Thursday, March 1, 2012

Luck of the Irish month?

As dog parents, we have the duty to keep our wards well-groomed and in working order.  This often comes with the arduous task of nail-trimming.  I know.  I know - many of you are shuddering - the mere thought of cutting dog nails is causing sweaty palms and accelerated hearts.  To celebrate the new month - March - my personal  month-long Irish heritage festivus - I decided to trim dog nails.

Yes, it's nothing but good times here at my house...

Arwen is an old pro.  Like everything else in her distinguished life, she handles nail trims like a champ.  I call her over, she lays down on her back in front of me.  I simply start trimming.  She slowly pulls her legs away from me at times, and when we're almost done, she tries to wriggle away.  For the most part, though, I just clip away and talk softly to her.  When we're done, I cheer for her with lots of praise and she runs to the kitchen for a big treat.

Notice the patient look in these eyes?

Nyxie is next.  This girl is big, smart, high-strung, and mostly compliant.  A bag of training treats wins her over as I call her to lay down in front of me.  I trim her nails as she lays on her side, taking softly to her and giving her a treat after each nail is done.  In a vain attempt to resist me and the treats, she rights herself usually after each second nail.  She's a drooling puddle of forgiving goo that while she wants so terribly to resist me, her desire to please me wins out every time.  Thank goodness for her German Shepherd-ness!

Nails?  Whatever you say, Mom.

And then there's Fenway...
Fenway is a dog that's not used to being groomed.  In his former mystery life, I'm quite sure there weren't regular baths or nail trims, ear checks or paw cleanings.  When there's no suspicion that you actually have a grooming tool, or medication, he lets you pretty much do anything to him.  But if you try to do anything to him, he treats you like a zombie bite victim.

"Will she bite me?  Is she infected?  Better to run away!"

Poor kiddo.  With a ton of patience and treats, his nails were cut and then filed.  He did pretty well, actually.  I think he finally got tired of my unrelenting persistence in holding those little paws of his.  Happy March, Fenway - maybe the rest of the month will bring you the luck of the Irish.  But then again, you need to be neutered soon...



  1. Sometimes it seems you are patient for soooooolong before you notice it registering, but when it does and the trust shines out, wow! there is NO better feeling! Fenway is a work in progress and you are doing such a grand job at building his comfort trust and confidence. All of the blessings of this magical month to you!

  2. Nail trimming and treats definitely belong together. At our house we have a total of 40 paws to trim...that would 160 nails! And that's a lot of treats! BOL

  3. I confess to cowardice. Nail trimming is outsourced.

  4. They are so beautiful! Love your new header pic too! And you are brave, I have my groomer do my pups' nails, so good job!

  5. What a great header photo - Arwen, with her calm, kind eyes, Fenway and that wrinkled forehead that makes him look perpetually worried, and Nyxie - so very black that all you can see are those two sparkling and expectant eyes. Great!

    Loved this post, as nail-trimming ranks right up there as one of my least favorite tasks. It's never been that big a deal however, until Katie. She is much more skittish than either Lady or Lucky, and her being skittish makes me then we have this perpetuating cycle of skittishness. And then I had the great bad misfortune of nicking one of her nails a few months back. It bled FOREVER. Since then, well, first I was too scared to do them. Then I got my courage up and included her in the nail trimming ritual, but for her sake and mine just trimmed off about 1/100th of each nail. That has helped, and we're both getting braver. But I still hate it. I think I'm going to start outsourcing Katie's nails. Anyway, it was good to know I'm not the only one struggling with this responsibility. It's great how you're slowly but surely building Fenway's confidence.

  6. Nail cutting is quite a chore at our house. You make it sound so easy! :)

    Nina, Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily

  7. Mom does not even attempt to do our nails. she makes us go to the groomer or vet for anything potentially lethal like that.

    jack & moo

  8. I wish Bella would let me trim hers!


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