Poor Sammy. Sammy is one of our family's golden retrievers (shown here at a flower shop in 2006), and he's lived through a lot in his 10 years as a dog. Once, he ran away for two months with one of our other dogs, Frankie. We thought they were gone for good, but then they were found. Once, Sammy came to visit me in Chicago for seven months and got a taste of life as a city canine. Like many dogs, he has particular likes (car rides, wide open spaces, fishing) and dislikes (hardwood floors, sidewalk grates, other dogs). For a while, a few years ago, he was addicted to MySpace. But never has Sammy weathered such a storm as the one he's facing now. He has received, at the hands of my mother, an Unfortunate Haircut.
Me: Mom! OMG, what happened to him?
Mom: I know. It's bad.
Me: Oh Sammy, come here. Poor thing, I can see your skin. In some places.
Mom: You should have seen the pile of hair! It was about four feet tall.
Me: Well, this is the worst he's ever looked. I hate to say it, but I might be embarrassed to take him to the park. He's a sunburn risk.
Mom (sighs): It was dark when I was shaving him. I couldn't get the guard to stay on the clippers, so I went without. Should try to touch him up a little? On his legs and maybe around his neck?
Me: NO. One hundred percent no. Sammy, you look diseased.
Still, a dog's gotta walk, so to the park we went. Sammy perked up and pranced along in the shade (we tried to provide him with as much natural SPF as possible). He ignored, for the most part, the stares. But I couldn't help overhearing two well-meaning busybodies who passed as Sammy lapped up a bottled water and leaped into the car.
Lady 1: Well, I'll be darned. Look at that.
Lady 2: For heaven's sake! He's lost all his hair!
Lady 1: He shure has.
P.S. In other news, at the bus stop last week, someone appreciated the combined effect of my most recent home pedicure and sensible but stylish Sigerson Morrison sandals:
Unidentified man: Woo hoo! Those feet look sweet enough to eat!
Me: Oh! Thank you.
Man: Mmm hmm. I do love me a woman with some pretty feet.
Me (looking down at toes): Thanks.