at: you could have easily shaved his fur off, in thick rows of clearance of shagginess. It would have probably taken less than an hour. But you know that this plucking process is healthier for him, and so you sit there patiently, for countless hours and days and days, and patiently pluck out the fur that has expired its usefulness. You wrestle with his constant wriggling, avoid belligerent snaps at your flesh, and battle pins and needs and sore tailbones. But you endure all of this to help your boy. And there’s something so incredibly endearing to me about that, I just had to write it down.
Thinking on it further you do the same for me; when all my worries have sprouted with choking thickness in my throat and claustrophobia along my skin, you could rev up your mouth like an electric razor and tell me “stop worrying”, and maybe buzz off the tips of my fears. It would be quick and painless. But it would still leave the roots waiting in the wings to re-sprout. But instead you show this incredible patience in earnestly listening and carefully smoothing out my concerns, pulling each one gently from its in my heart, or helping my hands to do so with augmented strength.
I think that if your dog could know what you’re doing for him, he would want to lap his tongue over your face until it was covered with the soggiest skin; but he has yet to master the art of verbal expression (clicker training might change that). However, I do realize the significance of your careful caring and even though I don’t have the words to encompass the depth of this feeling, I can’t tell you how much I love you for that.