Sunday, July 28, 2013
Thirteen years ago I attended my first ever grooming show in Nashville, TN. I was mesmerized by the grooming competition. Groomers, like me, in a ring surrounded by their peers,creating art out of living animals. I thought, "I could never do that." Then I thought, "I want to do that!" When I returned home from the show I told my husband, "I need a Standard Poodle, I want to compete." I was kidding. Sort of. A week went by and he asked, innocently, "When are we getting that poodle?"
At that grooming show one groomer had really caught my eye. Not only was her dog stunningly styled, she played with it cutely while waiting for judging, and she was so pretty and seemed so nice. After asking around, I found she had a litter of puppies that she was raising for a client/friend. Before I knew it I had arranged to buy one.
I had hoped for sweet, pretty dog with a nice coat for grooming. I got that, in spades. I forgot to hope for a dog that was smart. Standard poodles are known to be very intelligent, and I assumed any one I got would be brainy. I assumed wrong. Dazzle was not overly endowed with smarts, but she had a double helping of sweet and happy. She had a good life... and never knew unkindness. We moved to Maine from Memphis when she was 3, and she loved the huge yard and even the snow.
She traveled with me to trade shows, was a model for a clipper company, helped train more groomers and grooming staff to wash and prepare a poodle type coat than I can remember. She barked fiercely at "intruders," and loved her canine pals.
She's been ill for a few months. Her veterinarian and I suspect a tumor in her sinus. She has been having trouble eating and has lost weight. Sometimes she seemed to be in pain. So today I slipped her a tranquilizer around 2pm. At 3:00 her doctor arrived. Dazzle was sleeping peacefully on her favorite leather dog bed. The vet gave her an injection that made her unconscious. Her pug and toy poodle friends laid close to her as the final injection was given, and her heart stopped.
Chris buried her alongside some other much-missed pets. As he was digging her grave I was feeding the other dogs. By habit I got 4 bowls out, and cut her meat extra fine. Then I remembered that she was gone. She has been such an integral part of our lives for so many years... it will be strange to have her not be here. I am grateful for the gift of her life, and feel blessed to have known her, cared for her, and ushered her kindly to whatever is next.