Saturday, 25 February 2012

Sympathy for bankers after my haircut...

Gail has warned me that today's title might be inflammatory.

Well I am a terrier, and it is not in my nature to back away from a confrontation.

You see, I heard this week, apropos the debt crisis in Greece, that the banks have been forced to have another haircut.

By an amazing co-incidence, I too have been enduring a haircut this week.

It is not my idea of fun.

To be strictly accurate, for the most part my hair is not cut, it is 'hand stripped' (by special stripping knife rather than literally by hand). Gail persists in the delusion that this is a skill she will eventually master. Meanwhile....

I have noticed that she has developed a strategy of starting with my neck area, then moving backwards. Now I will admit, it's quite a pleasant feeling, all that pressing and plucking action around the neck. A bit like a massage. One can feel relaxed. Having lulled me into a false sense of security, Gail then moves onto my black patch. This is not so relaxing, but Gail insists, "Oh it's worth it Bertie, think of all those people we meet who admire your markings and wonder how it is that your patches are black not grey like so many other wire-haired fox terriers".

Perhaps I should include a wee technical explanation here.

See this photo below. They are some of the old hairs Gail stripped from my back this afternoon.
See how the hairs change colour half way down. The tips are black and the root ends pale grey. If my hair were cut not stripped then the black would be all removed and my markings would be a boring grey colour. Which, as Gail says, would impress no-one.  Except perhaps the odd schnauzer owner.

Now I can't help but remark that it is Gail who basks in the glory from having a dog with a coat that other humans admire, and me who has to put up with all the tugging. "But Bertie" Gail says "you gain too, your beautiful glossy wiry coat is so much more waterproof for not having been sheared."

Well that's as maybe, but really there are limits to what one will tolerate, for vanity or weather resistance. 

When Gail moves on towards my nether regions, the stripping action is most uncomfortable, and I let her know it. At this point I am suspecting her of fantasizing that she is giving this sort of a 'haircut' to Sir Mr Fred Goodwin

Fortunately, before too long, she puts down the stripping knife and out come the scissors. Phew.

I wonder if my friends are put through all this malarkey?  

PS I asked Gail if she would take an 'after' photo of me, but she said, Bertie, the sad truth is, despite the fact I seem to have removed half a dog, you don't actually look that different. So I said, oh go on Gail, take one anyway. 

And here it is.
PS Gail would like to point out that all she is aiming for with Bertie's coat is a modicum of tidiness, and not a 'show grade' outcome!


  1. That hand stripping can be quite a chore and does tend to feel a bit like being pinched. Be brave, little WFT, because your Gail is right about maintaining your furs properly for your adventurous lifestyle.


  2. Bertie - You not only look Bouncey but Spikey !

  3. Tee Hee Bertie - you are such a card - my schnauzer owner would be impressed if you were grey...then you'd look a little like me! Seriously - all this coat stripping sounds skeery to me - and I'm not a fan of the buzzy clippers uncie uses on me either. I do score a few liver treats through the process to help me cope. Maybe Gail should try this too??

    I think you look lovely.

    Tail Wuggles, Rubie

  4. Hand stripping is tough! Most peeps I know are too lazy to do it and opt for the puppy cute. I am impressed your Gail is willing to do it, you will look great

  5. Bewtie
    Fwom the looks of youw magnificent coat, it was all wowf it!!! Mommi's hands can't do the stwipping anymowe(too old and huwtie), and most of the gwoomews I went to in NewYawk did a tewwibull job and gave up , so I don't have that gowgeous glossy black anymowe..I have no idea what will happen to my booty tweatments hewe in Boo da Pest, but one thing is fow suwe, I'll nevew be as gowgeoos as you
    (and neithew will gweece)
    smoochie kisses

  6. Bertie My mom does the Stripping thingy on ME, also. I love it. I just MELT when she starts. Could you do me a favor? Show us a picture of that stripping knife. Mom does it with her Fingers.. butt she wears a funny glove thingy when she does it. It takes a LOT of time.. which I think is Grrrreat.

  7. Bertie..we are always "plucked" as well!LOL We love the photo you have such a cheekie appeal!

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx
    P.S. Consider yourself lucky we don't even get a modicum of tidiness! LOL

  8. Bertie, you look most attractive in your stripped coat. That is really the only correct way to do it, but lots of dogs fight the knife too hard and make it not worthwhile for the stripper. You, the stripee are the winner here.

    I didn't have too much time to read about your banker, but did see that his knighthood was revoked and annulled. Whooo, I didn't know her Queenship did that! I just thought there were Good Knights and Bad Knights! lol

    Cheers, Bertie and Gail,

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  9. Hello little Bertie, we must say you look adorable in your pic so we guess Gail did a good joy......or is it just that you are so handsome you would look good anyway!
    We confess we know nothing of all this stripping business - a good furminator does for us and we love that.
    We are glad we are better able to see your lovely colouring now. We fear the debt crisis in Greece may not benefit to quite the same extent as you!
    The Aunties xxx

  10. SHE gave up pretending that SHE could strip a coat long ago. So we have soft coats--but then, we're not out in harsh weather climbing munroes and scampering through dense bush.

    We think you look fantastic AND your colours are very vivid.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  11. Oh, you look sooo handsome to me Bertie!! With my leaving, I am assured that I will be able to come back for any future parties, dances etc, so keep me in mind nad dont forget bout me Bertie!!


  12. thats the color of moms hair, BOL. That striping is nutty
    Benny & Lily

  13. Bertie, if it makes your Gail happy, then being the brilliant little man you are, we're sure you can put up with it. Also the finished photo does makes you look very handsome. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  14. Bertie,

    We hate to say it -- but your Gail is right in her approach to your furs. But this is what our dad does to minimize the ouches. First he furminates us, which removes tons of our soft undercoast and some of our jacket. Then he starts on the plucking: thumb and forefinger. Over the years, he has learned just how far he can go before we rebel -- and that's just the wirey colored part of our black or ginger jackets and gingery heads. When we start to squirm, he stops, and gets out the clippers and finishes the job on our soft white bellies and thins our upper legs. It's kind of a compromise, since we want to look sharp like a WFT should -- but not have to suffer all the grief.

    We know of what we speak because we just had to go through it -- and maybe mom will show the photos she took on a new blog soon.

    In the meantime,

    Wirey empathetic woofs,

    Jake and Just Harry

  15. Bertie, you look very handsome!! Handstripping leaves a tired human and a grumpy dog!! Our Ruairi used to go to sleep when Mom stripped him - whatever was he thinking??

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ivy

  16. Oh Bertie, Sparky gets totally stripped. I Katie get partially stripped and some scissors. Sparky's hair is so wirey that Mama can pluck every day and get more hairs out and he likes it! He loves his face done, I do not. Mama also uses rock stones and metal stones for stripping, much easier than the knives and easier on the thumbs. If Gail can do some stripping all over your body each week, eventually you will have a rolling coat and will look pretty trim most of the time. Another tip, be sure to comb/brush out your hair before stripping.
    Wirey Hugs, Purrz & Licks,
    Katie, Sparky, Ruby, Sylvester, Scuby, Hootie & Zeek

  17. Bertie-
    You look rugged and handsome as ever! We get clipped like sheep..haha! You should see Stanzie's latest trim job...what a mess, that groomer gave her a uni-brow and side burns...she looks like a cross between Elvis and a chipmunk with full cheeks! :0


  18. Yikes! We thought only funiture and stolen cars got stripped until we read this post. We might get brushed very rarely and washed every once in a while; that's it. We believe the correct response is: neener, neener :) We do, however, get petted every day. As we're sure you do. That counts as grooming, right, being as varying amounts of fur comes flying loose with every pet.

    Who knew knighthoods were leased and not fully gifted?! Bet ole Fred 'retired' with like a 10 million dollar golden parachute, too. Too bad there's no legal way to claw that back.

    We understand about half the Greek debt in private hands was purchased at steep discounts by hedge fund managers looking to make a quick profit, and they were the ones fighting hardest against any reduction in the face value of the debt. Hope they got a Marine buzz cut, not merely a haircut.

    Jed & Abby