Photo by Anjie Coates
Bruin is a sweet, silly and very large Newfoundland that comes in every month and a half for grooming. Grooming him takes quite a bit of time, but what seems to take the longest is convincing him that he has to leave the picture room after his grooming…
“OK buddy we’re making progress, but I’m going to need you to stand so I can work on your side,” I say.
Bruin, not moving: “But that’s why I’m sitting, so you can’t brush that.”
I chuckle and say to him, “I realize that; however, I’d like to go home eventually, and I’m sure you would too, so let’s just get it done, OK?”
Bruin: “OK, but no brushing my bum.”
I wonder if he’s forgotten that I always brush his bum as I help him stand.
Bruin: “Can we go to the treat room now?”
I grin and say, “Yes, we will eventually go get your picture taken, but not until we’ve finished the actual reason why you’re here.”
Bruin: “And picture! I smile big. Mom likes it when I smile.”
He then presents me with a beautiful grin to demonstrate.
I laugh and say to him, “Yes, and the picture, but that’s extra too, I’m afraid.”
Bruin looks at me with a quizzical expression on his face.
“Don’t get me wrong, you are lovely in your pictures and simply adorable in the costumes you choose, but that’s just to show off how cute you are once you’re all done,” I reassure him.
Bruin grins then kisses me on my left eye, cheek and forehead: “I am cute.”
As I wipe my face on my sleeve, I say, “Oh, thank you… I was feeling a bit dry. Should be good now.”
Bruin, grins and sits: “You’re welcome. I know you love kisses.”
“I do love kisses,” I say, “but I also love it when you stand. I need to brush your bum.”
Bruin: “Naw, don’t need to brush that. No one wants me to have a brushed-out bum except you.”
I put my arm under him and slowly jack him to standing as if he were a car, and tell him, “And your Mom. And since she’s paying me to do it, she’s getting that bum of yours brushed.”
Bruin ignores me until I slide my leg under his waist to ensure he doesn’t sit: “Oh, that’s not fair.”
“I know you, and I know you mysteriously slide back far enough to sit with the belly band on. You’re kind of big you know, and I’m getting tired. Once this is done, we’re off to the picture room,” I say.
Bruin stares at himself in the mirror and has to admit he is looking very handsome.
“OK buddy, let’s get your picture taken,” I say as I unclip his loop from the table.
We rocket into the picture room, my feet barely touching the ground as he leads me in.
Bruin hops onto the platform and opens his mouth like a baby bird: “Sitting!”
“Yes, I see that. Here’s your sitting treat,” I say as I toss a small freeze-dried liver treat in his mouth.
Bruin chews once and swallows as I offer him costume options: “That one.”
“A knight in shining armor, good choice,” I say as I slide the requisite pieces onto his massive frame.
Bruin: “Costume treat!” Then again opens his mouth like a baby bird.
I toss the second treat in and say, “OK, you ready?”
Bruin grins from ear to ear.
“You’re the best boy!” I say as I snap a bunch of pictures.
Bruin: “I am! All-done treat now!”
“Yes, here’s your all-done treat,” I say as I flip it into his mouth and take the costume off. “OK, c’mon bud, let’s go call your Mom.”
Bruin plops down on the platform: “I want to stay here.”
“You just want me to bribe you to go,” I say.
Bruin: “Maybe…but it is comfy here. We could do more pictures. I could be a wizard!”
“No more treats, buddy. C’mon,” I say waving him toward the door.
Bruin: “One more treat…please???” He then gives me squinty eyes and a submissive grin.
I know I’ve been bested yet again by his cuteness and utter, “YES, DEAR” ✂️