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  • Reyna Bradford

Short & Sweet (written 1-6-21)

Both of us were seriously overdue for a haircut.


Scotch got his this past Monday. Much like the last visit to the groomer, (all of six, long months ago), he trudged through the door looking more than reminiscent of a miniature bison.


Part of the delay was due to the lengthy waiting list to get in with the groomer. The other part of it was due to my overzealous love of long, wavy hair. I just didn't want to get him clipped. And this being my first poodle anything, ever, I am still slipping and sliding on the learning curve of when and how to get one trimmed. I need a better understanding as to how fast his coat grows, how long I like it, and how best to clip it so it's most comfortable and manageable for both of us.


This time we went with a low-maintenance, single-length cut. No topknot, no leggings, no mustaches, and no earrings -- the affectionate term for those long, curly tufts of hair left on the tips of a poodle's ears. This is a uniform, short clip which will be much more workable in the mud, water, and burrs that Scotch always seems to find.


And find them he did. He catapulted in to our first walk after the big shave with a brand new reserve of energy. "Liberated" was the word that came to mind. He ran and ran and ran -- hyper, happy and dirty. He plowed in to puddles, dashed through muddy ditches, bounded in to the air just because he could, and generally wallowed, wagged, and cavorted like a fool.


Well, so much for that. Having facilitated such a marvelous transformation, next it was my turn.


So this afternoon, I sat down in the hairdresser's chair and had my own hair slashed.


When I was six years old, I announced to my mother that I wanted to grow my hair long, and that was the way it was going to be. Up until then, it had been kept short and practical. It was very blonde, and it had definite curl. By the time I was nine or ten, it flowed down my back in a waterfall of thick, beautiful waves, cascading long enough that I could easily sit on it.


I loved my hair. I didn't fuss about it or style it. I just loved it. I reveled in its airy splendor, but thanks to my bent toward animals and outdoors, most days it was kept bound back and pulled out of the way. My luxurious, long hair was the one thing about my appearance that I really found pleasure in, or even thought about.


And the years went by, and I got older, and my heavy tresses began to thin. The ponytail was looking tired. Some of it happened thanks to medications, some of it thanks to the perpetual strain of scrunchies and rubber bands and clips, and some, no doubt, a simple result of aging.


It was time to pony up and face facts. It was time to make a change.


When the moment came, and the cape was swirled away, and the neck cloth was unfastened, my former glory hung only to my shoulders.


It still has curl, and it looks fuller than it did. But the signature, trustworthy ponytail is gone. My hair now falls loose around my face, and it's going to take some getting used to.


I have been much slower to warm up to my new do than Scotch was to accept his. My transformed hair and I are going to have to learn to live together. I'm going to have to learn how it handles in high wind. I'm going to need ideas about where exactly to stash it while bending down to train dogs. I'm going to need to figure how to flip it out of my face while I buck bales and trim feet and wrestle bags of grain. I'm going to have to adjust.


Still, maybe on this one, I can take my cue from Scotch. Change can be a good thing. Short can actually be sweet. Maybe. I'm not totally convinced, but I'm going to give it a good try.



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