Three Down, One to Go

This weekend we took down all of our Christmas decorations, much to the horror of Tater Tot, who declared that he “wuvs Cwismas” and wanted everything to stay just like it was.  It was quite a traumatic experience until we turned on the TV and Thomas and Friends happened to be on.  At that point, life was good again and his interest in what we were doing fell by the wayside.  

The hubs bought some new dog grooming tools, shampoo, and conditioner on Saturday and has decided that 2009 is the year that all four dogs become accustomed to regular brushing and the occasional bath.  We spent a good hour outside on the deck brushing the angels.  I’d be willing to bet that we had enough hair to re-stuff our sofa and a couple of chairs.  It was ridiculous.

By the time we went to bed that night, I had finished all of the laundry.  That’s right!  ALL of it!  So I decided that Sunday’s big chore would be to bathe the dogs, and I volunteered to do it all.  Tater Daddy’s back is already horrible shape, so I told him that it was nooooooo problem for me to bathe and dry all four dogs.  “My back is in great shape!” I announced.  

I started with Zeus because he’s old and I figured he’d give me the least trouble.  Tater Daddy had gotten a special bottle of shampoo for him plus a bottle of shampoo for the others AND a conditioner for all of them.  Getting Zeus into the tub wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and he stood there like a good ol’ mama’s boy while I wet his coat down.  This part takes the longest, because Labs have two oily coats, and water just drips off of them.  I squirted a big blob of shampoo onto his coat and started to rub it into a good lather, but guess what?  No lather.  Tater Daddy had mistakenly picked up the conditioner, not the shampoo, of this particular brand.  I didn’t have the heart to make Zeus stand any longer than he had to, so his coat just got conditioned.  He didn’t care as long as I spent a  lot of time drying him off.

Hatch was up next.  I swear that dog has put on a ton of weight!  He’s got to be pushing 80 pounds.  Getting him into the tub was like trying to corral a buffalo by hand.  He had no intention of getting in, and he fought like a champion.  After a few minutes, though, I managed to shove him into the tub and jump in there with him to keep him from climbing out.

I got him good and wet, poured on the shampoo and started washing.  He stayed really still, so I thought maybe he actually liked having a bath and would actually obey my command to “Stay or never sleep in the house again.”  But in dog years, he’s a teenager and you know how teenage boys can be.  Rebellious.  I reached for the shower hose and Hatch hurled himself out of the tub.  The bathroom door was closed, so he had no where to go to do what he really wanted to.  Which was, of course, to shake the shampoo out of his fur.

He stood in that small bathroom and shook and shook until everything from the floor to about 3 feet up was covered in suds.  You know what’s harder than getting a buffalo into a tub?  Getting a SOAPY buffalo into a tub.  I’ll admit that I used some mighty unladylike words as I slipped and slid around that bathroom trying to hold onto that slick canine/water buffalo.  And the crazy thing is that he’s normally the ONE dog that obeys commands.  At any rate, once back in the tub I made sure that he couldn’t escape again and I finished the job.

Like Zeus, he waited until he was out of the tub to do his shaking.  By this time, the floor was covered in water, soap, and dog hair.  And my back was starting to hurt, but I was determined to finish what I’d started.

Duke was number three in the lineup.  What a sweet dog.  Dumb, but sweet.  He not only ran to the bathroom when I called his name, but he got into the tub without so much as a pause.  He stood patiently while I washed and conditioned his coat, and he only tried to get out once.  When he put a paw up onto the side of the tub and I said, “No, Duke!” he just put it back down as if to say, “Oh, right.  Okay.”  

Once finished, he climbed out of the tub and shook his thick, saggy coat.  For whatever reason, Duke’s coat holds more water than the other dogs’ coats, and drying him off takes an eternity.  I was running out of steam, so I grabbed the hairdryer.  Would you believe that that big oaf of a dog sat there and let me use the blow dryer on him for a few minutes?  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Duke?

After bathing three big dogs, my back was aching and the bathroom was a wreck.  I decided to call it a night, take something for my back and hope not to walk around like an old lady with a touch of the rheumatism for too long.  Pearl could wait a day or so for her beauty appointment.

Bless her heart.  After cleaning up the bathroom and getting it put back together, I opened the door and there she sat.  Ready.  Hoping for a little one-on-one attention.

Sweet baby girl.  She’ll get it.  That is, once I can stand up straight again.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mrs Lemon
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 08:38:24

    oh my word, I think I just peed my pants reading this.

    ‘specially at the one lone doggles left out of the loving.

    cracked me up!


  2. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 09:12:56

    I think, hands down, you already win the puppy mommy of the year award!


  3. JLI
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 10:03:26

    You prove my point about why, if such a thing as reincarnation were to exist, I’d want to come back as a dog! See what they get away with? And try as you might to be ticked at the little boogers, their antics are so cute, it’s not possible!


  4. Lora Lynn
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 10:10:04

    Oh, this brought back memories. Right after we got our dog, my husband wanted to surprise me for Valentine’s Day with a special night out. He waited until I left for class and then spread rose petals all over the apartment leading to a note about our date. Since he didn’t want Samson to eat the rose petals, he took him on a long walk and they both got very muddy. So they came home to a teary-eyed and gushing me, but we quickly realized we couldn’t go anywhere until we got the dog clean. (Alabama red mud, you know.) So we put him in the tub, he made a break for it, the shaking occurred, and red mud was flung all over the bathroom. After we moved out of that apartment, one of my friends moved in. I told that story one day and she said, “I always wondered how that big spot of mud got on the ceiling. It’s been one of the great mysteries of bath time…”
    Samson had a tendency to leave his mark wherever we went.


  5. Kim H.
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 10:42:37

    How funny – I know what you mean about a lab’s coat… mine is like duck hair! It’s really hard to get wet, but then it’s even harder to get dry!

    What a day – I hope that Pearl gets her one-on-one time soon! 🙂


  6. Jenna
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 15:56:49

    I worked for three summers as a dog groomer while in grad school, so I feel your pain (literally)! But cuddling with a good smelling pooch is worth it!

    I’m sure you already know about them, but have you tried a “zoom groom?” It’s made out of the same material as a kong and it pulls out the undercoat on short haired dogs like labs better than any type of comb I’ve ever tried! I also use it on my beagle, but it was the go-to tool to use with labs when I was a bather.


  7. kim sue
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 18:47:18

    4….hmmmm….my one needs a bath and a toe nail trimming and I’m avoiding it like the plague!


  8. Calista
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 02:05:47

    Okay, I hate giving the 35 pound Sheltie a bath. Don’t you love the way you fit into that resolution of clean dogs your honey made????


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