The Beauty Parlor
Ten weeks ago, my husband took my puppy for his first haircut.
I had to work. But I should have known better. I should have taken the day off. Dads cannot communicate what Moms want for their kids’ hairdos.
Theo is a Lagotto Romagnolo, an ancient Italian breed that is the ancestor to the Standard Poodle, the Portuguese and Spanish Water Dogs, and just about every water dog and retriever since the Middle Ages.
In fact, here’s a painting called “The Meeting” by Andrea Mantegna from 1474.
See the dog at the lower left?
He’s a Lagotto Romagnolo. From more than 500 years ago.
And check this guy out. It’s a painting from the 1600s by Il Guercino, which translates to “The Blinker,” so I am thinking that it is a self-portrait of the weird-eyed human on the right.
Compare the doggie above with my Theo’s mama, who has the un-mama name of Dada:
The breed hasn’t changed much in the last 400 years.
Lagottos (or Lagotti, not sure which is correct) are very popular in Italy and some other parts of Europe, because they are terrific truffle hunters.
In the U.S., they are still fairly rare – about 500 right now I think. And they were just recognized by the AKC, and so now compete in the big dog shows. Westminster, here we come.
Theo’s mom and dad are both Italian. Dada the Mama came to the U.S. already pregnant. So Theo is an anchor baby of the canine variety.
I am still waiting for him to find a truffle in our yard, so we can be rich.
But back to the haircut.
I was not pleased with Theo’s first haircut. Too short and with kind of a poodley pompadour at the top. And because he was shorn very close around his eyes (which of course he needs in order to see), the pompadour gave him a distinctly cro-magnon look. On top of that, I thought his ears were cut too short and too straight across. The total effect was kind of a cro-magnon-y Moe Fine.
So needless to say (which is an expression I should NEVER use, because if it was needless to say, I wouldn’t say it, but probably 87% of everything I say and write is needless, but my goal is to get down to 84% by the end of the year) – I accompanied Theo and my hubby on this week’s visit to the groomer.
I have a very hard time telling my own hairdresser exactly what I want. This is partially because I think she may actually know best what looks good on me, and partially because I’m never quite sure anyway of what I really want, and partially because I don’t want to upset her when she has scissors.
But I had no trouble telling the nice groomer what I wanted for my doggie’s hairdo.
The groomer spent two hours on Theo. I can have color, highlights, a trim, and a blow-dry in under two hours, but then again, my hairdresser only has to work with the top of my head, and not my feet and belly and private parts.
And of course, my hairdresser doesn’t deal with too much squirminess – in fact, she practically has to wake me up after her magic fingers shampoo technique.
Here’s Theo’s “before” shot:
Adorable, but lacking a certain quality – usually called “vision.”
Lisa the Groomer first combed out all his knots, of which he had quite a few, because we are not good parents.
Then it was time for the shampoo. Although this is my favorite part of my own trips to the hairdresser, it was not Theo’s favorite.
Then came the blow-dry. Theo was not overly fond of the noise, but he managed to keep it together, though his anxiety is evident.
Lisa gave him the full works on the blow-out – making him as fluffy as possible before the cut:
Time for the actual cut. I admit to getting a bit misty-eyed as the clippers mowed though all Theo’s beautiful fuzz. My husband and I had a bit of a disagreement on ear length, as my husband felt that my instructions left Theo’s ears too “girly” – whatever that means. So Lisa adjusted Theo’s ears to a more masculine ear – also whatever that means.