Farm Dog Jesse does not like water and complains vigorously when subjected to it so, over the years, we've come to an understanding: As long as he looks, smells and feels clean I don't bathe him. This agreement works well but is somewhat skewed in his favor. He's a black dog so who knows if he's dirty? I have no sense of smell so if he stinks my friends are too polite to tell me. But lately when I scratch behind his ears it feels like I've put my hand inside a vacuum cleaner bag. And given that he's not had a bath since sometime during Obama's first term in office I figured it was time.
I used to bathe him at home but that always ended with the bathroom a disaster and him racing through the house in a flipping, rolling, scooching, twirling, jumping, furniture up-ending frenzy. (If you've ever bathed a dog at home, you've seen this show). I don't know whether dog is trying to outrun the water, get the nasty stuff off of him or is simply gleeful that the ordeal is over. But whatever's going through his mind, when he's done I have a wet house covered in dog hair.
Fortunately, a few years ago, a Dog Wash opened nearby and I was thrilled. These are wonderful innovations: A place with a bathtub, shampoo, towels and a blow-dryer that is not where I live. No more scratches in my bathtub! No need to call the plumber to snake all the dog hair out of my drain!
So one sunny day I asked Farm Dog Jesse if he'd like to go for a walk. Naturally he said YES!!!!! as though this was his first, exciting walk ever and not something we do every day. As you might imagine his enthusiasm took a downward turn when we arrived at the Dog Wash but by then it was too late and into the tub he went.
Now, Farm Dog Jesse was once an exemplary dog; he’d put up with most anything with patience and composure. But as he’s gotten older he tends to express his true feelings and at times he’s downright cranky about it. I do not fault him for I understand where he’s coming from: I’m old and outspoken and sometimes cranky, too. I just look upon it as a senior dispensation.
Well, Dog Wash was a challenge. Farm Dog Jesse squirmed, twisted, turned and tried to escape. And even when he stood still like a good dog he tortured me with “the look” which is his most effective weapon. (He is the Maestro of Guilt -- he really knows how to work it).
But in the end, we both survived. He came out clean and shiny and quit ‘guilting’ me the minute he was out of the tub. (Dogs never hold grudges) As for me? I was soaked and covered in dog hair but I figured I’d shed and dry on the way home.
And the best news? Barring encounters with skunks or mud bogs, we might not have to do this again until well into the next decade...
What did I do wrong?
Why do you hate me?
The door's just over there.
If I jump real high, do a back-flip and hit the ground running, I think I can make it....
All is forgiven