Continuing the re-post (with illustrations!) from 17th June 2013. If you missed the first part it is HERE...
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.
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?
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