As a spaniel, Molly’s natural fur is long and wavy. She doesn’t have the down-to-the-ground long coat of a Yorkshire Terrier, nor the wild, curly and woolly hair of a Poodle, so she doesn’t need to visit the dog groomer as often as these breeds. Kerri has to brush Molly’s hair regularly, to keep her coat free of mats and knots, but for most of the year, that’s the only coat care that she needs.
There’s just one time of year when a radical haircut is needed: at the start of the summer. As soon as the warm weather kicks in, Molly suffers from the heat. Her long natural fur provides too much insulation, keeping her warm at a time of year when she wants to be cool. Molly sits around panting all the time, and she stops enjoying going for walks: she just gets too hot. At home, she lies in corners of the house, seeking out the cooler places, and hiding out of the way. Dogs can’t sweat, so they need to pant to keep cool, and for a little dog, it’s very tiring having to do this. And Molly overheats even more if she’s too active: that’s why she’s so quiet when she has a long coat. When she starts to behave like this, Kerri knows that the time has come: Molly needs her hair cut.
The request to the dog groomer is always the same: “Molly needs her usual tight trim, please”. The groomer uses a special grade of clipping blade to take Molly’s fur down to ultra-short: around half an inch. The only part of her body that’s left long is her tail. Her head, ears, body and legs are all trimmed down, almost to the skin. Molly is at the groomer all day, and when she’s collected, she’s almost unrecognizable: her hair is so short that she looks like a different dog. The funny things is that it’s as if Molly herself knows that she looks different: there’s a cheerful spring in her step and a new level of alertness in her expression.
Kerri says that she always behaves differently from that moment every year: it’s as if she’s been transformed into a puppy again. She starts to play more games, dashing around the home with excitement. She starts asking to go for walks again, and she stops sleeping so much. She’s full of energy and enthusiasm. She’s a much happier little dog, and she’s much more fun to have around too.
Molly needs her long coat for the autumn, winter and spring months: it keeps her warm in the cooler weather. But in the full heat of the sunny days of June, July and August, Molly doesn’t need a thick fur coat any more than any human would need one.
Molly is far happier in the summer with her light weight, trimmed down, cooler hair cut.