Roo's first time at the groomers

It couldn't wait any longer. I believe Roo would be proud to consider herself a field dog, especially considering her early days when it seemed like she would never get anywhere near a field. She’s been needing a field cut for a while now.

Leaving aside the way her long hair is constantly filling up with brambles and sand spurs and everything else the desert can throw at it, here in Mexico one of the main issues has been the difficulty of getting her properly rinsed after swimming in the sea. No matter how much fresh water I hose her down with, she was starting to smell musty and she was getting itchy. It seems this is common for the dogs who swim here. Also, her toenails (all the better to dig you up with, my little mole) needed a trim, and some discomfort in her bottom needed addressing.

Here in San Carlos, there is a dog groomer named Manuel, who works with his wife Germaine. It was a pleasure meeting them and seeing them work. Their love for animals and gentle reception ensured that Roo never had a chance to be frightened. I was so grateful to them for the way they put Roo at ease and let me hang around while they worked. The Kahoo wasn't quite sure why everyone was making such a fuss about her, but she faced it with the grace and bravery that are becoming her hallmarks. In the end, I loved the job they did on Rooki. She has never looked - or felt - better.

It is Carneval time here, and when he was done, Manuel proclaimed Roo, La Reina de Carneval. The Queen of the Carneval.

Thank you, Manuel and Germaine - see you again.

[By the way, Manuel and Germaine said there was an incredibly touching dog story at the heart of this book, The Cave, by Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago. Manuel said it brought tears to his eyes, and then he started reading it again right away.]