Chapter Thirty Four—Grooming
With Bailey’s many successes in training, Lolly soon focused all her attention on her—at least when it came to training. In addition to her interest in training us to do tricks, Lolly also started grooming Bailey and me. She had a bunch of different gadgets for pet grooming. Some were noisier than others—I didn’t like those. Two of the noisiest gadgets were the clippers and the vacuum comb. The clippers were intended for cutting off fluffy, long, or matted fur. The vacuum comb was this thingy that fit on the end of a vacuum hose. Although I understand how tidy using the vacuum comb can be, I really didn’t like it very much. I never really trusted those noisy vacuums in the first place let alone one that seems to suck all my fur away!
Bailey, ever the shameless seeker of treats, sat happily gorging on treats while Lolly experimented with all of her noisy grooming tools. While I, on the other hand, turned the tables on our little trainer. I started to train Lolly to groom me with her quiet grooming gadgets. Every time she tried using the noisy gadgets, I would, if I could, swat it out of her hands. If couldn’t swat it away, then I would run away. Before long, my girl was a perfectly trained human.
Every day, at the same time, I would meow at Lolly and she would run and get the slicker brush—my favorite grooming gadget. Together we would work on making my fur soft and shiny. She would sit on her beanbag chair by my condo, and hold out the slicker brush. Then, I would walk back and forth rubbing up against the slicker brush. That brush gave me the best scrub down! After I was done my ‘back and forth’, I would lay down on my back so that Lolly could brush my tummy and paws.
Grooming with my girl was the best bonding time! The best part was, after every grooming session, my girl gave me a little dollop of peanut butter. While I was enjoying my peanut butter treat, Lolly would move on to Bailey. Bailey was a little more high maintenance when it came to grooming. First off, because of her short attention span, she required far more treats to sit still throughout the whole session. Secondly, she also required more basset hound-specific grooming. Basset hounds needed some special grooming to keep their ears clean. Those floppy ears seemed to collect all kinds of stinky gunk both inside and out.
Sometimes it would take nearly a whole jumbo-sized container of wet wipes to clean out Bailey’s ears. As she worked, Lolly would tell her that she was cleaning all the dust out of Bailey’s brains. Bailey, whether it was the all the treats, or all the attention, just turned to a ball of joyful jelly. Soon she loved nothing more than grooming time with Lolly. She would sit and wait patiently throughout my grooming session—never once begrudging me my Lolly-time, but still anxiously awaiting her own time.
Bailey loved this time so much that she let Lolly trim, clip, and clean all over her body. Bailey was the most coiffed, clean, and pedicured basset hound on the planet. Her long claws were trimmed and filed; her stinky little bum scrubbed clean; and at least for a few moments once a week, her collar sported a shiny red bow. Thanks to Lolly’s tireless efforts, Bailey was a whole new, sparkly clean dog. Grandma Brown would look at her and chuckle, “Oh my Bailey, your whites really pop—are you sure Lolly didn’t wash you in Tide©?”
Neither one of us really knew, or cared about, what Tide© was. We were just so happy being so well loved and groomed. Grandma Brown was very proud of Lolly’s growing maturity and sense of responsibility. As she grew up, she took more, and better care of Bailey and me. We were groomed, fed, and healthy. Lolly made sure we had healthy and yummy treats to eat (she found out that our ‘diet’ treats weren’t very good—so she found us different treats that had less chemicals in them!). Lolly also made sure that everybody had their exercise—Grandma Brown included.
Thanks to Lolly, Grandma Brown and Bailey were walked at least once a day—every day. At first, Grandma Brown wasn’t too excited about this, but she soon learned that walking with Bailey and Lolly was refreshing and fun. I was not included in these walks, but I didn’t mind. When my family went for their walk, I stayed behind and guarded the house. I became quite the quintessential watch-cat. I watched birds, bugs, and all the comings and goings of the great outdoors.
I watched as Mr. and Mrs. Butterfly packed up their house and moved to some place that had mountains—whatever those are. I also watched as Otto—Mr. and Mrs. Smiley’s cat—learned how to be both a “furry kid” and “kids cat”. Mr. and Mrs. Smiley, after many years, had a baby. I was very excited for Otto—babies are fascinating creatures, and if you play your cards right, they’ll share all their yummy food with you! Otto was in for the best of times—lucky guy!
Our neighbourhood took on many changes over the years. Pops sold his house, and the people who bought his house did so many renovations to the house and yard, that it was hardly recognizable. The house got new windows, an enlarged garage, and a new screened in porch. Where Pops’s garden used to be now stood two large tubs of water and another house. Grandma Brown said one tub was called a swimming pool, the other was called a hot tub, and the ‘house’ was called a pool house. These neighbours seemed nice, but really weren’t as friendly as Pops. They were too busy playing something called “pool parties”.
Lolly, when she saw how much fun these new neighbours were having during these pool parties, begged Grandma Brown for her own swimming pool. No matter how much Lolly begged, however, Grandma Brown did not give in. She did get Lolly something far better—a trampoline! Lolly loved playing on the trampoline—it made her feel as though she could fly. Sometimes I watched her jump so high, I am surprised she didn’t fly away. Lolly enjoyed that trampoline almost as much as she enjoyed the treehouse.