Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beauty is in the Eye of the Dog Parent

When I got Moxie, we had an agreement with the breeder that we would leave her intact and evaluate her for confirmation at a year old.  Due to various reasons, we didn't get around to the evaluation until this weekend (17 months). Glenn and I were really hoping for a verdict of "no" so we could spay her and avoid another heat cycle.  I honestly don't know how people used to stand that for a dog's whole life.  Yuk! Last weekend at the Reliant Park show, the breeder saw her and there was talk about grooming and showing.  I talked to Glenn about the possibility of showing her and he was not thrilled at the idea, but he didn't protest too strongly.  Later that day, he said "I always said I would never let a daughter of mine be in a beauty pageant." He has made no bones about the fact that he thinks the whole thing is ridiculous. 

Then this weekend I traveled to College Station to work on grooming Moxie and talk to the breeder about what we were going to decide about showing Moxie.  We put her up on the table, and while she is a really nice dog, she is simply longer in the leg than your average scottie.  The breed standard clearly calls for space for the average man's fist to fit between their brisket and the ground.  She said she thought we should focus on agility and not worry about showing.  I was thinking Hallelujah.  I want her to be a nicely groomed pretty dog, but I don't necessarily need a judge to tell me that.  :-)  So, I drove home eagerly anticipating calling the vet Monday morning and scheduling a spay surgery! 

When I got home, I told Glenn the good news and he was oddly subdued.  This is the man who has repeatedly told me how much prefers the "natural" look (think the shaggy Fala look) and thinks Moxie all groomed looks like an aardvark. He looked over at Moxie and says "Don't worry girl, I think you are beautiful, even if that breeder woman doesn't."  He asked how a scottie with what he frequently describes as "T-rex" flippers rather than front legs can be too long in the leg.  (As an aside, it is interesting that a dog with legs too short to easily cover her own snout with her paws---that trick just isn't going to happen as she can't comfortably hold that pose--can have legs that are too long) He immediately put her on the floor and turned to me and held his fingers open an inch.  "But, it's only that much clearance." I was somewhat perplexed at this point, this was NOT the response I expected.  He went on to grumble for a while about how he wanted to tell her no, not her tell us no.  That he thought she was as good looking as the dogs he sees at shows, etc.  I finally said, "I thought you would be happy that we could spay her and move on." He agreed that he was, but he didn't like Moxie being rejected.  I assured him that she is perfectly happy and feels no rejection here.  And I have to be secretly pleased that he feels such a strong protection instinct over the dogs. He can say they are "ugly" but no one else better say it.  :-)
After her spay surgery Wednesday, she has laid in her bed and groaned.  Bailey brought over Moxie's favorite toy--the green duck. 

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