Small Animal Grooming

Grooming a Small Animal

A bright smile upon her calm face, Lena leads the assembled apprentices into the kennels. After the last of the Herders has made their way inside, the beaming Journeyman shuts the door and scurries towards the others. "Thank you all for joining me today," she greets each of them with a cordial smile, giving out polite salutes to her fellow Journeymen and superiors. Clearing her throat, Lena begins her lesson by addressing herself and her purpose, "As I should hope all of you know, I am Lena," she grins, eyeing the newer apprentices teasingly, "and today's lesson shall be grooming small animals.

"Shall we?" She queries the others, motioning towards the center of the Kennel in which a small heap of various grooming utensils lays. As the apprentices do as suggested and take their seats in a semi-circle, Lena takes her own seat in front of them all. "Alright, grooming canines and felines are for the most part similar, so I have chosen to demonstrate just one, for time purposes." Just then, a scrawny looking feline meanders towards the grouped Herders. Grinning, Lena whisks the kitten into her arms and kisses his head lightly, "And this," she holds him up for observations, "is Jem." The grayish feline struggles from Lena's hands, she chuckles as she sets him down before her.

"Okay," her hands remain on Jem until he calms down and stays still, at which point she moves them to her lap to wipe them on her legs. "Instinctively, felines clean themselves. However, that does not mean they aren't in need of routine groomings by their owners." Idly stroking Jem's silky fur, she continues, "During periods of warm or hot weather it is especially important to relieve their coats of loose hairs, as well as possible parasites living in their fur. In the case of long-haired felines, it is also important to straighten their fur to prevent irritating tangles and knots."

Lena grins as she teases Jem with a scrap of hay laying on the ground, but glances up to giggling and chuckling apprentices, her cheeks blushing at her distraction. "Sorry," she grins. "Now that you know why it is important to groom your small animal, why not learn how?" She smiles, reaching for one of the combs in front of her. "I realize that to most of you this is old material and for the most part easily comprehensible; however it is a necessity when owning a canine or feline, and I know that several of you are in that position." She takes the comb in her hands and holds it up to show the apprentices, fingering the wired teeth, she informs the others of the qualities, "This comb, like any combs used in the grooming of small animals, has thin, wire teeth that are close together. This will add to the amount of loose hair taken."

Bringing the comb to the back of Jem's neck, Lena speaks up again, "I think the rest is pretty much self-explanatory, you simply stroke the comb down the back, sides, head, and tail," she does as she narrates, extracting large clumps of grayish fur. The now-purring feline meows up at his owner, asking for more. Grinning, Lena pets his head and scritches his neck, "And most of all, do it because they love it!" She grins and tosses the comb back into the center of the circle, placing the willing Jem into her lap.

Relaxing herself by leaning on her arms behind her back, Lena looks at each of the apprentices before continuing the last part of the lesson. In a lax tone, "And last of all, bathing a feline is not necessary — though in some cases it is advised; however canines require seldom baths, though not very often to avoid drying skin. Both animals also need routine examinations of ears and teeth, as well as brief washings with a damp cloth of some sort." After a moment's pause, she looks up to grin at the intrigued apprentices, "But all in all, grooming your pet is supposed to be fun , so enjoy!" She grins and winks, standing up to gather the combs and Jem, leading the Herders towards the door. Smiling, she uses her free hand to wave frantically as they shuffle out, "Thank you all for coming, see you at the next lesson!" She grins as she tidies up the area, the nicely-groomed Jem attempting to struggle out of her arms.

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