I got all addled after Jesse discovered her letter to Santa in my drawer earlier today. It made me distractible and when I was wrapping up my post I forgot to mention something that I really enjoyed at the end of Jesse’s letter. “I think my dog comes to the living room when you’re there,” she wrote, “so please try not to trim her snout that closely this time.”
When I puzzled over this, she reminded us that last year, she awoke on Christmas morning to discover that Madeline’s muzzle had been trimmed more closely than ever before, so short that it was a veritable bald shave so that her black poodle muzzle skin showed through. I had forgotten all about it, but when Jesse brought it up, the memories percolated. As I recall, this is what happened last Christmas. Jesse woke up and took a good look at Madeline, and then she started chewing me out along the lines of WHAT HAPPENED TO MADELINE?? She looks ridiculous!! Why would you make her look so funny?? Why did you cut the fur so short??? Jesse was livid.
Reality? Madeline was all fluffy and dirty. Her muzzle needed a trim. Christmas Eve. Gifts. Magic morning coming up, much to do. Booze. Not very good lighting. Me with a pair of doggy scissors, feeling giddy and tired. I don’t know what got into me, but I guess I cut it a little close.
What I told Jesse last year, in the face of her fury on Christmas morning? Something along the lines of this. What are you talking about? Let me take a look at Madeline… Oh my goodness! What happened to her! She had so much fur on her face when I went to bed last night! Anthony, did you do this?? No? Hmmm… It must have been Santa. Maybe he thought Madeline needed a trim.
I was just trying to avoid a fight, and blaming it on the Big Red Scary Man seemed like a good idea at the time. I had no idea Jesse would remember, but I guess it’s really strange to imagine Santa going at your dog with shears. It may be time for me to stop blaming things on that guy.