Day 4 finally managed to be the last day of my handstripping torture. Mum said her arms were really sore and tired, but she also praised me and said I was the most tolerant doggie she's ever met, and I make her so very proud. Day 4 included another 6 hours of grooming, no joke at all.
My furry head and neck, about to begin being handstripped.
The areas that need to be finished only include the front part of my body, neck, chest, head and face. These are also the most difficult areas to handstrip because the skin is so loose, its so hard to make the skin taut. Also, the face and neck are very sensitive areas so the speed has to be slow and Mum has to be extra careful with the blade, not to scrape any part of me.
Mum used an old decapitated head (of one of my old toys) as a chin pillow so that I don't have to strain my neck and get tired. She strips out a pathway on the back of my neck, and then tackles it from the side, gradually moving toward the front of the neck. The neck has extremely profuse thick coat.
From the center path, stripping towards the left. I take a nap while Mum does her work on me.
Yay, time for a break and more treats. My left back neck is now all done.
A close up view of the neck shows that it is a tricky part to handstrip because the fur begins to grow in all sorts of directions (up, down, sideways). There is a line from the tip of the ear, down to the chest where the hair growing in different directions merge. This means the method of stripping in one direction wouldn't work, and the human will need to change directions frequently to minimize discomfort for the dog.
Half of the front of the neck and chest are now done. See how red I've become, and that's with slow speed and less plucking. These areas tend to be very sensitive and I do my best to tolerate Mum's fussing. I need to be bribed with more treats and fortunately, Mum gets the hint.
Finally the whole chest is done. Now we move upwards toward the head, ears and face.
A side profile showing what Mum has to do. All of that fur needs to come off.
Mum prefers to clip me directly underneath my chin, because I don't get shown and that's an extremely tough and painful area to strip. Mum says I can be saved from that torture. Thank Goodness!!! She cleans up that area a fair bit, all the way front, until the lip has a crease where it joins the gums. That crease also has nasty hair normally and a stink. It is best to shave off all that nastiness.
Mum does her best to minimize pain on my skin, so she does the plucking as slowly and gently as she possibly can. She tells me that as a reward, we'll go biking tomorrow, for 10 miles if I'd like. Yay Mummy, I'm really looking forward to that.
We're finally done with the handstripping stage. Now I take a bath, get brushed up and then ready for a last day of fine tuning and finish work.
The above picture shows the difference between before getting head stripped and after. I look much neater now.
The picture shows how Mum tackles the neck, a very difficult area. She creates a pathway first, and from there, moves to the sides.