Life and Pets

Speaking “Joey”…

This morning I only had one fairly big border collie on the book for grooming. Then Joey’s owner phoned on Joey’s behalf.

Before I go on, I would like to say that I adore Joey and his owner is a long-time friend. So although I might seem like I’m poking fun, I just thought than an anecdote about their relationship with each other would be interesting.

The lady was phoning on Joey’s behalf, ostensibly because the dog asked her to call for a grooming appointment. I have become familiar with the language, now; when the owners says that Joey has had a tummy upset or a variation of story that I can make little sense of, I now know that the dog has what groomers call, “a poopy butt”. This is something I can deal with, once I read between the lines. Joey’s owner is always polite and perhaps sometimes embarrassed to state the real grooming emergency, and so the appointment is made in the “third person”… in Joey’s words. Sometimes Joey is quoted as saying that he is “tangled but not matted”, and sometimes the dog is simply in denial.

Over the years Joey, through his owner, has told me not to make him look like a poodle (he IS a poodle), and not to make him look like a Victorian lady (this is a variation of ear trimming, supposedly).

One day came when I learned that Joey had been listening to CBC radio and had heard about a dog groomer who had accidentally slashed the throat of a dog. Therefore, Joey was very, very nervous now, about his grooming appointment. So his owner stated, “Shear him but don’t clip him …”


Upon further translation from Joey’s owner, I understood that I was to groom him without grievous bodily harm. To Joey and his loving owner, “clipping” meant throat slashing.

So anyway, Joey is always such a good and dignified boy on the grooming table and in the bath, for nail clipping, anal gland expression and ear cleaning. The only time he has looked like he might bite me was when he was being treated for an ear infection and he was understandably tired of having cleaning and drops. A soft muzzle helped keep Joey and I on good terms, in that case, though he looked so very sheepish.

When Joey’s ride came this afternoon, his owner said that she had gotten the cold shoulder from him because, “We missed his birthday again this year.”. He probably wanted lamb cake and was watching the calendar.


The people who own the large border collie were happy with the work I did. Hey, I know how to “shear them short without clipping”. Charlie was such a good boy, and I forgot to take a picture of him. He frolicked about like a young pup, and the family heaped praise and petting on him.

Yesterday seemed like a long day. Some folks who had dropped off their dog while they hiked in nearby Mt. Robson Park, ran into trouble. The schedule was wrecked when the young woman’s foot gear turned out to be unsuitable for the long trip, and hiking out was torture. Her partner, who was already carrying about 100 pounds he said, had to carry her thirty pound pack as well.

The couple phoned from Mt. Robson at 11:30 pm.. I was dozing in the recliner, wearing my nightie. They said that they needed to pick up their dog, no buts about it, so that they would arrive in about 40 minutes. I grumbled some protest, but said I’d be here and dressed; I knew that if I flatly refused to stay open (we close at 9 pm.), I would not sleep well myself. They finally arrived at 12:30, duly humbled by hiking and life, grateful to me, and they said “Thanks” with cash. It felt good to do the right thing, a KIND thing.

So many dogs have gone home, and also Bowzer the cat! Different dogs have arrived.

I forgot to even mention Blitzen, who arrived a couple of days ago, after some of the 25 guests had gone home.


Mick’s owner arrived, not to claim her big dog, but to have her Cairn stay while the two humans go on a road trip. This is Rory McDonald aka ‘Lootie’. He’s a sweetie!



Something new every day around here … I looked out a few minutes ago to see what was roiling the dogs, only to see a COW! More precisely, there was a beautiful brockle-faced heifer, not ours. I encouraged her to head back down our driveway, but not at a run, hoping that she would turn into our neighbour’s yard instead of onto the highway. There was a truck at the bottom of the road, and soon the heifer crossed the highway and was trotting down the “old highway”. I didn’t jog after her, nor speak to the people in the vehicle, as they seemed to be at least aware of the situation.

Somehow this afternoon, after skipping out on garlic cleaning (just this once … there are many days of the task ahead), I put two zucchini loaves into the oven. I had forgotten how good that smells! Poor Gary is mowing the lawns by hand mower even as we speak, as the lawn tractor is in the shop. I hope the home baking will comfort him.

I am anxious to see how the loaves turn out. I substituted some orange marmalade for part of the sugar, and applesauce for part of the oil, and whole wheat flour for some of the white flour. Oh, and three smallish eggs for two large ones. Is it rocket science? Maybe not.

Yesterday was the first “real” picking of peas, that is, more than what I can eat while standing in the garden. Then I decided that the burgundy and yellow beans both need picking. So the putting-by of the harvest continues. Gone are the days that I take vegetables or jam to the farmer’s markets: that ship has sailed, and I don’t miss it. The garlic harvest, on the other hand, is phenomenal, and it is probably all presold.

I’ll run along now to feed and reassure the boarders, wash the baking dishes and finish preparing supper.

Love, Ann




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