A Dog With No Ears

Maltese do not have fur. Instead, they sport a coat of very thin, delicate hair, fine as spider’s silk. Wispy.

LOng ear 1

Proper Malt ears. A happier time. Before Dad the Barber.

That makes them nice to pet (see “Mofu Mofu”) but it also makes them prone to hair tangles and the dreaded hair mat.

Unless brushed with an obsessive dedication rarely found outside of religious cults and Manchester United fans, a Malt’s hair will form an interwoven and impenetrable fabric as tough as a ballistic vest.

Short ear 1

“Why do you people hate me?”

Sadly for Max, The Alpha Japanese Female and I are neither religious nor soccer fans (sometimes these terms are interchangeable) and therefor the pup doesn’t always get the brushing he would like.
To complicate matters, he recently developed a minor ear infection and the medicine used to treat the condition resulted in an oily, yellowish residue soaking his long ears and adding to the development of massive hair mats on both sides of his apple-shaped noggin.

Short ear 3 on floor

“I’m never leaving the house.”

The infection resolved quickly but the mess and mats remained. I grabbed His Furriness and took him into the bathtub where we spent the better part of an hour trying to detangle the mats.

No joy and because I am not a person known for his patience with fiddly little pursuits, I went with the nuclear option and cut out the mats. The AJF was horrified.  Max was horrified. I felt a sense of accomplishment.

Short ear 2

“You’re not going to blog about this, are you?”

My tonsorial excellence left the Maltster with only nubs where once he boasted long flowing ear locks. Small, unobtrusive ear locks. Shy locks you might call them. But I wouldn’t. :snorf:
Today he is off to the Vet to assure that all is well with the functional aspects of his ears. But he is very embarrassed about his new hairdo. I told him it will grow back.

Hopper 1

Safety first.

In the meantime, I charmed the AJF by putting face masks on all our art pieces. Winning!

Someday she will find this humorous. But not today.

Today I am just not very popular around this house.

55 replies

  1. You have masks! Real masks. Maybe you can use one to sneak out of the house…..

    They actually sell this detangler stuff. You spray it on and like magic, the mat disappears. If California is as locked down as France is, you may not be able to get any — if Jacques got an ear infection he’d just be doomed — but it’s worth checking.

    Meantime I’d clip the hair on those ears right down. Make it look intentional. Say it’s a medical necessity. The life you save might be your own.☺️😷☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got some detangler stuff from PetSmart (classified as an essential business) and it did help a little as I teased out a few strands. At the rate I was making progress both the dog and I would be dead by the time I finished. Basically all I got was a wet mat instead of a dry mat. Maybe another brand would be better. Yup, we have plenty of masks and, as designated shopper, I get out frequently. Most everything is back in stock with a few notable exceptions but now there is a meat shortage threatening us because of virus outbreaks in the meat packer factories and along the related supply chain. This worries the Malt who likes a little sliced turkey now and then.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Max, you poor sweet baby. It would have been so much smarter if Dogdad and Dogmom just combed your hair daily.

    Geez Louise Tom, couldn’t you have at least shaped those little ears better? You know, like ear shape instead of something in a blender?! Lol. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when the vet saw your grooming expertise!! I sure hope the ear infection has cleared up so as not to add insult to injury.

    Murphy said if I even “think” of bringing her to you for ANY grooming procedure, she will definitely bite the hand that feeds her. Alrighty then, message received!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    PS: Tom, were you perchance guzzling Quarantinis before you had this bright idea?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought I did a pretty good job. It’s a sort of “punk look.” Very edgy. All the celebrity dogs are getting that look these days. Besides, it will grow out. Murphy, as a girl dog, is probably more sensitive about her ‘do whereas Max is just a guy dog who would probably wear cargo shorts if they made them for dogs. One thing I can say with certainty is that Maltese hair is much harder to detangle than Golden Retriever fur. On the other hand, Malts do not shed at all so that’s a plus.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh dear. Imagine a dog the size of Nebraska (otherwise known as Norman) with fine, wispy soft hair? Luckily (and probably because I’ve been there, done that on dealing with impossible to remove mats with Spoos and OES’s over the years, I bough a tool similar to this one years ago (https://www.amazon.com/Hertzko-Remover-Grooming-Suitable-Animals/dp/B01FQCWTVY). Mine is easily 20+ years old and looks different, but is very effective. Oh and just so you know, bathing a dog with mats is the equivalent of applying super glue to them. Best to brush/cut them out first before bathing. Tell Max he has just joined the rest of the civilized world in sporting a non-professionally performed haircut. I told the Ranch hands if I have to look like 💩they can too. ‘Course, I have benefit of wearing a hat to hide my mistakes, but that’s neither here nor there. Good thing they do grow out. Hang in there Max, in 6 weeks or so, you’ll look nearly normal again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I knew better than to wash his hair before trying to de-mat him. I went in the tub and used a detangler that PetSmart vouched was great. It wasn’t and all I had left was a wet mat, worse than the dry one. Then came the soak-in-conditioner trick. Another dismal failure. I’ve dealt with other dog’s mats before but I swear that super fine Maltese hair is a whole ‘nother story – you can’t even see individual hairs, it’s like a block of white concrete. Personally, I use the same approach as you do: add a hat, sunglasses and a face mask and nobody can see you. I could rob 7-11s and make a clean get away. Next will be to slip a trash bag over my head.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The CoronArt (catchy, eh?) is a riot. Surely that got you off the hook for the ‘haircut’ poor little Max is sporting. When we had our Maltese, I finally had our groomer cut the hair on her ears because it kept getting in her food and water bowl. I loved it! Made her look like a pup again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m pretty much in the dog house right now. Not the first time; won’t be the last. I think the Cali Governor is going to announce that certain businesses will able to re-open this week including perhaps the dog salon. I keep telling the AJF I’ll use my beard clippers and trim Max but she just points at my beard and laughs.


  5. Leo knows how Max feels…..he wanted me to cut his hair so his ears were no longer invisible.
    I even wore my glasses to do the deed…….
    Now he has no wish to go out. For quite some time to come.
    My contribution to the health quarantine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think barbers, groomers and hair dressers will be much more appreciated in the future. One good thing about not having an excess amount of hair to begin with is that keeping the mane under control is fairly easy for me. I mean, a comb-over is a good look, right? Right? I’m sure your parting words to Leo were, “It will grow out.” Now for the pack of eight, er, nine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Only Sophie needs attention to her coat, luckily, but catching her to groom her is another matter. One move towards a comb and she is off to the sheep pens to roll in the unmentionable to be found therein…so it is sharp work with scissors on the resulting mats…she’ll never win Crufts.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dogs seem to have a special sense that alerts them of impend3batha and grooming. We have to either bribe Max or sneak up on him. Otherwise it’s under the bed and inaccessible in a heartbeat.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Not here although the big boxes like Petsmart and Petco can operate their grooming businesses inside the stores. But their groomers are a bit sketchy. Independent groomers and mobile groomers are not open.


    • At least your ears are not half their previous size. Well, I mean, I’m guessing. Also I’m not saying you have hairy ears but again that’s just a guess. I think I’ll stop now, this is going downhill. Max is still not recognizing my existence. Malts have a long and unforgiving memory.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What’s the problem, it looks fine to me.
    If you like there is a shepherd nearby, I can get him to shear Max for a small fee.
    He will shear the AJF is she causes trouble also, that would be a giggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You do NOT want to mess with the AJF. Even folks with a death wish avoid igniting her rage. Your full-throated acceptance of Max’s ear-free new hairdo might lead some of us to infer that perhaps you, too, have been a victim of a home brew haircut. Hmmm…curious minds…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly I have not had any haircut for a while.
        With the barbers closed round here there are an ever growing number of aged Hippies wandering the streets…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think we need to bring back the Age of Aquarius. I always liked the 60s, at least the part of them that I can remember. People tell me I had a good time. Back then I had a lot more hair so that was good.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I feel the pain!
    My two are looking ridiculously straggly after missing two groomer sessions due to the lockdown.
    We do our best to brush them but we have exactly the same problem with matted hair and poppy also had an ear infection and an infection in her… (ahem) lady parts, so we’ve had to use the sticky stuff too.

    I have tried to clip both dogs. I even bought a professional clipper set. Lily turns into a snarling, terrifying lunatic when she even sees me approaching with a brush or clippers. Poppy was always very good about being groomed but it seems lily has used her big sister status to convince poppy that the clipper/scissors/brush are all evil.

    I have no idea when the groomer will reopen and I’m actually scared for her when she has to tackle the both of them.

    And don’t even get me started on the state hubs and I are in regarding hair… it’s not pretty.
    Stay safe and stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those hair mats are the worst! We’re lucky because Max is so docile. He’s a wiggle worm to be sure but he never, ever even growls and has never snapped or shown his teeth. The ultimate beta personality. He just adopts the most pitiful long-suffering face that you can imagine and hopes we’ll stop torturing him because he looks so pitiful.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Watch out, Miss Penny! First they start stroking your ears and then commenting on how long the hair is getting. Next thing you know, you are a dog with no ears. Listen also for the sound of buzzing clippers and always remember…”it will grow back”…the anthem of the Covid-19 dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Poor, poor Sookie but she probably looks cute. If this technique makes one look younger, I will happily shave the last 8 hairs on my head and the 590 on my ears, too.


  8. Can he use human detangler? It seems like dog stuff is always more expensive. Mine is on antibiotics right now for a bladder infection and those cost at least quadruple what human ones do. I also bought some dog shampoo at the store today, and they had a shampoo for whitening. Like how they have for teeth. I bet you know that already. Is that what white dogs use?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup. White dogs get the whitener. Human conditioner is yhe wrong pH for dog skin. Once in awhile is no biggie. I tried Pantene conditioner but no joy. Smelled good.


  9. Cooper here.
    Hey, Max, it’s a tough life these days for us handsome dogs. When my Mom or Dad gets to “grooming” me, my shorn hair doesn’t looks right. Then they ignore my hair for awhile…and, darn, now I’m starting to look like a hippie! 😮
    I hope you and your Human-Beans are well and healthy!
    With my Human-Beans home all the time, now, my hours as The Supervisor have increased significantly. I’m handling it by taking more naps.


  10. All I have to add to this, is just be grateful you weren’t doing this to your five year old daughter,especially just before the end of year dance concert when you can’t just cut chunks of hair out of her head and hope for the best. I wasn’t the only Mum battling the bird’s nest either and the screams were terrible. Indeed, I’m sure Miss could give Max some stiff competition in the howling department. Friends put us onto this brush called a Nu Brush to manage her fine hair: https://sahairsupplies.com.au/products/nu-brush-assorted-colours-12-pack?variant=14182827130995&currency=AUD&gclid=CjwKCAjwwYP2BRBGEiwAkoBpAuCBFS3INUfjipDTDPV5pFI-jFAS5zXjzAKd0ZLRg0EM_jui-BRQOBoC6SoQAvD_BwE
    The other thing she’d done is plait her hair before going to bed so it didn’t matt overnight.
    BTW I’m sitting in the loungeroom watching the news and there’s a cat fight going on outside with high-pitched raows. Rosie is looking at me and I’m not sure she’s wanting me to save her or is looking for direction. The three of them just sped off in hot pursuit but came back (hank goodness) empty handed.
    Hope you and family are keeping safe.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I totally understand! Social Media diet as long as you need to!

        WordPress is the only social media thing I do.

        I couldn’t deal with Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagraming, ETC! Too much noise and nonsense for me!

        (((HUGS))) 🙂


  11. So darling … bless your pup!!! I have kept Buddy’s ears shortish too … I think they get more air inside that way and hopefully less infections? Also, when the ears are short, the pups look so cute and puppy-ish!! Not to mention, more expressive … we can see the widdle ears perk up when we say the magic words … you know, “cookies” … “walkies” … ??? I’m back to my blog, and thank you for your visit. Wish I could get this thing to let me “like” it … but ah well. I’ll figure it out eventually. Or not. Glad to see you’ve been writing away during “these uncertain times” … like if I hear that expression one more time, hand me a bucket, right? Sigh. Anywho. Sweet of you to visit and great to “see” you and your darlings!!!! Btw … I’ve been thru the oily yellow gloop meds in times past as well. It really is nasty stuff!!! I sympathize with you … you and Max!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I used to have a little dog prone to matts, with aversions to groomers, scissors and bathing. Not the best combo! One groomer asked me politely to find another please 🤣. So, I applaud your tackling project!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Suze! It’s been a couple of weeks now and the Malt is looking totally disreputable. We think he still has eyes but we haven’t seen them in awhile. He looks like someone took Chewbacca, bleached him and then ran him through a clothes dryer set on “High.” But the good news is that we snagged an appointment at the groomers for June 18th so there is hope.

      (Side note: the Google spell check and autocorrect tried to change “Chewbacca” to “Backache.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chewbacca…Backache…sams thing 🤣

        Hope all that extra fuzz doesn’t get him into trouble before the 18th! Looking forward to the reports of how goes it!


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