What a day!  I was on the road at 8 am this morning to pick up Frosty (now known as Fritzy) from his home in central New Hampshire.  Squeezed by the usual foster home overcrowding, I had put off these folks until the last possible minute. Frosty's family was in the midst of divorce, and all the house selling, moving chaos that often comes with the big D.  Today was the last day of Frosty's life as he knew it. 

Now, when Frosty's owner brought him out of the house, he was sporting one helluva dirty look.  Clearly, he was not happy to see me...and was not pleased at all that I immediately began to pluck tufts of dreadlocked, mangled tufts of hair out of his pantaloons.  He turned to snap at me, and since I was not in the greatest mood, I snapped back.

I was pretty stunned at the condition of Frosty's pantaloons, and wondered aloud..."How the hell did his coat get in this condition?"  Well, Frosty's owner explained that he "would not let her brush him."  I don't get this.  When we start letting the dogs make the grooming's time for a stiff shot of tequila to infuse some starch in our sails.  This is the strategy that I use to perform Toot's pedicure. 

Nonetheless, Frosty had apparently conned several groomers, armed with expertise and muzzles, into thinking that his pantaloons were off limits.  For a 25 pound dog, he has some nerve, I'd say.  And so, it was with reckless abandon that I donned my heavy winter gloves and pulled out the grooming tools to rehabilitate Frosty's behind. 

Normally, I would have let him settle in for a bit, but I had invited Carol over to meet Frosty and, hopefully, to adopt him. And, let me just say that Frosty was a long way from presentable.  So, the fun began.  In just over two hours I plucked two full bags of fur out of this dog.  And, I am not without wounds. 

However, when a dog presents this much of a grooming can't just give up. You must persevere to find some strategy that will work.  If neglected, eventually, the hair becomes so matted that it pulls and pinches the skin...which was part of Frosty's problem.  Every time he got pinched, I got nipped.  But, we got through it, and Frosty was in decent shape by the time that Carol and her friends arrived. 

Now, when I first read Carol's application, I thought that she would be wonderful for Frosty.  Never mind the fact that she wanted a female.  I overlooked that part.  In speaking with Carol, she mentioned to me that she was pretty certain that she wanted a female, because they were sweeter and easier to manage than males.  HA!.  Diane Gonzalez and I got a laugh over this as we recalled our day in Manhattan battling 12 rounds with Isis in the back of my car.  I think Diane got bitten 12 times that day. 

Now, if it is true that there are truly sweet female Eskies out there...then I am going to trade in Toot for a nice one.  I had thought that female Eskies were the reason that dog linguists coined the phrase, "BITCH."  Ah, the bitches I have known....Nadia, Toot, Greta Garbo, Sophie, Sasha, Shayla, Sugar, Isis...and the Queen Bitch of all bitches...Lady Day.  The power of estrogen just staggers the mind. 

And so, I was delighted when Carol agreed to consider her Frosty Boy, and even more pleased that she brought friends who were seasoned Eskie folks.  The introduction was really more than I had hoped for...although, since Carol was not torturing Frosty with the hair brush, she had one leg up on me. Carol and Frosty rode home in style, and calm.  So far so good.  Here is her first report. 

March 20, 2005 

Hi Denise,         

We had a comfortable ride home and now Frosty is thoroughly checking out my house, inside and outside (on the long lead).  He’s taking his first drink of water right now, I can hear him.  So far, he hasn’t said a peep.  Have you heard his voice?         

If possible at your convenience could you email me one or more of the photos you took of Frosty and I so that I show my Minnesota family and all my friends?          

Thank you so much for doing the work you do. There’s a reason you have the email address you have.


March 29, 2005, part one

Hi Denise,

          Thanks for the email filled with expert advice.  Fritzy (yes, a better name and he responds to it) is coming along well, and I love him.  He has some odd regressions (such as backing away from me after I’ve been at school all day.)  Fortunately I’ve been doing most of what you describe below, plus he is coming when I just call his name most of the time too.  He sits for his daily treats and heels, though this is inconsistent.  We’ve had two walks on the beach every day on the long weekend and one every day last week.  This week, so far, has been pouring rain here, so no walks.  I’m just leashing him in the back yard.

          I’ll try leashing him inside the house.  He does come well with the leash.  No snapping.  I’ve bombed on the not sleeping in my bed area, though.  He does sleep with me and I love that.  I hope I can develop the appropriate Alpha relationship with him despite that.

          I’m going to order the first book below.  Is there one other I should order along with it?


March 29, 2005, part two

Hi Denise,

          Why thanks!  My son has gotten involved in Fritzy’s training some, too.  Just yesterday, Leif was finally rewarded by some kisses (rather than nips) on the hand.  Deep down Fritzy is a sweet dog.

          Anytime you want to come up this way with your dogs and walk on the beach with Fritzy and me, let me know.  I’ll let you know when low tide is so you can plan around that.