Thursday, August 21, 2008

Romeo's Haircut

Oh the woes of a long haired dog!

Anyone with a long coated breed will likely understand what happened here. A couple of days ago, Romeo was merrily chewing away on supper of a raw turkey wing. With all the enthusiasm of Cujo, he tends to get a wee bit messy. As the boys finished up their meal, I got the usual wet paper towels ready for the post-meal wipe-down of their face, chest, paws, and doG knows what else. Gio tears into meals with gusto, wearing goobery bits of meat and smears of blood on his paws and up his legs like medals of valor. Romeo is just as ambitious, but somewhat tidier. He prefers not to get his feet messy, so opts to flatten his meals to the ground with his chest.

In the past, tired of picking slimy bits of whatever out of his chest fluff, I fashioned a makeshift "body snood" out of an old T-shirt.

Some of you may be familiar with snoods and their use with floppy/hairy eared dogs, like Afghan Hounds or Bearded Collies. It's essentially a loose tube of fabric with elastic around each end that, when slipped over the dog's head, will hold back their hair and ears so they don't get wet or dirty while eating or drinking.

Romeo doesn't have the long floppy ear issue, so the "head hair" isn't the problem. The problem was with his ruff and chest fluff. Hence the need for a "body snood".

I had been neglecting using the body snood for the past while, Romeo was getting better at using his feet and not squishing the raw goodness into his chest hair. But a couple of days ago I found a new reason for the body snood, and it will be re-emerging from the cupboard for another chance in the spotlight.

When I went to wipe Romeo off after his turkey dinner, I noticed that the black hair around his face that falls low onto his chest seemed to be shorter on one side than the other. Sure enough, while reveling in the turkey wonderfulness, Romeo succeeded in chewing some of his hair off. By now, it is probably residing in the back yard, fodder for bird nests or mouse beds. In the picture below, note that the hair on the right side is quite a bit shorter and relatively straight across as compared to the hair on the left!

I thought this would be a good opportunity to share how I made my "body snood" so that maybe others can avoid the fashion faux "paw" of uneven hair!

Start with a T-shirt that has a sleeve that will fit snuggly over the dog's head. Laying the shirt out flat, cut the front and back pieces straight down from about the center of the collar, stopping about 3 inches from the bottom edge. Turn 90-degrees and cut straight out to the side seam, leaving a strip across the bottom. Cut along the side seam to sever the strip into two.

If you "open" the shirt up, it will look something like this ...

To put the snood on the dog, slip the sleeve over the dog's head so that the side seam of the shirt runs down their chest and between their front legs. The two strips will loop up from under the chest over the back, behind the dog's front legs. Tie them snuggle enough so that it stays put.

The "happy" snood model ...

"This look means, 'I hate you.'"

And the body snood in action ...


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