Monday, January 25, 2010

Bathing Dogs

I spent this morning giving a bath to my four-legged pals, Ernie and Ruby. They're very clean dogs, usually, since they spend all their time inside and they're not a particularly malodorous breed (unlike, say, black labs). We can usually get away with bathing them every couple of months.

But lately they'd been smelling a little doggy. They have a nice, toasty smell -- Dave likens it to Fritos, and he's right -- but even that can gradually get too intense. There's such a thing as Too Much Frito.

They aren't particularly crazy about bath time, so the routine goes like this:

1. Lure the unsuspecting tail-wagging dog into the bathroom with soft approving noises.
2. Block its escape when it understands what's coming.
3. Hoist all 45 pounds into the tub.
4. Baste liberally.
5. Douse with shampoo.
6. Scrub, while simultaneously frontally blocking the dog's insistent push toward the edge of the tub.
7. Baste repeatedly, continuing frontal block, until all suds disappear.
8. Remove wristwatch you forgot to remove at beginning of procedure, and hope it will still work.
9. Grab towel and shroud dog before it has a chance to shake.
10. Allow dog to escape tub, and towel vigorously. Realize dog must basically air-dry.
11. Watch with dismay as dog shakes.
11. Repeat procedure (except step 8) for second dog.
12. Spend half an hour cleaning the bathroom.

I did the best I could, though it was hardly a professional job. They're far less Frito-ey now.

(Photo: Vent in a graffiti-covered shipping container in Brighton Beach. Not sure why the shipping container had a vent.)


  1. 13. stand close to the wall as the dog(s) tears through the house rubbing itself on every available surface in an attempt to reverse the horrible crime you've just committed.

  2. Ha! Absolutely -- I forgot that one!

  3. now that you (and dave) mention it dixie (who likewise is not one of those stinky dogs) does smell a bit like fritos when she's a little doggy!

    dixie hates baths, but fortunately for me I'm not her human but her 'grandma' so don't have to do the dance.... I have had the misfortune of having to give a bath to a cat who encountered a skunk, and let me say that was a painful experience! give me bathing a reluctant dog any day over giving a cat a bath!

  4. Admirable that you gave them a bath indoors. The few times I have bathed my dogs it has been outside where they can shake to their heart's content and not bother anything. As for black labs, my Dylan probably had fewer than a dozen baths in his 13 years. Only in the last years of his life did he smell the least bit doggy. Jake, on the other hand, has had a non-offensive smell that is uniquely his since the minute we picked him up. I guess dogs are actually as unique as people in this regard!

  5. In years past I used to bathe the two large-ish dogs in my life, one of whom was a St. Bernard/Golden Retriever mix (95 lbs). It was like trying to hand-wash a wriggly and determined bear.


  6. Please, next time some photos? Please?
    Enjoyed the post :D

  7. And here in NE Ohio it's mud season, part 1. Nothing like mud on 3 dogs. Lily the Toy Poodle spent part of the morning in the kitchen sink getting her bath. She does the puppy run through the house. It's really quite a hoot!