a groom dressing a greyhound

felixgata

Senior Member
España Castellano
Hi, everybody,
In the autobiography by Patti Smith I'm translating, she explains that her companion, Robert Mapplethorpe, has a soft spot for nice shoes:

He once traded a drawing for a pair of ridding boots. These he buffed and polished with the devotion of a groom dressing a greyhound.

I don't understand the meaning of "dressing" in this context.

Thank you very much in advance,
Gata
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I imagine it's meant literally -- dressing a greyhound in a coursing jacket. The jackets are used for identification in races and for visibility when hunting. Knowing how much greyhounds can cost -- and how much they mean to their owners -- I imagine some care and attention and cost could be paid to what they're dressed in, especially if that owner has gone to the expense of hiring a groom, as well. Here is a Greyhound photo and one of Salukis.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    This is verb sense 4 of 'dress' in the WordReference dictionary, but that just gives 'groom' and 'curry' as synonyms, which is not very helpful. Let's see how the OED defines it . . . oh, just 'groom' or 'curry'. Well I'll have to do it myself. Cleaning an animal (usually a dog or a horse) and making it shiny and good-looking by brushing and rubbing.

    Edit: Or possibly Copyright is right and it means putting it in its jacket; the words 'buffed and polished' made me think otherwise though.
     

    felixgata

    Senior Member
    España Castellano
    Thanks very much to you both. I got the same answers in the English-Spanish forum, so the meaning must be quite ambiguous. Either way, you have cleared my doubts.
    Greetings,

    Gata
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think "buffed and polished" applies only to the boots, not the dog. The common word here is "devotion."

    He buffed and polished his boots with the devotion of a groom dressing his greyhound. Two activities done with the same love, care and attention.
     
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