Lady and Lucky HATE to take a bath. Bathing them is not exactly my favorite way to spend an afternoon either, but sometimes it has to be done. All the snow of recent weeks has converted the neighborhood roads into gritty, slushy avenues of yuck. After a 3 or 4 mile walk, both dogs are black underneath, including the one who is not black. And a towel can only do so much. So, the decree goes out: it's Bath Day.
Preparations are made, which includes locating the doggie shampoo, gathering every spare towel in the house, and clearing the hall bathroom of all important items. Then, one at a time the dogs are led into The Chamber of Doom.
I don't know what could possibly be so horrible about getting wet. They act like I'm going to lead them in there and drown them. It's not like I use any of those dreadfully aromatic dog shampoos on the market, shampoos that give me a headache with their sickening sweet coconut or lilac smell. And I have a mere 5 million olfactory receptors. I've often wondered what being immersed in that smell must be like for a dog with 220 million olfactory receptors. But I am a good dog mom. I use an unscented oatmeal shampoo. However, I suppose it's possible that those extra 215 million receptors find even "unscented" shampoo objectionable.
When the hapless victim reaches the edge of the bathtub, that's when things get interesting. The first time I bathed Lady and Lucky indoors, I discovered something fascinating. Dogs possess the supernatural ability to triple their body weight at will. I reach underneath Lucky to guide him up over the edge of the bathtub, but he isn't going to be guided. I have to pick him up. But his 75 pounds has become 225 pounds. The effort to pick him up and place him into the bathtub becomes a shove-lift-haul-drag maneuver that I am thankful no one is capturing on videotape.
Finally I get him into the tub, but the poor dog's heart is beating so hard against my hands I'm afraid he's going to have a heart attack. I talk to him in soothng tones, promise not to drown him, and rub his head. He calms down, and I commence the actual bathing, of which there are no photos because the process takes every ounce of my concentration and physical strength. Lady is a bit more cooperative. Once in the tub, she accepts her fate.
She fixes me with a pathetic look, however, that speaks volumes about the indignity of her ordeal. Somehow we get through it, and once she's been rinsed squeaky clean, she hops out of the tub much more eagerly than she hopped ('aka' was shoved-lifted-hauled-dragged) in. Both dogs love the after bath toweling off routine. The dreadful deed is done, and dog euphoria abounds. Lady snuggles head first into the towel, and I dry her enough to make her safe for the rest of the house. The door opens, and out she goes like a shot. Both dogs get a case of the post bath herky-jerkys, which is always fun to watch. It's more fun in summer though, when it can occur outdoors.
Then I turn back to the bathroom.
While Lady and Lucky frolic in the living room (probably trying to dry themselves on the rug), I gather up the supplies for Phase 2: scrub brush, Comet, paper towels, Windex, vaccuum cleaner. When the bathroom is clean, then its time to hop in the shower to rid myself of "Eau de Wet Dog." Finally, we're all clean. I am exhausted.
Is it time for a nap?
P.S. In keeping with today's theme, reader Darla from http://kitsnk9s.blogspot.com/ contributed this gem of a poem in the comments section, and has graciously given permission for it to be reproduced here. Thanks Darla!
EAU DE CANINE!
Oh! the aroma of Eau de Canine!
On a cool, rainy day the odor is fine
It raises your eyebrows the scent is so strong
You wonder, perchance, will it last all day long?
The damp hair arises and clings to your nose
Which wrinkles with sneezes that curl your toes
Ah, yes, what a lovely scent this shall be
Would anyone pass up this chance to be me?
To sniff and to sneeze and be tickled with fur
You say, Ah, YES! I want to be her!