Cleanliness and Dogliness

Today, I practiced the art of washing a dog.

Tisen has not had a bath in a while.  It’s one of those things that seems relatively pointless to me.  You wash a dog and within a few hours, he’s dirty again.  However, with the onset of pollen alerts (in March already!), Tisen has started to itch.

I figure it’s about time to give Tisen a spa experience. With an 8 ft. sprayer that attaches to the shower head, his bath has become an aqua massage experience.  Plus, the oatmeal shampoo and medicated conditioner are supposed to stop the itching.

The first, and most challenging step, is called “how to get the dog into the bath tub.”  For the beginner, I suggest starting with a very small dog.  For those of us who like to take on large challenges, a dog that last weighed 60 pounds is a good start.

Having raised 2 Mastiffs and managed to coax them into a shower stall even though they had to bend into a C-shape to fit, I figured getting one 60ish pound terrier into a tub couldn’t be that challenging.

The magic button for Tisen is a squeaky toy.  So, I start by playing with him.  But he’s on to me.  As I get closer and closer to the bathroom door, he gets less and less enthusiastic about our game until he finally picks up ‘Possum, darts around me, and hides in a corner behind the couch.

Next, I try throwing the squeaky ball.  But he will not chase the ball towards the bathroom.  I finally manage to get him so engaged in the game, he forgets and gets close to the bathroom door.  Then, I make the ultimate error in judgment and try throwing the ball into the bathroom.  Tisen turns around and runs straight back to the corner behind the couch.

I decide the only course of action is to carry him. I can certainly lift 60 pounds.  I gather him up into my arms and try to lift with my legs.  A dog is not inherently ergonomic when it comes to lifting.  If you’re looking for a cheap way to introduce strength training into your routine, I do not recommend dog lifting.

I manage to make it to the bathroom without dropping him, although I’m certain he weighs at least 90 pounds by the time we get there.  I plop him into the tub and, thankfully, he stands still.  As long as I keep rubbing all his favorite spots while I shampoo, rinse, condition, and rinse again, he’s as happy as a clam.

In fact, I can’t figure out why he doesn’t run into the bathroom and hop into the tub every time I open the door–he seems to love every bit of it.  He especially likes to be dried.  I rub, rub, rub with a nice towel and he squirms with enthusiasm through the whole thing.

What exactly is it about the tub that makes him run away?


3 responses to “Cleanliness and Dogliness

  1. Sasha hates the whole experience. She can’t be lifted either. She’s about 90 lbs for real. She has to be scolded into the bathroom. So she gets her bath feeling like she’s being punished for something. I can not hardly handle it anymore. I try to let my son take care of that evry time he comes to visit. She was supposed to be his dog in the first place. She is sooo fluffy when its all over though. Tison looks so sweet with his little scowl on his face lol.

    • Aww. Poor Sasha! Maybe in the summer you can wash her outside with a hose? Tisen cracks me up–he gives me disgusted looks, but then he runs around like he just came out of the fountain of youth!

  2. Pingback: Dogs and Vomit | nomadicmainstream

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