A doggy's gotta do, what a doggy's gotta do!

Life's a chance. Grab it with both fists and never let it go, no matter how much it squirms! A blog about everything and anything, or whatever just comes up. So sit back, relax, then chase your brother around the house because he stole your diary. Most of all, enjoy (plus have fun?)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Doggy Washing

It occurred to me (ironically on my 13th birthday) that on this blog there is nothing that relates to its namesake. So, I shall add this post as a tribute to "Doggy say, Doggy do."

I have a dog, a mutt named Shadow, that we picked up off the streets of India when she was a puppy. She was very skinny, you could see her ribs, and very small. She was an orphan too, trying to share the shade with another older male dog.
I did the thing that basically anyone with a heart would do, and took her home. I kept her in a cardboard box just on the patio with some towels and newspaper, making a vow to my parents that I would take her to the shelter on the weekend.
We all became too attached, Shadow even coming in the house, getting a collar, and earning the nicknames 'Shadsy' and 'Muttsky'. Soon she just grew into our family, and into our hearts. The idea of her leaving was too much now. My parents let me keep her, and that was the best decision of their life.
I roller skated with Shadow on her lead, Shadow pulling me forward everywhere, sharing an ice cream, going for play dates, in the sand at the park. But, baths were by far the hardest thing we'd ever done.
She hated water, and wouldn't even go into the rain to go to the bathroom. On walks like that, we'd stand in the rain while Shadow got the umbrella held over her. As you can imagine, getting her into her 'baths' (they were showers, we didn't have a bath in India) was no easy task. I decided to post this tip as a helpful hint to those who have the same problem.

Our shower was a glass one, inside a big bathroom. Whenever Shadow heard the word 'bath' or saw a towel she would stay away from the stairs that led to my bathroom. Shadow is quite a big heavy dog though, you couldn't carry a squirming ton up the stairs even though we did try.
I usually brought a treat and a squeaky plastic toy with me, coaxing her near the stairs with the toys and holding the towel in the other hand.
When she was close enough, I chased her up the narrow stairs in a way that she couldn't get past me. I chased her into my room then shut the door.
She had no where to go, but getting her into the bathroom is the hardest bit.
I put the treat on the sink along with her towel, and placed the toy in the shower. I grabbed hold of her after several minutes of chasing (but if you can chase your dog into the bathroom do that) and half carried, half dragged her into the bathroom, shutting the door. I simply herded her into the shower after taking her collar off and placing it on the sink, then closed the door.
Shadow will look out the shower glass with the saddest face you ever saw. I roll up my sleeves and pants then go in with her, making careful attention she doesn't slip out when I opened the door.
I turned on the water, and at first Shadow licked it. When it got warmer, Shadow grabbed the toy and backed into a corner, taking her stress off on the toy. She picked up her feet as the water splashed on them and ran around. Then came the fun bit, where I took the shower off the hook and used it as a gun, aiming at Shadow as she ran around the shower. When she was nice and wet I grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and rubbed her down in shampoo, working my way up from the tail and taking care not to get the shampoo in her eyes. When she was covered in foam, I kept her in my grasp and washed all the shampoo off, running my hands through her fur to get it all out. If you have to brush your dogs teeth, I recommend you do it now, at the end of your shower. We take her for a shower every week, on Sunday in the morning.
I usually lay her towel on the floor and Shadow will rub her face on it, roll on it, and shake out her fur. Then I just pick the towel up and rub the rest of her with it. When she is pretty dry, I put her collar on and give her the treat. The treat helps to encourage showers so she is better when I do give her one. I open the door to let her into my room (careful, dogs sometimes get hyper like mine after a shower and go on a destructive rampage around the room, keep precious items out of reach) and open the other door to let her out. She just runs down the stairs to see my Mom. I then roll down my clothes, pick up her toy, and hang up her towel. (Air out the room too, it will smell bad from wet dog.) I then put the toy downstairs, and consider it a job well done.

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