A poodle faces its owner, squinting. She sprays its hairdo which stands a foot-tall upon its head – stiff like whipped meringue. How must the hound feel about the assault of fumes when it owns such a clever and distinguishing nose? For a creature whose world is made up of all it smells it must be an anathema. No wonder others are barking at it, with its pompom bracelets and its heavily cushioned hips. Some say the poodle clip has its origins in shedding water from the coat, as well as keeping the joints and chest warm while out retrieving water fowl, but one wonders how much river water these poodles see. Likely the only water is luke warm in a tub from a soft shower rose in a tiled bathroom.
Then the highly coiffured poodles with their continental clips take to the ring to prance around with proud owners. A man in a grey suit strides out, as exuberant and purposeful as the poodle he leads. He is intent on his poodle’s movements, taking his eyes off where he is going, watching his dog, and so catches his foot on a protruding wheel of a table. He tumbles head over heel, dragging his dog down with him. Like a sponge ball the poodle rolls and bounces, a powder-puff of white. On his feet as quickly as he was down, the man continues on around the ring and at the end of the display scoops the large dog into his arms and carries it, like a cradled child, to a table to be examined. He runs his hands over it, like a man reading braille.