For those of you who don't know, I am a professional dog groomer. Really, I even have the degree from the grooming academy to prove it. Oh, the tales I could tell. I have chosen not to pursue it on a daily basis, but it's a talent I whip out from time to time to help out the neighbor's dog and, once a year, on Sophie.
Sophie is TJ's aunt's dog. She is a Golden Retriever/Malamute mix that might also have some Great Pyrenees in her. Basically, she's a polar bear masquerading as a dog. Her hair is close to a foot long in some areas and her undercoat is impermeable. It's like this solid layer of the densest material known to man. When shaving her, it tends to come off in large sheets, like wool, and that's only after I have dug and dug and dug down to the skin. I do this every year and every year I'm equally amazed at HOW MUCH HAIR this dog has. It's a marathon event, usually lasting about 2 hours but sometimes more than 3 hours. When I'm done, I can feel my hand vibrating with phantom clippers for about an hour. I have 3 blades of the same length and I have to rotate through them over and over because they get so hot. I keep waiting for my clippers to look at Sophie and throw up a white flag in surrender, but they keep plugging on.
Luckily, Sophie goes into some sort of strange paralysis whenever she's getting shaved and literally doesn't move from the moment I begin until the moment I giver her a signature poof on the end of her tail and clap my hands in front of her face to tell her that I'm done and that she can come out of her traumatic trance. If she was a fighter, this would be an impossible task.
And the truth is, she loves it. Not the shaving process, but the getting rid of pounds (literally--pounds!) of hair and being free of all her ticks and ridding herself of that that hot, hot coat for the summer.
BEFORE (Behold, the Arctic beast):
DURING (TJ holds her on the table as she is likely to roll right off):
AFTER (Do you recognize her???)
THE AFTERMATH (and this is after a lot of it has blown away!):