Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Therapy dog

Have you ever bathed a large, furry dog? If your large animal is anything like mine it will be a fun experience with flying fur, baleful looks, dog shampoo everywhere and I do mean everywhere. My dog does not object to baths the way some animals do, he loves water; that is he loves water in his bowl, he loves the beach where there is lots of water to chase and bark at, he loves to lie in the bathroom where it is cool or to share your bath. Official dog bath time, well that's something else!

I have found it expedient to bath the dog while washing the car. Call it multitasking or water conservation or whatever you will, if I'm going to be soaked from head to toe there might as well be some greater purpose. For some reason the hound objects to outdoor baths, mayhap it compromises his street cred, all I know is he spends a great portion of the time barking hysterically and looking as though I have done him wrong. He manages to get hair all over the car, even though he's usually not anywhere near enough for it to have happened.

When occupying the shower, it is not unusual for the hound to walk in, to be forcibly ejected otherwise he'd drip all over the house. I used to give him his bath in there since there is less space for him to run away. First you have to get the water the right temperature, then you have to soak him well, he has an undercoat. Not an easy job with a reluctant ninety pound dog, a chunky owner and a slippery, tiled bathroom stall. He usually tries to make a break for it, trailing leash, dog shampoo and water all over. Followed by me alternately cursing, slipping on the tiles and trying to catch hold of the lead. We then get to rinse and repeat. This is all followed by a vigorous towel on the back steps in the sun, he's usually firmly tethered to prevent rolls in the backyard. While he suns I drag my sorry self back into the bath for clean up.

Do you know how much hair one dog can shed? Pounds. It takes forever to get it out of the drain, the corners, the top of the wall. Yup, just about anyplace you can think of. You either have to rinse everything off to get rid of the shampoo residue, scrub frantically, after all, I have to bathe in here too, it takes about as long as it does to wash the car! Meanwhile the faithful is yapping frantically on the back steps assuming that he has been forgotten. Bath done, I then have to mop the corridor before slumping in the shower trying to get dog off of me. At long last I get to collapse on the couch, large drink in hand and newly washed hound draped across feet. Can you ask for better therapy?

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