A friend today said that I was about the last person she expected to see with a "foo-foo" dog, a reference to our faithful pooch Candy pictured on your left. It is true that Candy's visit to the groomer today resulted in a dog more "foo-foo" than one might think befits a curmudgeon such as me, and yet Candy has been much more than a pampered canine in her life.
She came to us several years ago via Planned Pethood, a volunteer animal rescue organization in Northwest Ohio with whom my wife and I work. I remember when we first saw Candy online: this was a severely neglected and abused dog shorn of almost all of her fur due to a flea infestation and this poor dog's extreme flea allergy dermatitis. Most dogs scratch and go about their business after flea bites, but Candy's response to the intense itching is to relentlessly scratch and bite at her skin, ripping out tufts of hair and gnawing at what must be an unbelievable amount of epidermal torment. Ah! If only there were safety equipment designed for pots of chicken soup!
When we brought the bedraggled pooch home, she looked more like a salmon-colored rat with festering scabs than a healthy dog, and her period of recovery took months. Unfortunately, just after her hair grew back, Candy had a pot of scalding chicken soup spilled on her back, causing serious burns, several opiated days in the pet hospital, and weeks of veterinary care to clean and treat her wounds.
So, if folks want to chuckle about "foo-foo" dogs and pet grooming, they can feel free to make me the object of good-natured humor. However, I know that this dog has earned the occasional trip to the groomer, since she patiently endured more misery in five years than most people suffer in a lifetime.
Anyways, Candy is at the moment indeed the prettiest girl in the whole wide world - my rhythmic nickname for her - at least until she next rolls in the mud outside, a decidedly un-girlish behavior that she enjoys. I give the colorful holiday bows about two more hours before she scratches them off, but for the moment Candy is the canine version of a supermodel.