Funny Story About Grooming A Malamute
In the midst of raising our little malamute, Griffin (now almost 10 months old) even though it's a bit of a challenge, there are times when I just have to sit back and laugh. This week, luckily I had a few chances to laugh - this is always a positive.
Since our last episode with Griffin at the park, we decided to go all out with the training. We even called in another expert trainer and I must say at this point in time, I'm ditching the clicker. I think I should have gone along with my first instinct and should have realized that clicking your way to obedience with a mal was a lost cause!
That said, things have been going well. I think having him neutered was also a huge step in the right direction as far as getting him to start thinking with the right head!
Here in Prinetucky, it is getting on in temperature for us - at least during the daytime - and with that, the malamutes are starting to really feel it. They need to go to the groomer but since Griffin had been newly 'snipped' we could not really make his appointment quite yet. However, with all that panting going on, last Friday I took pity on the poor boy and decided to get out the Furminator myself and have a go at his coat.
There is no easy way to brush these guys - they are huge - even as a puppy he has more hair than my 8-year-old female. He also isn't quite fond of staying put for long periods of time, so I had Bob pull the SUV into the garage and then got a sturdy leash and hooked him to the running board of the car. I then went to get my big grocery bag for the hair and a small stool and I was set to go.
Things were actually going pretty well - a few raps here under the chin for trying to bite the hand that brushed him and a few redirections there....ah, life with a puppy. For the most part, I was very happily pulling off wad after wad of hair and rejoicing that I actually was going to give the poor lad a bit of 'breathing' room. I had gone to get him a toy only once and he seemed content to let me rake away over and over although I have to say - someone should be knitting this stuff into sweaters! I don't need any more hobbies but it surely would be a good one. Their hair is so pure and clean that it would make a sweater much like an angora. I know folks do it - I just don't.
I digress.....so I'm thinking about the hair that is rapidly filling the grocery bag beside me and I guess I wasn't paying THAT much attention - so atypical of me! I went to move back because Griffin had someone gotten closer to me (probably in hopes of me not being able to keep brushing and pulling). I went to position myself on the stool and much to my horror, I somehow thought I moved the stool but it didn't move at all - and I overshot it with my backside and ended up feeling that all-too-familiar feeling.... I'm falling and I can't get up! Are you kidding me? How does someone my age overshoot a stool with their butt? Well - I did it!
Luckily, I did not clank my head on the running board - double luckily I did not clank my head on the cement garage floor. However, I did manage to somehow catch my slippered foot in the stupid leash and as I went backwards off the stool, which I might add was still sitting there, I felt the leash pull tight and felt my leg go out at a really weird angle. Now here I am lying on my back on a Friday morning with my leg and ankle caught in the leash - I truly have fallen and I can't get up!
I of course did the best thing I knew how to do - I called for help. Surely Bob would hear me since he was in the kitchen/dining room which was just off the garage! Too bad he has to have the TV on 24/7 and it was blaring away with some basketball game! Too bad he's deaf as the proverbial post - at least when I'm in trouble it seems! I'm yelling out 'Bob - oh BOB - help - I'm stuck to the car with my leg in the leash' - all to no avail.
About this time, Griffin realizes that I'm not getting up and bless his little heart but what does he do? Come and stand over me - practically on TOP of me - licking my face from one end to the other to make sure I'm okay! It doesn't seem to be bothering him that my leg is going at a right angle from my body - and that I'm shaking it repeatedly trying to get it free from the wrap of the leash! And that I'm swearing and yelling 'get off me'! Another training session that works!
Well, it probably took a few minutes, but I eventually managed to shove him out of the way - he was the one putting the torque on the leash in the first place yanking my leg - and wriggled out of my slipper and sent that flying to parts unknown. Then I finally got my frigging foot out of the mess and was at least able to sit up. No damage done - just mostly my inflamed pride again as usual.
Of course when I stalked into the house a few minutes later - COVERED with malamute fur from head to toe literally, Bob has the nerve to ask me what the heck I'm doing covered with hair! You have to be kidding me! I think I live in the 'I get no respect zone'. I had to go strip off all the clothes and start all over again with Griffin because I had more hair on me than he did at that point! And while we're at it - hell of a back-up there, Bob! I guess I had that one coming though after the roof incident.
But I'm Not Done Yet!
Next day, Saturday, dawns bright and clear. We are going to finally go to Bend and have a bit of a walk around in the nice weather with the dogs after I get off work. I work at home for a transcription service and work 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday and then have the rest of the days to myself. As usual, I was up to my eyebrows in medical reports, busily concentrating on things medical.
Bob had called down to me a little earlier and told me he was going to go out and run some quick errands and that he'd be back shortly - in plenty of time for us to get on the road to town.
A little over an hour later, in the midst of my editing haze, I looked up to see one hysterical husband in the doorway of my office - he is in total panic mode! 'Griffin's gone - oh my God - he's GONE, Audrey. I went outside and I looked everywhere in the backyard, on the deck - down below on the patio - I called and called and he's NOWHERE to be found!'
My heart absolutely stopped. I thought I was going to faint as I heard rushing water in my head of some sort. It couldn't be! Quickly I thought clearly enough to ask 'Is Denaya still out there?' If one of them was out there, there was no way there could have been a 'prison break' meaning a chewed hole in the fence, etc. Where one goes, the other follows - the rule of the malamute!
Of course, Denaya is still laying on the deck where she always is - and I'm thinking how could someone come into the backyard and rip off one 80-pound puppy and not rouse the babysitter? Even though malamutes are not famous for being watchdogs, at the very least, Denaya would have a cow if anyone tried to take HIM and not HER! All of this is going through my head at the speed of light while I'm getting sick thinking someone has stolen my puppy.
Then all of a sudden it hit me - 'Wait a minute, you IDIOT! Didn't you tell me you were going to run errands before and I could swear I heard you say you were taking Griff with you??' (Please God tell me he said that and he DID that)
I see the love of my life look perfectly baffled for a moment and then the light goes on - 'Oh yeah - THAT's where he is - in the SUV'.....
Oh my God - and they let us drive cars and move freely about in society without guardians!!
Another Day Another Story
So there you have it - my 2 little humorous Griffin tales for the week (and it's not over yet). The bad thing is that probably someone should report this to Animal Protective Services - he is living with a couple of RETARDS if you ask me! He is probably in danger of being made stupid by association - or senile!
I think we should go ahead and sign up now for that assisted living I've been thinking about. It may not be too early to get some help - as in a panic button if we fall and get caught in a leash from falling off a stool - or if we misplace our dog and can't remember what we did with him or her! Why wait - I know it's going to be necessary all too soon!
More by this Author
Leash pulling is a very natural behavior for most dogs as truly, most do not like being on a leash in the first place. However, you can prevent it with a few easy techniques.
Learn how to groom an Alaskan Malamute from bathing to tools needed to properly care for this double-coated breed's coat.
EMDR therapy is proving very successful in dealing with many anxiety and panic disorders. Learn how you can self-administer EMDR therapy any time and any place.