My dog Cooper, Michael and I worked really hard last night. There were some curse words used. There was a jar of peanut butter involved. But of our dedication and perseverance led to a beautiful moment: we successfully clipped Cooper’s nails! (much applause, whooping, hat throwing, ok come on now it’s getting a little rowdy HEY QUIET DOWN!)
Ever since the embarrassing, humbling and frustrating attempt a few weeks ago, there have been some half hearted tries but absolutely no reward. Cooper kept pulling his paws away at the last moment, and so we almost gave up. The clippers were still wonderful tools for coaxing the pup off of the couch or off of his living-room bed, but that had seen nary a nail in almost six weeks.
Yesterday though, I was chatting with my buddy. She loves animals and has a sweet little rescue dog named Gracie, who is small enough that my friend uses regular human nail clippers to cut little Gracie Mae’s nails, and she had some ideas for us to use with le Coop. Her mom has a bigger dog, a lab named Tucker, and the two of them work together as a team to clip Tucker’s nails. One of them holds a treat that is smothered in peanut butter, and coos to Tucker to distract him while the other person quickly and deftly clips all of his nails. She told me that Michael and I needed to try this, or a similar technique or else Cooper would be the gnarliest pup on the block OR we would have to start spending money to get it done professionally. Girl, please. I am not above spending a little bit of extra money for the good cheese, but $10 for something that Michael and I had been doing ourselves for the first year of Cooper’s life? No way.
So we planned our strategy. Armed with a mostly empty jar of Adams PB (with enough good stuff left inside to make it enticing) and sharp clippers, we set to the task. Let me tell you, friends, it was not easy. Every time Coop would pull his paw away we would pull the peanut butter away, and so on until finally we hit the sweet spot. My dog Cooper was tired of struggling, and Michael and I figured out that a combination of peanut butter jar, full body petting and continual reassurances of “that’s a good boy, Cooper; you’re just fine,” was ideal for the optimal nail cutting environment.
We got EVERY SINGLE NAIL (except one) with no biting, wrestling, crying or pouting! Huge success for our team! After the clipping was finished, we celebrated with a family jog so that the pavement could file down the freshly cut, rough edges of the pup’s nails. I sincerely hope that the next time nail trimming comes along, we can remember how peaceful this experience was, and continue on the path of clipped nails.