Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dirty Dog, Clean Dog

We have a very sweet shepherd chow mix named Malcolm, Malcolm Reynolds. (Yes, we are Firefly fans) He is all black, poofy and very loving. Lately he has been scratching more than usual so we finally decided to give him a bath. He had been due for one but he is terrified of taking baths so we try to do them as little as possible. With being an indoor dog, he really doesn't get dirty much. But like I said, it was time.

Bath time is a couple hour event. First comes brushing him out to get as much shedded hair out of his coat as possible. Sounds way easier than it really is. Mal (as we call him) does not like to be brushed out because he is sensitive (please note the sarcasm). Sooo it takes two of us, a treat and his favorite triceratops squeaky toy. If you part his fur you can easily find his skin below the coat, but DAMN this dog has so much excess fur.

After removing enough fur to create a separate Mal, we fill the tub with warm water and have to use ANOTHER treat to coax him into the bathroom and close the door. Thus ensues the crying and whining. You would think we were leading him to slaughter the way he cries. I sit on the edge of the tub with my feet in the water and hubby dearest picks up the crying, quivering 35 pounds of black fur and gently sets him in. I swear this dog had a horrible problem with water before he was picked up as a stray in Georgia. His heart starts to pounds and his breathing becomes labored.  So before we can even begin to bathe him, we have to calm him down and keep him bolting across.

Cleaning soon starts and as I do the dirty work, hubby croons and whispers lies to Mal telling him "Just one more minute and you will be done." Yeah, sure. After washing him and rinsing him all out we have to wait for the tub to empty so we can partially dry him in the tub. Learned from the last couple baths that letting him out of the tub to try is a very, very wet proposition. The first time we did that, he shook the water out and it was on the walls, ruined a whole roll of toilet paper and actually ponding on the floor. Never again.

Once we let him out to shake off the last of the water and opened the door, he bolted out like he was being released from 20 years of hard time. Those poor cats had no idea he was going to be running free.

I am so glad the bath is done and I dread the next one. But for now...he is clean.

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