Molly’s home haircut, and an odd dipper

Molly, with her new home-design haircut relaxing on the kitchen floor

Molly, with her new home-design haircut relaxing on the kitchen floor

The out of focus dipper at the edge of the lawn. There is a narrow burn between the lawn and the start of the wood.

The out of focus dipper at the edge of the lawn. There is a narrow burn between the lawn and the start of the wood.

Molly was beginning to look like a sheep and was in desperate need of a haircut. I tried a couple of local dog grooming businesses but both were fully booked, one until January. I thought that this would be a great business for someone to take up who has an interest in dogs, a flair for hairstyling and some free time. The seed of an idea fleeted across my mind but was quickly consigned to the recycle bin: I have only the first of the three qualifications.

But needs must and I began a trim to Molly’s head, taking it in stages as she didn’t like it one bit. The scissors were wielded and for a while I thought I was more likely to cut off her tongue or part of an ear. She was so different compared to previous dogs, that seemed to relish their long coat getting a trim, especially in hot weather. Three or four days later the head was complete, though an odd wee tuft still stuck out and merited a quick snip with the scissors.

Since the coat was so long it had started to mat in places, so that was another few day’s work, often having Molly lying on her back on the bed while I sought out the knots in her hair and gradually snipped them down. My method made me think of old-fashioned butchers and grocers who turned a handle on a machine on the counter and sliced off thin rounds from a chunk of cold meat.

When the prep was done and the haircut proper commenced last weekend, my grand-daughter Hannah and I set to. Molly stood, sat or lay on a towel on the table and we took it in turns to either hold her or cut swathes of white wool. There was heaps of it and it is really a pity the bird nesting season is over or there could have been some very posh and cosy nests around.

At last Molly’s home haircut was finished and we were reasonably pleased with the result.  The outcome was somewhere between a professional job with an electric trimmer and the collie that the shepherd who should have gone to Specsavers sheared thinking it was a sheep. This will be the hair cutting method in the future, and hopefully it will become easier each time.

Changing the subject briefly, it is 5.15 pm as I type this and there is a dipper hopping about the lawn. There has been torrential rain today and the main burn through the garden is a raging torrent. There is a smaller burn at the back of the house and I think this is what is taking the dipper’s interest, though this is the first time I’ve seen one here. It hopped through a flower bed and is now sitting at the edge of the lawn beside the burn as if it might be thinking of roosting there. It is sitting quietly with none of the constant dipping associated with the species. One of the two red squirrels has now just run past it and is burying a nut on the grass about 12 feet away. The squirrel has gone and the dipper is now come in the middle of the lawn, but flew to the edge of the burn as I was about to photograph it. I managed a single distant (and out of focus) photo in almost half light before the dipper flew back towards the main burn. I was glad it did, as activity like this out of context is often a sign of an ailing bird or mammal.

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