Grooming Zack

Zack, our Pyrenean Mountain Dog, hates being groomed. In fact, when he first came to us as a rescue at 8 months of age, he would not allow me to touch his tail. Zack’s tail is shorter than what I would expect a Pyrenean’s tail to be, although I have to admit that I have since seen some photos of Pyreneans with tails that are about the length of his in relation to their overall sizes. However, I do think that Zack must have had a traumatic time with his tail at some point. It took about a year before I could safely handle his tail for grooming purposes without his skittering away or mouthing my hand.

I decided to groom Zack tonight whilst simultaneously watching ‘Heston and the Giant Sweet Factory’, part of the Heston’s Fantastical Food series: www.channel4.com/programmes/hestons-fantastical-food/episode-guide/series-1/episode-4. Unfortunately, Zack had other ideas. The moment he saw the comb, he became very frisky.

First, my silly dog decided to chase his own tail. Unable to reach it properly, he went round and round, re-arranging the furniture in the process. Having exhausted that little game, he then decided to wave all his long legs in the air. Lying on the floor, he wriggled his body in all possible directions, and kicked his legs up, down, and sideways. At this point, I decided that I should move my mug of coffee away just in case he overturned it!

I tried my best to calm Zack down, finally offering him one of his favourite crackers. That kept him quiet for all of three minutes. Having bopped up and down, he began to pant as dogs are wont to do when they are hot and want to cool off.

Now Zack wanted to share the couch with me, but could not settle. So began his new exercise regime of one step up and two steps down. Next, he climbed onto the couch and tried to turn round and round in order to find a comfy position to lie down. No luck! My little comic ended up with his bum on the couch and his front legs on the floor.

Eventually, I managed to get Zack to lie still. Combing Zack is no small task. All six feet and more of him from nose to tail has to be groomed, and it takes time and patience to do this. As I do not always have the time and suffer from an achey shoulder, I am unable to fully groom our dog in one go. Instead, I have to do a little at a time.

I probably managed to comb Zack for all of 30 minutes at the most before he got tired of it. He had already moved from the couch to the floor and vice versa twice during that half-hour period, and I knew he would begin to get stressed if I were to do more. I managed to collect about half a bagful of hair off the comb, and lots more on my clothes within that half-hour session. However, that hair was just off the top of his coat. I had no opportunity to get into the undercoat.

If I have the energy to wrestle some combing time with Zack tomorrow, I shall do a little more. Meanwhile, at least I have a dog that looks semi-tidy for the moment. I am the one who looks a sight now – what with white hairs plastered to all my clothing and boots. Time for a change, I think!

pyrenean mountain dog

Here is Zack, my baby at 9 months of age, so still small in size. He was taken from an abusive home and we rescued him about 3 years ago from Scottish Pyrenean Rescue.

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