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Monday, August 12, 2013

The Dog needs a bath - #2



      “Your dog needs a bath.” My wife repeated. Couples divide the world, some things she owns, some things I own and some things we own together.  The dog we own together, when she walks the neighborhood she owns the dog, when there is a veterinary bill, I own the dog, funny how that works. When the dog needs a bath, I have sole ownership.
      As a lifelong dog aficionado I have gone through a learning curve about dog baths. As a young man I believed that dogs did not like baths, that I had to overpower the animal, giving them a bath using brute force. This didn’t work very well with small dogs, and then I got a female German Sheppard that grew to over a hundred pounds. Aggressive high energy baths did not work at all with her. She was not going along with the brute force approach; she had ample brute force of her own. This compelled me to rethink my dog bathing program. She enjoyed chasing the water from the backyard water hose, biting at the water, soon dog baths became a very wet summer game. This left a problem with cold winter days. One cold winter day I decided to try using the indoor bath tub. I disrobed and climbed into a bath tub with a 100 pound plus German shepherd, I was nervous about this approach, I had a mental image of my ding dong getting removed by sharp dog teeth. I am a confident dog master, I had never been bitten by any dog and my dogs accept me as the final voice on any subject. She had willingly hopped into the bath tub, and this first indoor dog bath actually went well.
      In the three decades since I have gotten the indoor dog bath process to near perfection. I sing to the dog in our bath, I make the whole affair a pleasant and playful affair. I can wash three 50 pound dogs in about 20 minutes. I let the dog shake dry in the bath tub and use two dry towels, one before we leave the bath tub with the second towel used in the open bath room.  It does take a little longer to clean the bathroom and bathtub after all the dog baths. All total I am still well under an hour to bathe three dogs. As a bonus I finish with a really clean bath room.
      My dog needs a bath. Most of my dogs have been what is called a “rescue” dog, for the “rescue” dogs the first indoor bath was slow and careful. One current dog is a long hair Chow, I got her as a puppy, and she was acclimated early to indoor baths. How I have to select a dog shampoo. I have medicated shampoo that needed a veterinarian prescription to purchase. $60 for 16 fluid ounces, ChlorhexiDerm shampoo, plus I have the standard flea and tick shampoos, oatmeal based shampoo, and a “soothing” aloe dog shampoo. All of these shampoo concoctions are mixes of toxic chemicals and have warning labels. All the choices cost more than my regular guy’s hair shampoo. Not hard to guess which one I’m going to select. I figure my shampoo can be used daily on a hairy feral mammal, me. It should be usable on a dog. I use the specialty shampoos when I have some specific objective, such as fleas or a skin rash. Most of the time I use regular, cheap, man’s shampoo and there have not been any problems.
      The final issue is how the dog feels about her own scent. Most dogs after a bath will immediately find something to roll in, preferably something like used baby diapers. I use men’s after shave lotion, sprinkle it on a towel, lay the towel on the ground and let the dog roll in the scent of after shave lotion. I would guess that a women’s perfume would be just as acceptable to the dog but either scent is better than whatever the dog would naturally find.
      Now that the dog is clean and acceptable I can finally get back to finding something to write about, maybe another political rant, or maybe something about the idiocy of Nobel prize winning economist.

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