Friday, May 07, 2004

Toenails that Make You Weep

I don't remember ever having to trim Amber's or Sheba's toenails. Remington's I trimmed occasionally as he got older--also after we moved away from The Old Big Yard, where we had a 150-foot asphalt driveway on which we played every day, his nails all grew faster than he could wear them away. Jake's never seemed to need trimming, even after we left the driveway trimmer behind.

I hated using nail clippers, even the guillotine type that had a guard that prevented them from going very far at one chop. Sooner or later I always ended up cutting into the quick, which I just absolutely hated. The books suggested always having Styptic (?) powder on hand so you could quickly stop the bleeding when you cut the quick, which tells me that everyone has this problem, but I still don't like it. I bought some of that stuff a few years back and it seemed to do the job but it didn't solve the problem of torturing my poor dogs.

About 3 years ago, some friends at a show were trimming their dogs' nails by filing down with a Dremel tool. It seemed very cool. I tried it on Remington and he didn't object nearly as much as he did with the cutters, and I could stop anywhere I wanted much more easily.

So I went out and bought a Dremel tool specifically for trimming my dogs' nails; how extravagant is *that*?

Jake's nails still virtually never need trimming, *except* that the dew claw on his right front foot gets longer and sharper and longer and sharper--go figure. What's his left foot doing that his right foot isn't?

Most of Tika's nails keep themselves well filed down, including her dew claws--but the two middle toes on both front feet keep getting longer and sharper and sharper and longer... How can that be? I wonder if any of this tells me anything about their gait and stride--?

I can tell I've waited too long between Dremellings when Tika's claws leave little indents or fine-lined scratches on my skin. And Jake has ripped off that dew nail once before when I didn't keep an eye on it. Talk about ouches.

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