Hello!!! Its been a crazy, busy 4 months around here. I have been traveling alot, been out of the country 3 times and moved. Hence the reason I haven’t been around
much, well, not at all. Things have calmed down and I hope to stay put for a while. I’ll write about my adventures soon.
Unfortunately, while on my travels the Saints had what is affectionately known as a seasonal “coat blow” and my husband and son did not brush them and they got matted. Really matted on their tails. Sadly, too matted to brush it out and I had to trim up some of their lush tail hair and Im heartbroken. Much to my dismay, tail hair doesn’t grow back as quickly as regular coat fur and this just adds insult to injury from the hotspot incidents way back in the winter. One lesson I can hopefully pass on to those of you with long tailed dogs, please please please make sure you regularly brush out your dogs tails. Some dogs need it daily, some every few days. It doesn’t take much time. Just a few strokes through the hair with a good brush or comb while you are sitting in front of the tv. Not only will it keep the hair from knotting, but it will also serve as some much coveted snuggle time for your dog. They love nothing more than being touched and stroked by their owners. This is a significant bonding activity.
So fast forward to now… The dogs have been professionally groomed to put me back to square one and blow out the coat. I found a new groomer closer to my new place, 4 Paws and a Tail. I absolutely love them! They did a great job on the saints and at a significantly lower cost than my old place. I was a little hesitant to change places since I have been going there for years and they are familiar with the boys. They keep raising their prices each time I go in and the last time they didn’t do a very good job (ok horrible job) and I had to take Rufus back to have him blown out and brushed again because it was such a crappy job. So I decided to change.
Professional grooming is costly and time consuming. Its a special treat for me and I usually only take them in two or three times a year. So, I take care of them myself the rest of the time. Having a few good brushes/combs makes a huge difference when grooming your dogs yourself. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with different functions for different coat lengths. For my saints, a comb with long wide set bristles works great.
Furminator is known for for their deShedding “furminator” tool – I have one and used it with great success for years (see post). I was so excited to find out they had expanded their line of grooming tools to include combs, slicker brushes, curry combs, undercoat rakes, nail clippers and grinders plus a vacuum accessory to attach the furminator de-shedding tool to your vacuum to suck the hair up as its being removed! PAWSOME!!! I used the “grooming solutions” link on their website to determine what tools were appropriate for my dogs and after answering 4 simple questions about the size of my dogs and their coat type it gave me 4 suggestions of tools that would work for my guys. For the DOG – GIANT (90LBS+) – 2+ INCH HAIR LENGTH – SILKY HAIR it suggested the Large Soft Slicker Brush and Large Finishing Comb, which I got and as an “also recommended” the Long Hair Giant deShedding tool (which I already have) and the Dual Brush. I figured I’d stick with the first two recommendations and if I liked them I’d purchase the Dual Brush later on.
I first tried out the Large Soft Slicker Brush. I really liked it because it is double-sided and split down the middle allowing the brush to contour along the dog’s body for more comfort. I’ve tried slicker brushes in the past and they can be somewhat uncomfortable for the dog because they are so rigid along the curves of the shoulders and hips. With the middle-slit design (which I have never seen before) it allows the brush to glide over these areas reducing the pressure on those spots yet still grabbing the loose hair, lots of hair! I was able to remove the hair from the slicker brush easily with a comb for quick clean up. Those of you that have slicker brushes know how hard they can be to clean up, this was a snap (and no bristles pricking under your fingernails trying to wrestle out that hair!).
I also got one of the Large Finishing Combs. The ergonomically shaped handle (I know, buzzword, but holy cow its so comfortable in your hand!) I tossed out my other comb after using this one because I was able to use it for a really long time with out it hurting the knuckle of my middle finger. I normally get that ouchie divot if I use the other straight, hard-plastic handled ones too long. No such problem! Both tools have a ruberized and rounded handle that fit comfortably in my hand. Because it takes so long, comfort is key when brushing/grooming a giant dog.
I give both tools an A+ and definitely recommend them!
Take a look on their website at all the cool new things they have on the market. I just spied a Fur Dry – The Wet Dog Solution, drying wrap…. its a microfiber wrap to use after swimming, bathing or grooming that draws the water away from their coat. It comes in several sizes including the GIANT size for my guys and how can I resist ording it when they have a saint bernard modeling it on their site? How cool is that?! Im so getting a pair for the boys!