Bathtime for pet dogs – Part 7

Bath time: washing my dog is a monthly treat. But only in a world where “treat” means “farce” and “monthly” means “as often as needed”. My dog, Radish, is a mud-magnet, a veritable filth-finder, dirt-devil of a Heinz57.

I thought it would get easier to bathe Radish as she grew older. It hasn’t, although it has become more farcical: Radish has now taken to jumping into the bath tub once in the bathroom. Words fail me to describe the look of pity that then crosses her face, as she stares up at me, eyes wide, clearly asking “Shall we just wait till next month? I think so, and besides, I’m really not so smelly…” RSPCA would claim her if they saw this look!

The shower head goes on and I make sure the temperature is just right. Radish likes it lukewarm. The washing begins. This normally coincides with a futile attempt by Radish to escape the bath tub: a paw on the bath’s edge or sometimes two paws. Bless her. I quickly place her paw(s) back in the bath and continue to wet her.

The actual shampooing is not too bad as she normally stays still for this. But I always manage to put too much on and Radish’s coat is so thick that the washing-off stage is slow. Radish normally declares bath-time is over right at the point the lather is at its thickest on her fur. I sometimes think she is amused by the thought of running amok when wet and shampooed.

I always win this little battle of wills and wash her clean. However, she claims victory as soon as I carry her out of the bath tub (which is often calamitous in itself as she is not a delicate creature, and when wriggling…). Before I have a chance to wrap a towel around her, she’s too quick, she’s already got her fur up on one side; and then, burghhhh, she’s shaking like a loon and I am splattered. I try again to shield myself and the bathroom from her soaked attack, but just as I get close to her with the towel, I notice her fur is up on one side again. I swear it happens in slow motion.

The final stage in the bath-time farce is the rampage: Radish’s rampage, as I call it. The bathroom door opens and she shoots out, usually yipping wildly, scoots down the stairs, and runs through to the dining room, skids to a halt and tears into the sitting room. From there, it’s back to the dining room. Skid. Back to the sitting room. Skid. And so on, for about half an hour. After this, she looks totally crazy: fur all thick and fluffy, damp, eyes wide, tongue hanging out one side, an obscene grin on her face. Her one last victory is to slink off to our bedroom, quietly curl up on the pillows. Perfect way to dry off, apparently; or at least, to get the bed wet. Bless her.

Bath time for the dog is an event in our house, but I’m glad Radish sees it as a source of amusement. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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