Give a Dog a Bath

Everything is going great. It’s a wonderful day. The sun is shining, it’s not raining and the wind is almost non-existent. Everyone is up and moving. By everyone, at my house, that means the dogs. Steve and I have had breakfast and fed the crew, Lollie, Ziva, Pebbles, Rosie, and Roxie. They have all been out to do their jobs and are now taking that after breakfast morning nap.

I get up from my chair, go to the kitchen and run a sink of hot water. It has to be hot because it’s for the dog. Dogs temperatures run normally at about 101 degrees so if the water isn’t hot, it feels cold to them. As I re-enter the room, Roxie, who has been watching closely, jumps up from the dog bed and in a dead run, takes off for the dog room. Oh crap. Okay, she knows. Yes, the others got their baths yesterday. She’s the only one left. I follow her into the dog room, finding her in the far back of her crate. I begin the process of prying her out. The crate is wire. She hangs on with every toenail. I’m on my hands and knees, head and shoulders inserted in crate trying to pry each little paw loose without hurting her. I finally get them, get her in my arms, and head for the kitchen. As I start to gently place her in the water, she scrambles out of my arms, up and around my shoulders. I grab, catch her, and plunge her into the sink of water as quickly as I can. Next, soap. No, wait, she’s not even wet. Roxie has that double coat that turns water. Trying the spray nozzle to get into her coat, I’m now holding her with only one hand. She stands up on her hind legs and starts boxing at the spray coming at her. There is water everywhere. Back down in the sink.  While I’m rinsing her head she manages to back her butt up completely out of the sink, under my arm, flips around and I’m soaked from head to toe. First wash and rinse done. Again she comes flying out of the sink up into my arms. Back in the sink, second wash and rinse underway, but no easier. Finally, we’re done. It looks like a dam broke loose in my kitchen. At this point, I have her wrapped in a towel and headed for the bathroom. She’s still wiggling and fighting to get loose.

“It’s okay darlin’,”  I say trying to comfort her enough to settle her down. “It’s okay, you’re a good girl. We’re just going to clip your nails darlin’.  You’ll be fine and you’ll be so happy, won’t you?” Of course, it wasn’t just a “no” from Roxie, but a great big “HELL NO” as she clawed desperately to get out of the towel. I hung on. Some day she’ll learn to do this, I thought to myself.  Nippers in hand, I pull one little black paw out, get the first nail in the nipper and just as I squeezed, she lunged. I cut the nail in the quick. Blood, blood, blood, going everywhere. grab a tissue. Crap too flimsy, I’ll  just use the towel. The blood is all over the counter and the floor. If you have ever done this you know that a dogs nail can bleed profusely and for a long time. (Well, it seems like a long time when it’s happening.) Great, this is not going well. I head back to the kitchen. Cornstarch. Cornstarch will stop the bleeding. While wrestling her under one arm and holding the paw in the towel at the same time, I grab the jar of cornstarch down from the cupboard. Unscrewing the best I can with the other hand is not working. I let go of the dogs paw . Now she’s pushing the cornstarch jar away getting blood on everything.  I finally get the lid off.  IT’S A NEW JAR! IT HAS A SEAL ON IT!  I cram my finger through the paper seal, grab another paper towel and put it around the paw. I picked up the cornstarch and tried to sprinkle some on the towel. Clump..Dump….one big blop of powder hits the towel, the dog jerks, cornstarch flies everywhere including up in Roxie’s face and down the front of my wet shirt. Ahhh, success, the bleeding has stopped. All, right, we’ll do the rest of them later when Steve can help me. But before we’re done, one more thing. She’s been scratching her back and needs a little medicine on it. Bag Balm always helps. Off we go to my bathroom. I find the jar and open it. She immediately shoves her foot into it trying to shove it away. I get a glop of it and rub it down the center of her back, working it into the hair and down to the skin. WE’RE DONE!

It’s taken an hour and a half, the kitchen is demolished, the bath is demolished, I’m soaked and covered with blood and cornstarch. Roxie has been doused with cornstarch and looks like an old aged mutt with a huge grease stripe down her back. So much for a sweet looking, nice smelling, darling little dog and, by the way, where is she?  Why, sitting at the edge of the carpet between the kitchen and living room waiting for her after bath treat.

You are probably asking, “Did she get it? Did she get the treat?”

You bet she did. Last time we did this it took two hours. We’re improving!


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