Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Abandoned or Alone

What could be more abandoned than a Scottish Terrier facing the terror of getting clipped without someone to hold his paw? Poor Gibbs! He has been face-to-face with dreadful things during the year and a half he has been our furkid. He has had his ears treated! Oh, the horror!

We have cleaned his eyes, clipped his claws … and sent him to the groomers where they (OMG!) bathe him with soap! Clip his coat! Trim his eyebrows and beard! No explanation can alleviate his gloom.

This is why Gibbs always manages to look depressed. The expression “hangdog” was designed to describe Mr. Gibbs.

No matter how good he is, people are always doing stuff to him. He cannot help but take it personally. He is alone, one brave Scottie against the world.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


    1. Thank you. He is. A very gloomy, hangdog cutie pie. He always looks like the world is out to get him. Bonnie is merry, but Gibbs is glum. And he looks like The Werewolf. Big long nose and the fur off to the sides. Really, he does!


  1. He looks a bit anxious to me…but I’d be anxious too if some stranger (who smells weird) tied me to a pole and started cutting off my hair and probing into places that are private (like the inside of ears ). Gibbs also looks resigned. What a beautiful boy!


    1. He really is a very handsome boy. We got him when he was 9 and he had never been petted. Never sat on a sofa or a lap. It took him months — and a LOT of treats — to learn to like people and not be terrified of all of them.


  2. One of my dogs was so terrified of getting a ‘trim’ she’d bite them all, and after her reputation spread far and wide, it took me two years of ‘re-training’ (read: do a small spot, clip, or brush, and let her go) and a new town and a very understanding groomer (who let me stay while it happened) before she managed to look like a true dog again (poodle, but without the fluffy bits – she still wouldn’t take it for too long). My partner made me get rid of all the photos of the dog with bald patches, rough blotches, and daggy-sheep imitations. And the dog? She lived to be almost 21 (and still bared her teeth (good, solid teeth right to the end) if anyone brought out the clippers, scissors, or grooming glove), and I still dream about her slightly-too-long nails clicky-clacking on the floor, even 15 years after she died. Forever in the heart, especially the tough ones.
    The reason she didn’t like a clip? I got her when she was a 2yo. Poodle, and never trimmed. A poodle, left in a weedy backyard, and never trimmed. Can you imagine the first time? The vets never forgot and put a message on her cage to indicate social problems, and a serious biter. She was going to be (I can’t even think it, even now) but instead she came to me for ‘socialisation’ as part of my foster program.


    1. She must have looked truly awful. Gibbs had obviously been clipped. He was 9 when we got him, but he was a kennel dog and had no experience with people. Lucky for us he isn’t a biter, but he is terrified of being handled. I can only take a guess as to why. The place we have him groomed are really nice with him, but they charge more because they need to use two people to keep him from running away or worse, backing off the table. He’s less scary now, but I don’t think he’ll ever be better than tolerant. He doesn’t like being handled at all, for any reason — except being petted. He likes that. And it took him a year to get used to being petted.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you needed to be clipped, you’d be a dog. Gibbs is lucky. His coat grows pretty slowly, so this is maybe every four or five months for him. Bonnie, who is just fine about being groomed, is more often because her coat gets really bushy. A lot of dogs actually LIKE getting groomed and they don’t need anything. They just stand there, like us getting a haircut.


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