Monday is menosukhi day - the one in which I go all sentimental. For a few weeks this means you are sharing my memories of two darling creatures, Jade Dog MacWoof and Jasper Cat MacMeow.

Have I mentioned bath time with the J's?  Perhaps in passing.  Certainly have not related in detail the fun and games.

Jet (the guinea pig) had to be bathed regularly for, as you might imagine in the vaguely tropical climate that is Sydney, skin troubles would otherwise plague him… and therefore me.  He was a compliant lad and the only time he would protest was on the quarterly use of delousing shampoo.  Don't blame him for that.  It stank.

He absolutely adored being brushed though.  He would come when I called and tapped the brush.  At a run!  For two years then it was only Jet and YAM and a well-bonded pair we were.

Then along came the cat.  Jasper right from kitten-hood, loved to cuddle.  I have known so many cats who are very selective in their affections, but this lad; not just with me but with anyone who would allow him close.  He was an active smoocher.  Butting his head into every part of you, kneading, curling.  Finally he'd settle on the left shoulder (only the left mark you), draped like a stole and perfectly at peace.  This made for easy grooming.  I made a habit from the very beginning of our relationship, to take him on my knee each evening and run my hands through that thick and gorgeous silver coat, removing any unwanted guests (dispatching them accordingly - there is a limit to my hospitality).  If he thought I had paid too much attention to one area he would ensure to move so that another spot got seen to.  What is more, he would watch Jet being bathed each month and would happily allow me to put him through the routine too!

It was this nightly session which saved our bonding after his big adventureWhilst it took a couple of months, he finally started coming for the grooming sessions again.  However, he never again let me bathe him.  This confirmed my suspicion that he had been flooded and perhaps close to  drowning during that escapade  and he had no more desire for encounters with water!

When Jade arrived, for several months she considered the family bathing sessions to be a great game.  Especially enjoying the stretch out on the grass after the wetting, teasing her brothers, running round them to get them to move too - was she demonstrating blow-dry by wind drag??

I cannot exactly pin down the time when this changed, but certainly the day arrived when she too decided she didn't like water.  As I type this I am tempted to tie it in with Jasper refusing baths - but to be perfectly honest on this occasion, that may simply be pure romanticism on my part.  It would not have been at a hugely different time though, so perhaps in retrospect it was that and I had just never put so much thought to it!  Regardless, from some point in her teenage time she started to make bath time a major headache and physical chore for me.

A great many folk will relate to me the old wives' tale of not washing dogs as it strips their skin or fur or whatever.

Aha.  So explain to me why dogs, left to their own devices, will actively seek water for cleaning themselves and why they don't suffer from continual wetting in the rain?  Certainly if you use silly soaps then - just as for us - skin and hair will become brittle and itchy.  There are plenty of appropriately designed preparations on the market now or you can do as I did - use rosemary and tea-tree oils blended with  some oats.  Every six months I'd use a sudsy shampoo thing. 
"yesssss... no left, down, back a bit..."

Getting Jade wet was the battle.  Once the cleanser was being applied and massage happened with it, she'd go all soppy-eyed and dribbly.  That bit was acceptable it seems!


But then would come the chase around the yard with the rinsing bucket.  Stand in one spot for a drenching?  You have got to be kidding mother.  Well to be fair, once I got her, she would stay still, but it could take a while. I was always exhausted and my back would ache after this monthly torture.  The older she got the more difficult it would be to find her.  As soon as she saw a certain bucket going under a certain tap she would become invisible. Behind the bed.  Under the fridge.  In the wardrobe.  Now was the time to find her tree-climbing prowess.  Well of course I exaggerate here (no kidding!) - but it conveys the essence of bath day to you.

"was that absolutely necessary, mother?!"
At 21a I decided to try and use one of those professional mobile grooming salons as it was all becoming a bit too much for me physically.  That lasted exactly two turns.  The lovely young man, despite his best efforts, could not keep her in the tub.  Her cries were horrendous.  The fellow was surely some kind of devil when it was just she and he.  Or at least she'd have me believe such, in order to escape the ordeal.

Sigh.  Back to the bath at home then.  Right up until her final days we'd go through this dance of derring do.  Afterwards we would both flop on the grass or I would have to pay the price in return by throwing the toy of choice for as long as my arm could stand it.


Is there any greater joy than bonding with one's pets through trial and trauma?

Don't forget to visit BOZO or any other of our pet-blog pals found on the list over there!!

3 comments:

  1. We've never tried bathing Lindy ourselves. She weighs a lot, and getting her into the bathtub might be possible, but getting her and a Golden Retriever-worth of water out of the tub would be awful, so we'd have to dry her on site. No thanks.
    So, she goes to visit the groomer. She's always very happy getting out of the car and up the steps, and reasonably happy greeting Michelle and her cat, but is getting increasingly stubborn about the bathing and hair-cutting.
    She absolutely refuses the blow-dryer now, so Michelle has to towel her dry. Seems Lindy suffers from some sort or problem which causes un-dried parts of her skin to break open, bleed, and hurt. Poor puppy. So we have five "dog towels" for rainy days, because rain means mud, and muddy footprints throughout the house.
    Why five towels? Because I don't wash dog towels with other laundry, and the five make a washer load large enough to be worth the fuss and bother.
    Aren't pets great? We adore Lindy.
    Luv, K

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hari Om

    Could visualise and empathise:)

    Bozo loves his bath of late. Used to hate it a couple of years back. And no groomer for him. It is the bathroom at home!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hari OM
    Kay and Lindy - yes! Jade had many dog towels and blankets for her bed which all made a load... only way to go &*>

    Magiceye and Bozo - Getting to like baths? Well done my lad - and the bath is the best place for all concerned!!! YAM xx

    ReplyDelete

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