Groomer visits are also dangerous for the pet store staff...based on reputation...they muzzle her. Then three of them hold her still so a fourth can do something simple, like trim her nails.
For more complex procedures like getting bathed, poor Roxy goes berserk. I guess she associates getting wet with pain. So at the suggestion of our veterinarian, we prep her by hiding a Benadryl tablet in cream cheese. Supposedly, its a safe method to help take the edge off and reduce her chances of trashing the doggy beauty salon.
ODDLY, ROXY'S WATER-PHOBIA, ALLOWS FOR SPLASHING AT THE BEACH?
If I was a dog whisperer or that nutty "PET PSYCHOLOGIST" on TV, perhaps I could learn the origins of Muttzilla's problem. I would hate to think that as a puppy, she was used as a pawn, in some obscure ritual in which desperate Eastern Europeans find a mate. Especially if that rite involved luring a young dog into submission with a lavish brushing before tying it to a brick and submerging it water.
My son Andrew has been influenced by Roxy's peculiarity. While I am not certain when he became motivated to delve into this mystery, I do recall a catalyst that might have sparked his interest to move forward.
In September 2009, Absegami High School invited parents to meet the teachers. One of Andrew's sophomore year courses was, "ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING." The teacher explained the curriculum, grading system and expectations to us. He then identified some of the highlights. He climaxed his spiel by mentioning a contest. This school-wide competition would encourage the kids to write a play...and the winner would have their show produced and performed in the spring, (now).
The next time I saw Andrew, I told him Creative Writing sounded so good that I tempted to audit the class. He said, "Yeah, it would be so cool to win that play contest and see actors interpret my work."THE CHALLENGE OF THIS CONTEST TURNED MY BOY UPSIDE DOWN.
Andrew entered into a committee with four friends and wrote a comedy called, "How NOT To Ask Out A Girl." Several meetings took place at our house and I got to see, the metamorphosis of their production. I can NOT stress enough the fact that parents...in an attempt to encourage their children, subjectively exaggerate the quality of their work. This is NOT one of those occasions. Because, I couldn't help but laugh at the clever dialog and marvel at its relevance and original approach to the agelessness of this teenage angst dilemma.
The group of playwrights evolved into a core of three, (Andrew, Billy and Glen), after one completely flaked-off and another took a much more passive role. The three boys persevered and in January were declared the contest winners.
As a part of Absegami's, "NEW VOICES: A NIGHT OF ONE ACT PLAYS," their play, along with one other student winner and one professionally written show were performed by the school's theater troupe, the Emanon Players, this past Thursday and Friday, (April 16th and 17th).
"How NOT To Ask Out A Girl," adapted well to the stage. Despite last minute re-writes, logistical obstacles and slight deviations by the actors, Andrew maturely handled the imperfections in his concepts. Then the audience rewarded Andrew's comedic repartee by responding with appropriate bursts of laughter. They were also engaged with the sympathetic characters and displayed it by moaning over their plights. More importantly, the audience showed their relief by switching from a hushed nervous anxiety when they recognized the absurdity of the kittenbrick climax and applauded in approval.
When the show was over, I was thrilled to hear the out-going audience talk-up the kittenbrick sequence and to see Andrew, Billy and Glen so pleased. Perhaps the inspiration of Roxy's irrational, excessive and persistent fear of getting wet etc., guided the young writers down the path to successful humor. After all, the staunchest PETA member and even Michael Vick could see the ridiculousness and get past the implied mental trauma to a kitten tied to a brick...who is shot-putted through the fair young maiden's window...and laugh.
If we needed more proof of Roxy's role in the kittenbrick idea, two days ago, under the influence of Benadryl, she went for the full treatment at the groomer; bath, ear cleaning and tooth brushing. On the way, her instinct for disaster caused her to whine and cry. In the parking lot, our dog automatically clicked onto Muttzilla-mode and fought the whole way into her perceived torture chamber.
AFTER DOZENS OF RORSCHACH TESTS, SOCK PUPPETS, THE USE OF REMOTE VIEWING AND WORD ASSOCIATION GAMES, THE FATHER OF CANINE PSYCHO-ANALYSIS, SIGMUND McDOGG DEVELOPED A THEORY THAT LED TO THIS HELLISH PROJECTION OF WHAT ROXY ENVISIONS AT THE GROOMER.
Our little girl barked, clawed and snapped at anyone who came near her. After she was pinned down by the dungeon-master and three robust hench-women, her morning at the spa began. Even when it was over she was still angry. They put her temporarily in a crate. While waiting to get picked-up, Roxy was still so tense that she had diarrhea. And being the genius that she is, she rolled in it....thus causing her agony to be doubled because they had to re-bathe her.
The top of the groomer's receipt has a typical itemization list and the bottom has a report card theme. They gave her a "C," and added, "She was not bad today." I can't imagine what the "D's" and "F's" do but there is an item on the list for an extra, "Behavior Problem Charge." Ours was blank...yay us...yay Roxy.
Maybe next time, we'll shoot for a "B." To help Roxy improve, I think we should have them hook her up with a St. Bernard with a full keg of brandy...or just tie the old girl to a brick.