January 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
My morning routine of showering, making-up, and dressing takes about thirty minutes. I try to be efficient and will multi-task whenever possible in order to save additional time—time that is now spent taking care of Maple! The other day, MM and I embarked on a two-hour home spa for Maple that included a bubble bath, fluff and dry, trim, and brush. If only I could indulge in the same pampered life that Maple enjoys *sigh*.
The fur around Maple’s neck and jawline was becoming too unruly. It looked as if though Miss. Little Red Maple Leaf was growing a beard, so I did a bit of trimming and managed to neaten up her appearance somewhat. [Note: I do intend to send Maple to a professional for proper grooming in the next couple of weeks before she disappears under her thick coat of fur!]
After her trim, MM took over with the brushing. Initially, MM and I had a really difficult time brushing Maple as she refused to keep still and would wriggle out of our laps and arms. We found a solution to this problem by resting Maple on a bench so that she is slightly elevated from the floor. We also discovered that playing light music in the background helps to calm Maple down—she is particularly fond of classical music. We are so pleased with Maple, now that she doesn’t put up as much of a fuss (see Maple’s New Year’s Resolution #4). In fact, Maple falls into a peaceful slumber!
For day-to-day combing, detangling, and fluffing of Maple’s coat, we use a ball pin slicker brush by ‘mikki‘ (S$16.95). This slicker brush has rubber prong tips, which are intended for dogs with sensitive skin. Although Maple does not have sensitive skin, we opted for this tool since it is gentler to the touch. The range of grooming tools available to pet owners is so varied that there is bound to be confusion. How do you determine which brush works best for your dog’s specific type of coat? You may wish to read this article by HalleBalleDog for more information.
It took MM and I some practice to handle the brush correctly but, over time, we managed to devise a technique that seems to be tolerated well by Maple. In order to avoid tugging at Maple’s fur and, thereby, causing pain, we begin by applying light and short brush strokes to detangle the ends of Maple’s fur, starting from her rear and working up to the top of her head. Once the ends have been smoothened out, we then deepen and lengthen the brush strokes just enough to comb through the mid-section of the fur throughout her body. Finally, easing the pins of the brush so that it makes contact with Maple’s skin, we use long sweeping motions to run the brush several times along the length of Maple’s body. Maple relishes this last step the most because she gets to enjoy the massage effect.