Handstripping is a new thing to me, and to Mum. She decided to take up handstripping because my coat is wiry, thick and coarse and of the correct texture and color. Colors being rich tan and black. I've been previously clipped by mum, a few times, but she has been advised to handstrip me instead if we want to keep my coat the way it is.
She bought a DVD from Jane Harvey from Australia, Rangeaire Vision (Web: http://www.rangeairevision.com/
) and decided to learn from the experts. It is very difficult finding experts who know how to do these things in Wa, and although Mum is already attending grooming school, it doesn't mean they teach her how to groom show dogs. Fortunately, grooming an Airedale in a show strip isn't that daunting, like grooming poodles for eg. And Mummy says, all it takes is perseverence, determination and hard work. And an eye for detail. Practice, practice, practice makes perfect. And guess who gets to be the guinea pig? Me of course.
So ok, I endured the tugging and the pulling, albeit very patiently. I do not fuss or move, or whine or escape. I just sit there patiently while Mum uses the handstripping knife and uses her thumb to pull out the hair. Sometimes I get tired, and then I lay down on the grooming table, or on Mum's lap. The constant motion and rythm of mum's actions seems to lull me into sleep. It isn't really painful at all, in fact, I was quite comfortable, and I felt like dozing into dreamland. After a while, when Mum got tired, she would let me down and we'd play a bit and potty too. Then it was back on the table again. We had 2 straight afternoons of this handstripping business, and still we were not finished. Mummy was so sore by the end of the 2nd afternoon, she left a tuft on my neck and throat and below the ears. Only after this afternoon (3rd day) was she able to remove all of that lion's mane.
Unstripped, thick messy coat
Stripped halfway, can you spot where it has been stripped and where it hasn't?
(hint: Stripped areas look bald)
Mum and I in action (note the treat container near my nose)
I get treats every now and then in between handstripping so I feel appreciated for being Mum's guinea pig
Close Up View of handstripped saddle (halfway point)
Let's wait and see what happens after this. I'm almost bald in my saddle and body, but the good top coat should be growing in about 3 weeks time. My head looks much neater now.