Monday, May 9, 2011


Yesterday, Mercedes went to a new home and today her two sisters were hanging out with Wodi, their mom.
To be more accurate, Crystal was hanging out with mom being groomed and Carmel was sleeping on the porch when I first looked in on them this morning.

Most of the information you read about Carolina dog fur on the web will indicate that because of its characteristic coarseness, the dogs do not have to be groomed much. In short, their coats are self-maintaining. This we have found to be basically true. There is however, a grooming ritual.

Who grooms who may be related to hierarchy. I cannot tell. It is most prevelant amongst the mothers and puppies. I have seen Wodi groom cats who happened to live here. There is not the excessive licking that you see cats do, but rather a nose led exploration of the dog's coat. The dogs make a kind of nibble on various spots. They will often do this to our outstretched hand when we greet them.

In our pack, that nibble might look like a close mouth bite, but it is really just a nibble. Special attention is paid to the ears when grooming which explains to me why their large ears don't require extra maintenance on my part. I think this is what they do to us or try to when we sit down on the steps of the porch. I have also noticed that the males are not typically involved in this activity.

This morning Crystal and Wodi were involved in grooming. Wodi was checking Cystal's coat and ears while Carmel was sleeping on the porch in the favorite orange chair. A little while later, Carmel was up and out with her mother and sister. Wodi was grooming herself and Crystal was grooming Carmel who seemed to be disinterested in this activity. A little bit later Carmel groomed Crystal with the enthusiasm of a 14 year-old cleaning his room. After a half a minute of this, both Carmel and Crystal curled up. Carmel actually closed her eyes and was "sleeping" the way dogs do. Crystal got up and was grooming her again. And she didn't seem to care much. Didn't even open an eyelid.
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