Honey the Hippie – A Tale of Groom and Doom

Y’know how you think you know what you’re getting into but you really don’t? That’s happened to me.

Golden Retriever Dog

You're just going to parade my humiliation out there for the whole world to see, aren't you?

I spent over a year researching dog breeds and pondering before I got Honey. And I knew grooming was important to consider.

Poodles have breed characteristics I was looking for: athleticism, smarts, friendliness. But I knew they had constantly growing hair (which is what makes them safe for some allergy sufferers) that required regular clipping. I couldn’t see myself doing it and I certainly couldn’t see me paying someone else to do it (I cut my own hair for over a decade and it wasn’t easy).

So I decided on a Golden Retriever. The books said they needed regular brushing and I’ve loved brushing my dogs. And my dogs have enjoyed being brushed.

So what could be so hard? I’ll keep Honey combed and her teeth clean and her nails clipped and we’ll be fine. Besides, it’s not like I’m trying to keep her in show condition. She’s a family dog and I don’t mind if she looks like one instead of a beauty queen.

So what if every time she gets wet, Honey’s ear fur dries into kinky curls? She’s still adorable.

Golden Retriever Dog Feet

Oh no. It's getting worse and worse. Groom me now so I can go back to being beautiful.

But then I discovered the dreaded Muppet Toes.

What are Muppet Toes? It’s a term inspired by Elizabeth of Dog Blogging With Luna and Penny who stated that Luna’s Muppet Feet had to be treated by a trip to the groomer.

I loved it so much I made it my own.

Fur grows thickly in between the pads of  Honey’s feet which causes the fur on the top of her feet to look unkempt. As you can see from the picture, it’s far from the cat-like paw a Golden Retriever is supposed to have.

And I haven’t even started to talk about the feathers on her back legs that have grown long enough to pick up stray pine cones on our walks. Yep, it’s time for a major grooming.

So here’s my public goal. By Tue Cute Tuesday, I’ll have an adorable picture of a beautifully-groomed Honey to share. Or at least the best approximation I can get with my limited grooming and photography skills.

Golden Retriever Dog with toy

You'd better get busy on those ears or the dragon gets it.

So say good bye to Honey the Hippie. And come back Tuesday for the big reveal of Honey the Honey.

Oh, and if you have any good pictures of a well-groomed Golden Retriever butt send it along. I’ll keep an eye on my spam filter so it doesn’t pick it up as puppy porn.

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  1. Sigh. I guess whe would have to follow your example then. Can’t have Honey looking better groomed than Kenzo and Viva :)

  2. LOL! Laughing at Kenzo’s comment. I must admit that now I am feeling a little pressure as well. Jasper has “muppet toes” as well and he really does need a good grooming. His butt is in need of a good clipping too. My last Sheltie was never that hard to groom, but Jasper has been quite a different experience. If I don’t brush his back end (which he absolutely hates), he gets what I all “Poopie Butt” – where poop gets stuck in the fur and then mom (that’s me) has to clean it all out. I REALLY hate poopie butt.

    So Honey, you may be inspiring a few dogs and their moms today!

    • Yes, it was worries about “poopie butt” that got me thinking how negligent I am. So far, we haven’t had any actually sticking but I’m worried it’s a matter of time.

      Boy, we dog people sure are gross! :)

  3. I used to have quite a family of Shelties (6) and if any of them had an upset tummy it wasn’t fun. If they all got it at once, well, you can imagine what that was like. Plus we lived on a farm at the time and virtually every day through winter I’d have to give them all ‘half a bath’ when we got back from our walk. Is it any wonder I now have 2 short haired dogs?

    Looking forward to seeing Honey’s ‘after’ photos. Have fun!

    • We saw lots of greyhounds at the mall pet expo today. And yes, every one of them looked perfectly groomed without effort. :)

  4. Oh, I like her fuzzy, hippie look, but a good grooming is nice now and then. My hounds don’t know it yet, but I’m planning a bath day for them next weekend. :) Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I saw you have the Blog Paws badge too. See you there!!

    • I’m not usually a stickler for good grooming. But it’s going a little too far.

      Good luck with bath day. My secret is to fill the soap dish with peanut butter. It makes bath time more fun for everyone.

      And yes, I’ll see you at Blog Paws. And if Honey is ready, she’ll be coming too.

  5. Hi Y’all,

    I just had a very public bath…in Blogville…and lots of comments about it. I got rid of all that heavy winter coat that kept me way too warm here in the summery southeast.

    I don’t have any butt shots. BOL However, my Humans used to have a Flatcoat Retriever which had those flank feathers like the Goldens. My Human said it was impossible to keep the burrs out of them when in the field and matting was a constant problem.

    See y’all on Tuesday!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  6. One of the things that most horrified me when I first got Frankie was learning that you sometimes have to give dogs butt haircuts AFTER THE FACT (though I was advised waiting a while makes the procedure considerably less messy).

    Frankie has feet that are adorably fuzzy, as far as I’m concerned. But then again, I’m an old hippie!

    • It’s amazing what we do for love, isn’t it?

      I took some pictures of the aftermath of my first grooming pass. What ended up coming out of the comb is just about the size of Frankie. As a matter of fact, I thought it was him at first. :)

  7. Jack’s very short hair saves me from too many grooming woes, but I have to admit… Golden Retrievers are beautiful, and I have such a soft spot for them. I’ve been known to plot a Golden-napping or two in my head at dog parks.

    • I wonder if I’d worry less about the grooming if it weren’t for all the Golden Retriever propaganda on television. You rarely see one without long flowing locks blowing in the breeze.

      It’s the doggie equivalent of soft core porn. :)

  8. I wish I’d seen this before Thursday night! We have three beautiful Goldens who come to our nursing home visits and I’d have gladly snapped pictures for you! I can’t wait to see Honey’s new look, though!

    Sometimes Bunny and I do match, more because I tend to gravitate towards the same colors than because I try to coordinate us, though! Trust me, Bunny is much better dressed than I am!

    • I’ve been sneaking around blogville trying to catch shots of a well groomed golden haunch but that’s not the shot most people take. I might have to even *gasp* bring out a book to find the guidance I’m looking for.

      I hope the daily photography challenge has you take a self-portrait some day. I’d love to see you posing with Bunny all decked out in her Sunday best. :)

  9. While Shiva sheds pretty much constantly so I am forever sweeping up dog fur, I love love love the fact that she is very low-maintenance grooming wise. I brush her once or twice a year, tops, mostly in the summer to get rid of the shedding fur. Occasionally clip her nails but she does a good job of wearing them down naturally. It’s pretty awesome.

    Of course, she makes up for this by being high maintenance in pretty much every other area.

    I think Honey is gorgeous no matter how much fur she has or doesn’t have. :-)

  10. Am I the only one here who likes hippie dogs?

  11. Sorry, I’m going to have to agree with the hippy look!! I love that wild, natural look. Can’t help it, just something about it.

    Sorry Honey, I don’t think I can stop her, but I had to give my two cents!! :)

  12. Nothing wrong with the hippie look! But a little trim here and there never hurts, I suppose.

  13. Jon Farleigh the fluffy corgi needs to be ripped off the tree, too. (Get it? He’s hugging a tree…figuratively.) 😉 I thought I could manage the flowing golden locks, but I can’t – and I’m afraid to do it myself (except for the toe and butt fluff). I was the girl in 7th grade who cut her own bangs within 1/4 inch of her scalp.

    Good luck with Honey.

  14. Poopie butt and burr butt magnets are the worst! My pooch looks like a total raggamuffin because I don’t have the patience to comb out the burrs…out come the scissors!