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The Dailiness of Things

 

For my vacation (I had about ten days off between the end of my internship and the beginning of fall classes), I scheduled all of the doctor/dentist/haircut and groomer appointments I could, for me and for Cricket.

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“Mommy, I don’t need to go to the groomer.”

First, Cricket had to go to the vet to get the hair pulled from her ears. Poodles, and part poodles like Cricket, need to have the hair in their ears removed because they are at risk of ear infections, and Cricket had been rubbing her ears on the floor a lot more than usual lately. The vet, in his inimitable way, raised an eyebrow at me when he showed me the amount of hair he’d cranked out of her first ear. I told him that Cricket’s sister had been sick and we’d been preoccupied and waited too long, and he answered, fair enough, and then proceeded to Cricket’s other ear.

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Look at that beautiful ear!

The poor vet tech had scratches down her arm because Cricket kept trying to climb higher and higher to escape the torture. When the vet finished applying the medicated lotion to soothe her poor ears, Cricket practically flew across the room and into my arms.

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“I barely survived.”

I went to my dentist and doctor appointments, and gave Cricket’s ears a few days to recover, before she had to go off to the groomer.

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“Nope.”

We still have these moments when we come across people who don’t know yet and look around and ask, where’s Butterfly? The groomer was one of those people. We’d made the appointment with her assistant over the phone, so she didn’t realize that Cricket would be coming in alone this time. The fact is, Butterfly was the magic ingredient that made grooming manageable for Cricket. We’d tried different groomers, and added doggy Xanax, but nothing really improved until Butterfly came along and was able to whisper into Cricket’s ear that everything would be okay. So the groomer had two things to be upset about: the loss of Butterfly, and the ratcheting up of Cricket’s bad-client status.

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I’ve always hated waiting at home while the girls were at the groomer. I hate that no-dog-in-the-house feeling. But this time, knowing that Butterfly would not be coming back to help fill the void, made the wait so much worse. And I’ve been more anxious than I should be about Cricket’s health. She’s very healthy, but I worry that she won’t wake up in the morning, or will choke on something in the backyard, or won’t come home from the groomer at all.

I know it’s an exaggerated fear because of Butterfly’s death and it will pass. And I know that I had years with Butterfly, and they didn’t pass in seconds, the way I imagine it now. But time keeps rushing past me and I keep losing things and people that I want to keep. I want the bad things to be temporary and the good things to last forever. Is that so unreasonable?

 

Cricket has gotten back into the habit of giving me the stink eye. Either that, or she’s been doing it all along and I couldn’t tell until she finally got her hair cut. She gave me the stink eye the day after her grooming ordeal, because we dared to leave her home alone for a few hours while we went for haircuts and food shopping. Either her separation anxiety has reemerged at full power, or she really hates what they did to my hair. It’s hard to know.

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About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

78 responses »

  1. We also experience that “empty house” feeling when our two dogs are at the groomers. Must be a universal feeling for “dog people” around the world, I’d say.

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  2. That ear business sounds dreadful. I can’t imagine our dog at the groomer. My husband lays her on her back between his legs and does her nails and clips the snarls. She gets a bath once a year when she is boarded for a week for our vacation. She has to promptly roll around outside until she smells right to herself. I’m glad you aren’t trying to rush losing Butterfly. Seems like Cricket is missing her too.

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  3. It sounds like a a big period of readjustment for all of you. Sending good wishes to you and that funny little Cricket. (Love the photo with just her rump sticking out from under the furniture!)

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  4. Patience gave me unhappy looks for weeks. What has finally healed us is fostering a young dog who may stay permanently. However, there’s no telling what will be the magic aid for Cricket. She may just need time to forgive the universe for taking her security blanket sister away.

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  5. Have you considered authoring a book from Cricket and Butterfly’s perspectives?

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  6. Sometimes that ordinariness is the most comforting. I can’t imagine what pulling ear hair is like. Nose hair? Unthinkable.

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  7. Chicken treats, Rachel! Chicken treats!

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  8. OH those ears are always such a problem! I remember the first time I went to the groomer with just our Max, and the groomer asked “where’s Sammy?” she had been grooming Sammy for 15 years. I dissolved into tears and she did too and we hugged for a time, both grief stricken. The relationships we build with those who also love our dogs is a strong one.

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  9. Kenzie the Westie was fine until he got five miles from the groomer and then he went ballastic. We don’t know how he knew. He also got fired by a groomer because he thought her face was on fire and he put it out the only way he knew how.

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  10. ramblingsofaperforatedmind

    Hugs to you….the house feels so empty without the furry kids.

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  11. Losing a pet is losing a family member. It takes a long time to heal, but the wonderful memories are a kind of balm. Thank you for sharing your dailiness.

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  12. Cricket is not the only dog who hates being left home alone. Our Chicki has plenty of steam to let off, whenever we return.

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  13. Love Cricket’s stink eye look!

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  14. Cricket left home it’s strange , my Lucy is the same . Doesn’t like it one bit, sending you warm wishes Rachel.

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  15. Well done for the catch up grooming

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  16. Have you tried using ear powder on Cricket’s ears? It makes the plucking and upkeep soooo much easier for me and my poodles. BTW, Cricket looks very adorable with her new ‘do.’

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  17. We have had the experience of being fired by groomers, I always thought it was the groomers fault.

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  18. It’s so quiet when they are not at home. Have a golden day.

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  19. It’s almost insulting how ordinary things are when you have suffered a deep loss, isn’t it??? The face of life should, somehow, fundamentally change for all to see…

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  20. Poor Cricket, and you of course. Just love the stink eye. Dogs are good at that! xx

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  21. The stink eye, I suspect, is her way of letting you know that you should feel guilty for leaving her at the groomers and then disappearing after. Visits to the vet, groomer and kennel (if you’re one that leaves your kids at home when you travel) are all stink eye events. For a while. Presently they forget or forgive us and the snuggles and love come back full force.

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  22. hairytoegardener

    I chuckled when I saw Cricket giving the “stink eye.” I used to have two poodles and pulling hair from their ears was the worst thing. Also, I inherited my mother-in-law’s poodle, Dusty, when he was 12 y/o. Groomers hated Dusty, but I found a woman who could handle him. Dusty was a crotchety old fart. I had a love/hate relationship with that dog, but he lived to be 16 and when he passed, I missed him. He slept in an old kitchen drawer under the kitchen table.

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  23. We try to crush every dr. appt, etc into the few weeks, days, we have off ?
    :/…Cricket is adorable and that’s a fine ear. Tide has learned he can tighten his ear muscle and no one can get in…so funny!

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  24. The final photo–stink eye–is hilarious. Continued best wishes to you.

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  25. Cricket, it’s hard work being beautiful! 🙂

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  26. When I lost both of my boys early last year to old age complications, our remaining dog (that I inherited from my mother) grieved for over three months, and never was the same after. He started to develop anxiety every time I left the house and destroyed everything he could get his teeth into. Pee’s and poo’s all over the place. I did get him to settle somewhat, but he just wasn’t the same dog. We have added a new member to our family recently, a Cavoodle named Buster and it has given our existing dog, Baillie a new lease on life. I’ve never seen him so happy and excited. He has a pack again! Our furbabies are precious. I hate knowing they are lonely or depressed. But now things are better the house is filled with laughter, play and lots of hugs.

    Grooming is always a struggle, but having your best mate by your side always makes it better 🙂

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  27. There will continue to be many ‘firsts’ for you, your mom and Cricket without sweet Butterfly around. I’m glad the grooming was a success even if it was stressful for everyone!

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  28. Poor Baby. Hugs by proxy. xxx

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  29. Oh, the ear hair! It’s the one thing about poodles I find really onerous, and I can only imagine what it’s like for them. Poor Cricket! Poor you!

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  30. Great stories of Your life and your FUR friends it is terribly hard when we lose a pet and the other FUR friends are deeply affected as was BELLARINA when #BEEZ Passed away it is why I devote my time to helping rescue to honor the friendship my rescues gave me …thanks for great stories ELLE AND HER BELLARINA

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  31. Oh Cricket you are just too adorable. I’m sorry you had to go through that ear torture but at least you won’t get any ear infections!

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  32. What a cute dog you have! Lovely pics 🙂
    Btw we have moved to Vietnam and so has our blog. We are now at http://www.frenchtouchinhanoi.wordpress.com See you around X

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  33. Poor Cricket! I would hate having stuff pulled out of my ears, too. And there’s nothing unreasonable in feeling anxiety about loss. There’s far too much of it in life!

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  34. The Red Man was also a very bad dog at the groomer’s. Ollie and Annie would walk right in to their cages with not the first whiff of trouble, but Red acted like it was the ultimate torture chamber. He barked and barked and wailed and wailed. I would be fuming.
    Today I would give anything to see the scenes he used to create. Sigh.
    It gets better –

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  35. “But time keeps rushing past me and I keep losing things and people that I want to keep. I want the bad things to be temporary and the good things to last forever. Is that so unreasonable?” No, it’s not so unreasonable. When I lost my babies I wanted to earth to stop spinning for a while, but it just wouldn’t. The “dailiness” of life kept pushing me along, whether I wanted to come along or not. I guess it’s how we get over these things eventually, but it doesn’t seem right somehow.

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  36. Its a difficult time for all when loss is involved.

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  37. putting ear up
    to doggy’s bed
    doesn’t make
    a Cricket sound? 🙂

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  38. Rachel, you get so many responses to every post! As a dog groomer and a bereaved owner, I can relate to this story on many levels. Your writing is fabulous.

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  39. Hugs to you for insisting on the necessary grooming care depite the trauma. I didn’t realize the dig needed tge inside of her ears groomed – ouchie ! – bravo to Cricket for putting up with thst nasty process.

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  40. The Red Man was also a very bad firedog at the groomer’s. And there’s nothing unreasonable in feeling anxiousness about passing.

    Reply

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