I have officially washed my last dog at home. This milestone has been achieved thanks to my having recently discovered the Eighth Wonder of the World - the self serve dog wash. It's amazing! I've heard of these places for years, but always had the opinion... "why in the world would I go to the trouble and expense to transport the dogs somewhere to bathe them, when I can do it right here for free?"
I can now offer lots of reasons. For starters, there's no struggling to hold the dog in place. While Lady, Lucky, and Katie never actively fight being bathed, you do have to manage their steady and consistent desire to leave. I often don't realize I've just spent an hour holding back 50, 75, and 90 pounds of unhappy pressure until later, when my whole body aches. At the self serve dog wash, a handy tub tether holds the dog safely and easily in place while you work.
Exhibit A: photo of Katie, chained to the wall of doom, awaiting her fate.
A shelf next to the tub holds an impressive array of shampoos, conditioners, and assorted dog beautifying products. I used our own moisturizing shampoo from the vet, because I don't like the perfumey smell of most commercially available dog shampoos, but I did take advantage of the dispenser of ear wipes.
Another advantage of the self-serve dog wash is that you can get someone else to do the nail trimming for you. It costs extra, but last time I clipped the dogs' nails I nicked Katie's quick and it bled forever. This traumatic experience left me with Nail Clipping Phobia. I'll have to get over it, because I'm not going to pay someone to do it every month, but I was sure happy to have help this time. One less thing on my "to do" list!
Another reason to love the self serve dog wash is that when Lady inevitably does this...
...I don't get completely drenched. Wearing the waterproof apron provided by the staff kept me remarkably dry throughout the entire dog washing experience. This particular self-serve dog wash even had a greeter who met us at the door and escorted us back into the tub area. Meet the Ambassador of Clean:
The grooming facility is only a mile or so from my house, so I took the dogs over there one at a time. It was interesting to see how each dog's individual personality was reflected in his or her reaction to our self serve dog wash adventure.
Katie responds to all new experiences with grim, somber acceptance.
(Afterward, when she realizes she has survived, she becomes giddy with joy.)
Lady believes that getting bathed is an affront to her dignity.
Also, it wasn't her idea. She likes to call the shots.
And then there's Lucky, who reliably smiles through any adversity.
Here's to a squeaky clean New Year!