His Bite’s Worse Than His Bark!

At around midday yesterday yours truly walked a tentative, yet still curious, canine into an Ossett dog grooming salon. Bereft of his coat trimming for several weeks, along with being visually hampered by unkempt facial hair, he looked like a neglected waif and stray.

Incidentally, the neglected waif and stray was the dog, not me. Admittedly, my beard does need a trim; however, unlike Deano (the unpredictable Lhasa Apso), upon entering this lair of doggy pampering my eye sight wasn’t impaired by an overly hirsute visage.

At this point it’s fair to say that I rarely use Deano’s moniker of baptism when addressing him. The title I ordinarily greet the little Tibetan terror with is Lord Avashight; a name inspired by his ingrained neediness which makes me feel like Jeeves to his Bertie Wooster.

Footnote – GJ Strachan used the locution ‘baptism’ above as a metaphor to describe the episode when his lordship was named. Although I believe some dog owners have wandered down the idiosyncratic path of christening their mutts, I’ve got it on good authority from his owner (Sarah) that my canine chum wasn’t baptised…… Chuffing athiest owners!

Although I’ve not witnessing acts of biting first hand, I have it on good authority Lord Avashight possesses a nipping rap sheet as long as an Irish Wolfhound’s leg. Consequently, it was with some trepidation I introduced him to the fella who’s job it was to bath, clipper and dry the wee man.

Having never previously taken a dog to a grooming parlour, I was a tad uncertain when the largely build fella, who looked like a tough guy extra from a Guy Ritchie gangster movie inquired “What do you want me to do?”

Fearing the fella, who looked like he wouldn’t be out of place fighting Vinnie Jones on celluloid, was in for a torrid time avoiding a canine bite, I sheepishly replied “Just do what you can!” Me going on to almost apologetically add “Oh, and just to let you know, he can be a bit unpredictable so be careful.”

The shaven headed brick outhouse of a bloke looked unperturbed at this warning. A response raising fears he maybe overly complacent about the upcoming jeopardy around grooming the diminutive Lhasa.

Wishing the burly bloke a nervy “Good luck!“, I left the Ossett salon with visions of returning two hours later to find Lord Avashight’d taken exception to being clipped. The canine irk resulting in the groomer losing an ear and both index fingers.

I spend the next two hours meandering around a garden centre in Durkar, Wakefield, with my buddy Sarah. One hundred and twenty minutes where I constantly checked for missed calls, or texts, from an ambulance man. The paramedic requesting yours truly returned to claim my dog who’d hospitalised the parlour’s owner and was currently attempting to eat the clippers.

In the end, though, the only text I received was around 2pm advising Lord Avashight (or Deano as they tagged him) was ready to pick up from the grooming salon. The message containing no hint of dramatic scenes during the wee fella’s pampering session. Which, although not confirmed verbally, I deemed encouraging.

Just after 2pm I arrived back at the dog pampering parlour. Upon entering the reception area I was relieved to witness the burly groomer was still in possession of all fingers and facial extremities. Tentatively, I inquired if his lordship had behaved himself under this fella’s watch.

He’s been fine….. Errrrrr…… Well, apart from when he bit me when I tried to clip his claws.” he said pointing to a scratch on his right forearm.

Sorry about that, mate.” I responded apologetically, me looking down crossly at Deano, whose lead I was now holding.

Don’t worry about it, pal….. It’s not the worse dog bite I’ve ever had!” he retorted with remarkable largesse considering the circumstances.

Upon returning home, typically yours truly ‘punished’ the dog, who’s putty in Lord Avashight and his canine sister Zella’s paws, by giving him a doggy treat. An act followed by affording him the equally undeserved praise of “You’ve been a good boy, haven’t you.”

When it comes to looking after dogs, will I ever learn?!

“Who the hell are you staring at?!” – Lord Avashight

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