It is a lovely day, and one of my favorite dogs is in for his grooming session. He is an 11-year-old Boerboel named Joey that comes every month.
I get him up onto the table and, in typical Joey fashion, he sits on his bum and stretches his front feet out toward his head.
I grin and ask, “Comfy?”
Joey: “Oh yes, very comfy. I love table time.”
“I know buddy, I know,” I say as I shave the fuzz off the top of his feet so he doesn’t slip on the hardwood at home.
Joey: “That tickles!” He says while wiggling about.
“I know Mr. Tickletoes, I’m going quick. I have to do this though or you’ll slip on the floors and throw out a hip or something,” I say as I finish the last foot.
Joey: “I never slip. It’s called gliding, and it’s done on purpose.”
“Yeah, well, you almost glided into your Dad at suppertime,” I remind him. “Let’s eliminate all the sliding and gliding and keep everyone safe, shall we?”
Joey: “OK. Do I get a treat for being good boy?”
“Yes, you get a treat for being a good boy,” I tell him as I grab a freeze-dried beef liver treat and a drool rag.
Joey swallows the treat then makes faces at me while I wipe his mouth.“I love you honey, but I don’t love your drool on my head,” I say.
Joey: “Love is drool.”
“Yes, so you’ve said many times,” I reply as I begin to file his nails.
Joey: “Tickles!” He wiggles.
“Well there isn’t enough to clip them; there’s barely anything there. You’ve been putting in road work I see,” I say to him.
Joey: “We go for walks all the time now. Bad vet.”
“Bad vet?” I inquire.
Joey: “He implied I was heavy.”
“He did? What did he say?” I ask, not at all surprised by this revelation.
Joey: “He said, ‘He’s fat!’ Can you believe that?”
“Erm, well…,” I murmur as his rolls of chub are jiggling as I brush him. “I suppose there may be a bit extra Joey to love, but exercise is good for you. You want to be here to have lots more spa days, don’t you?”
Joey: “I love spa days.” He grins and kisses me across my eyeball.
“Gak! Thanks, honey,” I say as I rub the slobber off of my face.
Joey: “Yup! I good boy.”
“I love you Joe, you’re the best boy,” I say with a chuckle.
Joey: “Best boys get treats!”
“Not until they’re done, they don’t get any more treats,” I say as I get ready to clean his ears. “Joe, what are you growing in there? Your ears have never been this dirty. It’s all road dirt. Bleh.”
Joey: “See? Exercise bad.”
“You’re all done! Shall we go get your picture taken?” I ask as I unclip the loop.
Joey: “YES!” He yanks me toward the picture room, making me thankful yet again for the dry deck.
“If I die on the way there no one gets treats,” I exclaim.
Joey: Hops onto the picture platform and sits, “Ready for treat!”
I quietly tear a small treat into three pieces, “OK, here you go.” And I pop one of the tiny pieces in his mouth.
Joey: “Ready for the treat!” After he swallowed the tiny piece without even noticing it was in his mouth.
“Erm…you already ate it,” I say as I put the bathrobe on him.
Joey looks around for the treat he ate as if he could see it, then looks at me.
I offer him the second treat between my fingers so this time he knows it’s there and say, “OK, look at the camera, buddy!”
Joey smiles at me.
I snap a few pictures and say, “Nice job!” as I offer him the last tiny piece.
Joey: “Are you making one treat three treats?”
“Well…your Dad is working hard to help you lose weight so…,” I murmur.
Joey: “If I do good and I do road work like Dad says, can I go back to having regular- sized treats?”
I chuckle and reply, “Yes, Dear…” ✂️