Stash got his first big-boy haircut on Wednesday. His long curls were starting to mat; they picked up hayseeds and even less desirable detritus at barn chores. Most of all I worried about taking a baby in a heavy black wool coat outside in the summer heat.
I have always planned for him to be trimmed short — to look like a dog, not topiary, like so many poodles — so I took a print-out of a photo with me to the groomer. She peered at it closely; the quality of the print was poor. “Short all over? Poodle head or round head?”
I had no idea what these terms meant. “What is a round head?”
“Like a Bichon.”
I struggled to think what a Bichon Frise looked like — and, in particular, its head. No idea. I obviously wasn’t going to ask what “poodle head” meant. I said helplessly, “I just want him to look like a normal dog with short hair.”
“Oh, can’t we keep his ears long? He’s just a puppy.”
I felt as if I had been contemplating a poodle crime. I agreed to the ears.
When I picked up Stash two hours later, I was appalled. My cute puppy had been transformed into a rat wearing a frazzled wig.
[I apologize for the terrible photos; my camera is dying: no flash, iffy focus, mold in the lens … a $35 replacement is on its way from Ebay.]
I kept wondering what it was that he reminded me of. I finally realized… a top-hat chicken!
My heart has recovered from the shock. I am going to trim the long scraggly ears. I will find a better photo to use as a guide before his next grooming.
In the meantime, Stash is happy not to be too hot.