It rained on the way over, so I carried Steu from the car into her apartment. Cavaliers have "natural feet," which means the hair on them is allowed to grow. Someone once called them "yeti feet" and that's how I think of them. They trap and track an ungodly amount of mud and debris. Some owners elect to trim their cavalier's feet, but I never have, beyond once cutting out some stranger's wad of gum.
Halfway through our visit, Steu announced that he needed to go out, so we walked along a wooded path until he'd accomplished his mission. Also accomplished? One muddy, wet dog.
Sharon toweled him off and took this photo.
If you groom your dog regularly, and give plenty of treats while doing so, grooming should be a relatively easy task, even for a pup with a high-maintenance coat like Steu's. When he had a puppy coat, he needed no grooming at all beyond the monthly bath. His adult coat requires a daily brushing, along with regular removal of all the leaves, twigs, and vegetable matter he accumulates on his walks.
To get him used to all the brushing, I would give him a treat to chew on while he was being brushed, sometimes several treats. Now, we've reached the point where he gets a treat when he's done. Steu doesn't like having his tail brushed, but those long feathers require a brushing every few days. Once I'm done brushing his body, I give him a treat, which he eats while I brush his tail. By the time we're both done, the process has been relatively pain free.