I have mentioned in the past that Flattery is a unique little character in a lot of ways. One thing that we’ve had a lot of trouble with when it comes to our little Black Dervish is touching her feet. I’m not sure why she’s so sensitive about it, but she definitely does not like to have her feet messed with. Cutting her toenails has been a long series of aggravation since she came home and she was not happy with me removing her corn a few weeks ago, either.
Of course, she has to have her nails trimmed. I don’t delude myself that I’ll ever be able to paint her toenails like I do with Bunny, but I do have dreams that we’ll be able to get her to a point where we can cut her toenails without fuss. It might be just that, a dream.
This past weekend, Mr. Taleteller was determined to cut her toenails, and the whole comedy routine that is Flattery started up. My husband waited until she was in her usual spot in the middle of the floor, sprawled out and completely relaxed. He quietly walked into the kitchen and opened the drawer where the nail clippers are kept. As soon as he closed that drawer, Flattery’s eyes popped open, her bat ears went into radar mode and her head lifted up off the carpet. Clearly, her spider sense was tingling.
The first step Mr. Taleteller took towards the living room, she was up and on the move. She wasn’t sure where she was going, but standing still was not an option. I sat at my computer and tried not to laugh at them. As Flattery darted this way and that while my husband zigged and zagged, I knew that this was going to have to be a two person operation. I got up and walked over. Flattery immediately pressed herself against my leg, certain that I was there to save her from the evil man who was trying to steal her toenails.
He handed me a handful of treats and I talked to her a little, letting her settle against me. Then, I got a secure grip on her and my husband picked up one of her front feet. One toenail was clipped and treats and praise were liberally distributed. She fought it, but the first one happened a little too fast for her to really get upset about it. After that first toenail was cut, though, she yanked her foot away and stomped it onto the ground.
My husband then picked up her other front foot and Flattery clearly was not happy. She wiggled and squirmed, but another one of her toenails was stolen in the blink of an eye. That foot was slammed to the ground in an angry show of more defiance, although she did take the treat that I offered her and seemed happy that I was praising her.
From there, Mr. Taleteller went on to her back feet, even though only one toenail had been clipped on each front foot. As he started clipping the nails on one of her back feet, she let out the Greyhound Scream of Death. For the uninitiated, it is an unholy sound that Greyhounds reserve for the most insignificant of traumas, like rolling over on a wrinkle on the bed or getting toenails trimmed. Normally, they are incredibly stoic dogs and when one of them is really in pain, you probably won’t know it unless you know them quite well. They save the GSOD for when they really want to make you wet your pants and lose a few years off your life.
After a short time, the back feet were completely trimmed. Flattery was apparently too traumatized by the whole event to even take treats from me while the last foot was being trimmed. She whined, she cried, she wiggled and squirmed, but in a matter of minutes, her back feet were trimmed. Mr. Taleteller and I agreed that it was time to call it enough and get the front feet at another time. We spent several minutes praising her and fussing over her, but Flattery was not impressed.
She was angry and clearly, there was one person responsible for the whole ordeal. That person was obviously Mr. Taleteller and she gave him the serious cold shoulder. She refused to even look at him. It also made her really nervous that both of us were in the same room with her and she made her exit with a flip of her tail.
I went and got in the shower since Mr. Taleteller and I were going to go out and run a few errands. When I came out, my husband was laying on the bed watching his iPad with Flattery laying beside him. However, she made sure her butt was by his face and that she was only tolerating him in her space since he was rubbing her belly. When he stopped rubbing her belly, she looked over at him with a glare and gave him a short bark, then went back to laying down and shunning him like any Greyhound would who had any shred of dignity.
I’m not sure how long Flattery will hold her grudge, but I suspect that it will end sooner rather than later. She likes her treats and her belly rubs a great deal and my husband is often the dispenser of those. Clearly, though, she has not yet been won over by the idea that toenail trimming is a good thing.