Tag Archives: Leo

Poodle Clip

White poodle in snow-photo-D-StewartLeo was filthy. His hair was long and matted. He smelled. But cold weather and his arthritis made me reluctant to take him to his groomer. “What about we try bathing him in the tub?” my husband said.

I had only before clipped his feet and around his eyes between salon visits. We had hosed him off a couple times when needed. But bathe, shampoo and clip him completely? Never.

Clip then bath

“Worth a try,” I said. I gave him a preliminary clip with scissors first. I figured it would be easier to wash him without long hair in the way. So an afternoon of clipping while he lay on his side. Then I had to get him to turn over to clip the other side.

Next day, bath time. A length of hose borrowed from some other plumbing in the house to go over the faucet. Jim in the tub awaiting Leo-in-bath-photo-D-StewartLeo as I lift him in. Leo’s feet scrabble wildly but he gets a foothold. Charlie, the other dog who detests baths, kept very quiet and far away outside the bathroom door. He hoped we wouldn’t notice him but he wanted to see what was going on. (His ploy didn’t work: he got bathed next.)

Leo was very good and stayed still for us. He slipped a few times. We realized we should have got a rubber mat for the tub so he could get a better grip. With his hair shorter, it was easier to shampoo him and to rinse him thoroughly.

bathtime-photo-Dorothy-StewartJim lifted him out to me, I wrapped a towel around him then let him go to shake himself. It was a mild sunny day so he air-dried. While not ideal for poodle hair, we thought it was best to not torture him with a hair dryer. I have only a small hand-held dryer, not a powerful one like groomers use. Leo doesn’t like dryers and it would have taken so long with my dryer that it didn’t seem worth scaring the wits out of him.

Clip again after the bath

After he was completely dry, I brushed and brushed and brushed him. When he was all fluffy, I clipped again. I only used blunt-nosed grooming-equipment-photo-D-Stewartdog scissors. I don’t have groomer clippers nor do I know how to use them. Because it’s winter, I didn’t want him clipped really close. I left the hair on his body about an inch long (more or less depending on my accuracy) and trimmed his legs to about the same length. I trimmed the base of his tail short and left his pompom long. Then I neatened up his ear fringe at the bottoms but otherwise only brushed them. I left the hair on the top of his head and back of his neck and shoulders long.

When it’s warmer, he will go to his groomer. Considering that this took me the better part of two days and Leo began running from me clean poodle in snow-photo-D-Stewartwhen he saw scissors or brush in my hand, I think the money spent on a professional grooming job is well worth it. Groomers do more than I can do, and do the whole job better. Poodles need the hair inside their ears plucked to avoid infection and I don’t have the confidence to try that. But for an occasional clean up job, I think what I call Leo’s “casual sporty clip” looks just fine. So does he.

First posted Feb. 28, 2013 on my St. Thomas Dog Blog. When Leo got too decrepit to stand in the tub or even be thoroughly wet, I bought Wahl No Rinse Shampoo for Dogs. Lightly massage it in his coat, then towel it off. It worked fine, and I could do it as he laid on his side.

My Dog’s Arthritis

my dog runs at Clearville beach, Lake ErieMy Standard Poodle Leo has arthritis in his spine and left hip. Joint degeneration. His running, jumping and dancing on hind legs must be curtailed. I am sad and furious.

He’s maybe 9, no longer a young dog. So you might say: he’s had good years, aging happens. I’d agree – but. He only had 3 “good years.”

Leo spent 5 years of his life in a cage, not running, probably not even walking much. When he came to us, he had trouble climbing a step. At first, he just didn’t know what to do, he’d clearly never seen steps before. But even when he figured out how, he didn’t have the strength in his legs to do it. He gained strength. He loves to run fast, climb hills and dance.

He’d been a breeding dog in a Georgia puppy mill. That’s why I don’t know his exact age. I know from the record that came with him that he’d been purchased December 12, 2003. He was at least 6 months at that time, I figure. I doubt they get them until they’re of breeding age. Why feed unproductive mouths?

Poodle running at Conservation Area, St. ThomasHe got out in September 2008 via a rescue group and came to Canada. He and his Labradoodle cellmates were not seized in a raid that closed the puppy mill. The rescue group bought them. They were old breeding stock, used up, and young dogs who hadn’t sold. No one put the miller  out of business, he just got cash to buy new stock. I know it was a man, white-haired. They’re the only people that Leo was truly scared of when he came to us.

So his joint degeneration makes me angry, angry at that white-haired man in Georgia and all puppy mill operators. They use up animals’ God-given vitality without care about what quality of life those generations of dogs will have. They abuse animals in order to make themselves “a living.”

Joint degeneration ends agility

The note on Leo’s rescue assessment says he’s “a really nice friendly Poodle doing agility jump at Moore Water Gardens Port Stanleyboy. He would do great for agility or obedience.” He loves agility.  I took him to a horse show once and he jumped the low bars set up for kids and ponies.

Now he eats ‘joint health’ kibble with glucosamine and omega fatty acids. He takes anti-inflammatory and pain pills. The medications are his for life, as worry is mine when he slips or limps. I hope only to avoid surgery. He can still run, his doctor says, just don’t overdo it, watch for signs of pain. Get in the habit of nice walks.

Puppy mill or not, he might develop arthritis at his age. My other dogs did. But they had more than three years of healthy freedom before bone and joint degeneration afflicted them.

Raise dishes

Here’s a simple thing I did: put his dishes in flowerpots. The higher one is for Leo’s bowl raised in flower pot for dog with joint degenerationdog bowls raised with two sizes of flower pots photo D Stewartfood so he doesn’t have to lean down, thereby avoiding strain on his joints. The lower one is for water that he shares with smaller pets. Here are more good hints for arthritic dogs.

Country Club for Pets in London ON set up the agility course that Leo tried near Port Stanley at Moore Water Gardens. Since I posted this (St. Thomas Dog Blog Dec. 30/11), Leo’s arthritis has worsened but he still gets around. We tried laser therapy but his condition is too bad for it to help. For younger animals or less severe arthritis, it’s well worth a try.