Mooka got an estimated 15 pounds of fur clipped, her first time at a professional groomer. Foxtails, which are rampant around here this time of year, kept getting buried under her thick coat. The second time one became embedded in her skin and infected before we found it, the vet suggested we get her clipped.
Clipping Australian Shepherd coats is controversial. Some people have their dogs clipped regularly in the summer to keep them cool. Other people say the coat has thermal qualities that help them regulate their temperature better. This may be true, and is certainly a concern for us, since it gets very hot here. But due to the foxtail issue, and the vet's advice, we decided to try it once and see how it goes. The groomer said it's best not to do it more than twice a year, because their fur qualities will change if you do it too often. They have an outer coat and an undercoat, and the outer coat can forget to grow back. Also, you want to be careful not to cut it too short that the dog will get sunburned. We only plan to do it once a year at the most, and kept it long enough so her skin is protected.
She would have felt remiss had she not created at least some pandemonium during the whole experience, so she got that out of the way early on. They led her into the back room on a leash where she was supposed to wait in a kennel while the last dog was finished before they could start on her. Unsuspecting, she willingly followed the stranger, distracted by all the new smells. After the door swung shut behind her and she got a glimpse of what was in store for her (there were huge hoses everywhere and blowing noises, and dogs barking incessently), it must have dawned on her that we weren't with her anymore. She houdini-ed right out of her collar and tore back into the front room. I was standing behind the counter with one foot in the air ready to head out, when she burst through the doors and came barreling toward me, the groomer trailing after her holding a leash with an empty collar attached to it.
We managed to pull her back into control, and I assisted in getting her installed in the kennel. The groomer assured us that she cooperated perfectly after that, and during the bath they massaged her and she even (reportedly) grunted the whole time. During the actual shaving process I held her while the groomer used the clippers. She was struggling at about 50% effort, and was quietly whining during that part. Popsey was waiting outside in the store (this was a Petsmart) watching us through the window while we wrestled, and a small crowd gathered to witness it.
I think she's much more comfortable now. How could she not be? Look at that booty in the before picture! It's enormous! Granted, that picture was taken in the winter, at her most fluffy, but frankly, I've been getting a little tired of people telling me I'm feeding her too much. I keep trying to explain that it is all fur, but no one ever believes me.