Saturday, July 21, 2012
Our pup is a very smart girl. So when it's time to give her a bath, we have to be even smarter than her. And it's not as easy as you might think. Any change in tone or body language is a dead give-away to her that something's not quite right. We set up everything in the back way in advance so now she thinks we're just going for a little walk. Right...
The first phase of bath time is a good brushing. Since our pup is an australian shepherd, she has an undercoat. She also has extra fluff on her thighs that protects her legs from burrs - which means it is often full of burrs. The feathering on her forearms is a great place for sticky pinecone scales to attach. Her fur is very fine here and we have to be careful not to yank when we hit a bit of pine sap. She's not too terribly fond of the whole brushing routine even though we've regularly brushed her since she was a baby. She'll tolerate it though, and we'll get enough loose fur off of her to turn a chihuahua into a pomeranian.
After a few minutes of treats and play, it's time for her bath. At first she doesn't think we're really serious about it - that we're joking around. But soon she realizes that we are quite serious and there will be actual water and ... s-o-a-p involved! She has to take drastic action.
Please! Let's go inside!!! I'll be the best puppy in the world, if we can just go inside. Right now. Come on! It'll be fun, I promise!
Her pleas fell on deaf ears - it was time for the bath and that's what was going to happen. 20 minutes of cajoling, praising and being firm but kind, finally resulted in one very clean, very angry pup. Even liver treats and hot dogs couldn't console her. We had done the unforgivable - we made her smell good. Well, good to us that is. Her fur is so soft and fluffy and she smells like an orange!
She needed some alone time to get over this great offense and decide if she would ever ever forgive us for this violation of her trust and breach of the Use of Water Treaty of 2010 - which, if we would have just recalled 20 minutes earlier, clearly states that water is to be used only for drinking and at no time should water EVER be used for cleaning purposes. Never ever ever. Ever.
It was a rough day for our pup, but she survived and soon bounced back enough to eat all of her treats, and her dinner, and some frozen peanut butter yogurt. Then with her new bouncy ball toy firmly grasped in her mouth, she made her way to her hidey-hole where she would be safe from baths forever.