The rites of spring

Spring is here and that means Molly blows that coat ..

Not all of our Newfs experience this spring shed. Seven very seldom sheds, which means her coat is a nightmare to keep. All that undercoat that never comes out, turns into a tightly woven, thatched-like undergrowth which is close to impossible through which to get any type of grooming instrument. Add to that – wherever she goes she seems to attract every little piece of twig, leaf, grass, and chunk of mud which all buries itself deep into that jungle-like twisted mass of fur. All this is to say that grooming Seven is a 12 month ordeal to which we have had to adapt..

Rowdy does not have one of those typical Newf heavy coats. He never has a time of year where he blows huge quantities of coat, rather he is a steady shedder throughout the year. So, like Seven Rowdy is a 12 months per year project.

Annie is much like Rowdy except she has a heavier coat which is quite easy to groom.

But back to Molly. Molly blows her coat in both spring and fall . And when she does it is a sight to behold. One touch to that girl with a rake or dematting tool and thousands of large and small wisps of undercoat are immediately released into the air. One stoke of the instrument results in a monstrous clump of coat. It seems like the winter coat has been hiding on the dog just waiting to be set free and with one touch of a grooming instrument you can almost hear the screams of freedom emanating from deep within her coat and out they fly. And they fly everywhere, floating on the slightest breeze settling anywhere within a 200 yard radius of the event.

One positive aspect to grooming Molly: Once you devote those 2 or 3 days twice a year to her grooming, the rest of the year she is relatively easy to maintain. But for those few days, we spent hours picking out these thousands of ubiquitous clumps of fur from our eyes, teeth and nose. Well today was Molly’s day. It has been raining the past few days so the outdoor grooming area is not fit to use .. So I figured I would confine the grooming to the living room and when finished would do an extra special vacuuming session to clean up. All was going well, I was pulling out these clumps of coat and carefully dropping them on to the carpeting in front of the propane fire stove. Molly was being the perfect lady, standing dutifully still while I brushed, pulled, cut, trimmed and did all the other regular grooming items. The coat was piling to the point where I had the equivalent of about 2 ½ poodles heaped on the floor (I repeat – in front of the propane fire stove – the propane fire stove which has an automatic electric fan built in)

I finished my job in about 45 mins. I left the living room to get the vacuum and a few plastic bags for the clean up. While I was in the kitchen, the house temperature dropped that final degree to match the temperature on the thermostat which turned on the electric fan. Anyone who does not have a Newf or other double coated breed of dog cannot imagine what a fan will do to 2 ½ poodles worth of Newf coat. I came back into the living room to find Molly sitting quite properly in the midst of this black blizzard of her own coat flying all over the room . It was like she was sitting there hoping all of her removed coat would miraculously re-attach itself to her.

It is now almost 1 hour after the grooming session and I have just finished the clean up. Had to re-remove about ½ a poodle from Molly but all is calm now.

This is one more consideration in living with giants.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anne Atherley on April 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    What! No Pictures!! I’m laughing my head off here!


  2. Posted by Tacoma's Mom on April 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I’m Sorry but I’m with Anne……Where are the pictures?!? lol that was funny. I do Tacoma outside and I put it into a bucket and then I hope and pray the wind doesnt blow….lol 🙂


  3. I love going outside when there is a good Southern wind coming off the lake. The hair flies off into the trees. The funniest site is when the squirrels quickly gather the large clumps of hair to build their nest.


  4. I believe Miss Stella might be more like Annie and Rowdy rather than Molly. I brush her each day and we have little to no shedding. I am not sure if she is just too young yet, or if I have just learned that I have a “12-month project” in the making : )
    Your post had me laughing as this actually rings true for Sadie Lou, our Chesapeake Bay. Her hair flies constantly!


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