For those of you who regularly read my blog, you know I am pretty particular when it comes to taking care of my sweet little Jellybean. As a Shichon, her coat is rather complicated. She has a very thick undercoat and a silky top coat. It makes for some great petting. When we are out on our therapy visits or promoting our children’s books, Jellybean is quite often complimented on her soft, thick coat. It has been said she “feels like a cotton ball”, “is like a pillow”, “is squishy” and one of my favorites, “she feels like a marshmallow.”
Well, let me tell you, that cotton bally, squishy, marshmallowy coat doesn’t get that way by itself. I am very deliberate in her daily grooming, which includes coat, teeth, eyes and feet. I brush her AT LEAST once a day, making sure there are no tangles in that dense coat of hers. I also pay attention to eyes, ears, teeth and feet daily, but today’s blog is about her coat so we will stay focused there. Jellybean sees her groomer, Miss Angie, once a month. Every four weeks Jellybean is treated to the spa package; a trim, bath, extra conditioning, nail trim, ear exam/trim and tooth brushing. Well, that is until the Corona Virus hit and everything was shut down. She is now four weeks overdue for her grooming appointment. Oh my goodness. Talk about a bad hair day. She surely does look like the infamous shaggy dog. I am now brushing her three times a day just to keep the tangles at bay. Let’s not even talk about the nails. That is surely a story for another day.
The other day, I looked at Jellybean romping across the floor with her favorite hedgehog toy, and I thought to myself, “She kind of reminds me of a Chia Pet.” Just how do you care for a Chia Pet, a real live, four-legged Chia Pet? Let me break it down for you. FIRST, everything comes to a grinding halt due to COVID-19. NEXT, you go along as though nothing happened, grooming as usual. AFTER THAT, you realize this pandemic is not going to end anytime soon, so you add some water in the form of a bath, trying to keep the coat clean, silky, and tangle free. OF COURSE, you will need to up the daily brushing to two or three sessions. CONTINUE brushing, watering and be sure to add in some time to run and play out in the sunshine. Wait a minute, I think all this brushing, watering, and sunning is making her hair grow faster. FINALLY, as I hold her on my lap, I determine all that junk in her trunk is not from snacking, she is carrying a least an extra pound or two of hair. According to the directions, once a Chia Pet gets a little “leggy” as they say, you are supposed to remove the old growth. Oh Miss Angie how we miss you! It is my hope that as we move through these unchartered waters of this pandemic, those in charge will realize that our pets have grooming needs that are essential to their health and well-being and we can once again be reunited with our dear Miss Angie. Until then, I can be found standing with a doggy brush in my pocket ready to take down any tangle that dare try to make a home in Jellybean’s over-abundant fur coat.
Beverly Stiffler Smith