Columnist, Veronica Clark: A true life shaggy story
Some call it vanity. My husband calls it denial. Whatever it is, I’ve finally admitted defeat. I need glasses. This became blindingly obvious when I went to collect my cocker spaniel dog, Maxwell, from the dog groomer. Max had been long overdue a haircut. I usually take him every three months, because, if I don’t, he grows a strange wolf-type fur along the ridge of his back. Think of a middle-aged man with an unnaturally hairy back, and you get the picture. Unfortunately, we’d missed his last ‘haircut’ because we were away in France. So when the dog groomer rang to say they’d had a cancellation and could I bring Max in that morning, I jumped at the chance. His fur was so straggly that he looked like he’d been sleeping rough for a month. My husband helped get Max, who thinks going for a walk is the most exciting thing known to dog, into the car. He loves car journeys - Max, not my husband - but he’s also a terrible fuss, shivering with excitement whenever we set off. Being a cocker spaniel, he also has the nose of a detective. As soon as we’d parked up, he’d already sensed a change in the air. Max probably would argue this point, but he always looks a million times better when he’s had a trim. The dog groomer does the ‘full package’, which includes emptying the ‘gland’. Now, as any dog owner will explain, it’s not something to be sniffed at. I once made the mistake of taking him to the vets where I had to hold him as they carried out the procedure. The smell was so bad that I couldn’t eat solid food for two days.

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