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By Dave Jaffe

(Our feature on dog grooming tips that began with Best Practices for You, Your Dog, and Your Fingers and continued in Grooming Tips, Part 2: Bathing your Dog – The New Waterboarding concludes with this column. Unless I forgot something.)

Witty Physics would have us believe that drying a dog is the same as wetting a dog, only backwards, if you follow the math.

Apparently, Physics has never dried a dog. Or owned one. Or been on a date since 1990. So thanks anyway, Physics. We’ll take it from here.

Evolutionarily speaking, fur has proved an excellent material for encasing a dog – more resilient than scales, better protection than thorns, and vastly superior to a flour tortilla for retaining both meat and cheese.

However, dog fur also is capable of holding an enormous amount of water. This trait was well suited to prehistoric canines, which were aquatic. Sleek, gilled, and paddle-footed, these 80-feet-long behemoths swam the world’s primordial oceans retrieving primitive tennis balls the size of The Bean.

Eventually, as the great oceans cooled, aquatic Canine developed beyond gill and paddle crawling onto land in a desperate effort to find and bite me.

However they were still soaking wet.

Today’s modern canine retains most of that water. Add to that the moisture absorbed during a bath and the average medium-sized, soft-coated dog can serve effectively as an oil rig fire suppression system. Thus, knowing the Three Methods of Drying – air drying, towel drying, and blow drying – is as important to the citizen dog owner as understanding the three branches of government: the Executive, the Legislative, and the Santa Maria.

This “turban-style” fur drying technique is ideal for the harried dog that still needs to do makeup and nails before prom.

This “turban-style” fur drying technique is ideal for the harried dog that still needs to do makeup and nails before prom.

Also knowing your dog’s fears before selecting a drying technique can reduce his trauma and your arterial puncture wounds. Some dogs grow frightened if covered with towels. Others panic at loud noises like those of a hair dryer. And some, like our formerly alive terrier Oxford are terrified of flies.

I don’t know why flies troubled this efficient, little killing machine. He routinely knocked off rabbits, chipmunks, even a squirrel or two with the detached psychopathy of a professional hit man. But flies? Flies were the buzzing souls of those he’d murdered. So he hired Brisby for protection.

OXFORD: “That Yakuza contract on the chipmunk under the stoop? Considered it completed.”

BRISBY: “Should I be hearing this, Boss?”

OXFORD: “I’m gonna take a nap. Nobody wakes me. Capisce?”

BRISBY: “What’s ‘capisce?’ Can I eat it?”

OXFORD: “Shaddup! Listen! Your hear that…that buzzing? Like a little voice crying, ‘You killed me! And several dozen of my brothers and sisters, probably. And also peed on my burrow. Now I shall punish you with a sort of high-pitched, mildly annoying whine somewhere in your general vicinity. Forever!’ Ahhhhh! What is that thing?”

BRISBY: “A capisce? Can I eat it?”

Then Oxford would run upstairs to our bed where flies couldn’t find him and hide there until the end of summer. We rarely tried to bathe and dry him before the first killing frost.

Having mastered our fears, let’s explore the pros and cons of each drying method. Mostly cons.

Air Drying: Thrifty, Natural, Useless

Were it not for vice squads, who among us wouldn’t choose to dry off after a shower by running around the backyard au naturel and rolling in smelly stuff au poop?

Sadly, only dogs can get away with that. Also my Uncle Reggie, twice.

The efficacy of air drying depends, in part, on your dog’s ability to shake off water. According to an animal drying study out of Georgia Tech, (“Home of the Fightin’ Wet Malamutes”) a dog can shake approximately 70 percent of the water from its fur in four seconds. And even more if they have a good sense of humor and you’re standing really close.

Due to his type of coat and generally nurturing behavior, Brisby is not an ideal candidate for the air drying method. Budleigh’s demeanor, however, makes him a poor candidate for any process short of One Hour Martinizing.

GIANT 1: “Good, Brisby! All done bath. Now give us a biiiig shake!”

BRISBY: “You’re sure? Everyone’s sought shelter? There are enough lifeboats? OK, here we go.”

GIANT 1: “Good shake, Brisby!”

GIANT 2: “That’s it? But he’s still wet, Dave. Maybe wetter.”

GIANT 1: “Well, he’s not done. No, we’re not done are we, Brisby? We’re gonna shake, shake shake, my good boy!”

BRISBY: “Do you know what you’re asking? People could die! You need to get to high ground. Wait! I feel another tremor. It’s the big one!”

GIANT 1: “Awww, he’s adorable!”

GIANT 2: “But he’s just soaking the rug, Dave. I’ll go grab towels.”

BRISBY: “Yes, go! Save yourselves!”

In the very broadest terms Budleigh is likewise nurturing, if by “nurturing” we mean “possessed by Lovecraftian dark forces,” and by “air dry” we mean “unleashed on the innocent townspeople.”

GIANT 1: “Good, Budleigh! All done bath. Now give us a biiiig shake!”

BUDLEIGH: “I’m freeeeeee! I’m free, I’m free, I’m free! Get out of my way!”

GIANT 2: “Oh shit! Grab him, Dave!”

GIANT 1: “Grab him how? His collar’s in his mouth. That was our deal.”

BUDLEIGH: “I’m on your bed! Look! I’m on your beeeeed! Now I’m running my face on the carpet. I’m a racecar. Vroooooooom!”

GIANT 2: “Dave, he’s going to ruin the throw pillows. He’s out of control.”

GIANT 1: “C’mere, Budleigh! Who wants a cookie?”

BUDLEIGH: “Your cookies won’t help you! Your priests won’t help you. This house in mine!”

BRISBY: “He’s Satan! Burn him! Save yourselves! And the cookies!”

Towel Drying: The Soggier Alternative

Towels have been successfully employed to dry pets, as well as for other functions, since their creation in the late nineteenth century. The brainchild of inventor Jacob “Textiles” Towelie, the cloths were introduced with great fanfare at the 1893 Columbian Exposition as “Doctor Amazo’s Liquid Drinking Absorbmechanical Automata.”

At first accessible only to the wealthy, towels became more commonplace due to advances in manufacturing. By the 1990s most American homes could boast at least one towel.

Prior to then, dogs remained quite moist.

But fortune favors the bold, and soon a plucky American populous turned their towel to their wet dogs until, by the summer of 2013, this nation was buried beneath a pile of damp, dirty rags.

New dog owners think towel drying is simply a matter of draping a cloth over the wet animal, briskly rubbing her flanks, prying the towel from her jaws, grabbing a second towel while clutching a hind leg, rolling her back onto her feet, rolling her back the other way, hoisting her off the first towel and onto the second, massaging your stinging back spasm caused by hoisting her, ignoring the ringing cell phone, avoiding licks, avoiding bites, and finally dumping her onto a third towel, all the while assuring her that she’s a “smart girl” although, probably, she isn’t.

Towel drying is, of course, much trickier than that, so prepare accordingly:

1. Before bathing your pet, stack designated “doggie towels” nearby
2. Also stack nearby every other towel you own
3. Call your neighbors and borrow all their towels. Stack nearby
4. Bathe dog
5. Call back neighbors who didn’t answer. They own dogs and are hoarding stacks.
6. Carefully lift dog from sink or tub, removing excess water by twisting animal comically like a cartoon pooch. Repeat.
7. Call back Steve, the neighbor who borrowed your pruning shears. He owes you a big ol’ stack of towels, son of a bitch!
8. Set dog on floor and stand back while he shakes vigorously. Why did this come as a surprise? Have you not been reading?
9. Check dog’s undercoat for hidden towel stacks.
10. Say, how late is Target open? They sell stacks and stacks of towels!

The floorboards now groaning under a mass of linens, your drenched pup helplessly pinned between towers of cloth, the air choked with cotton lint, it’s time to begin the water extraction process by selecting a favorite dog-cleaning towel. Usually these are the ones that belonged to your ex or were a holiday gift from the company that laid you off. The ideal towel is one that you don’t mind—and even prefer—covered in excrement.

Start by draping a thick, absorbent towel over the wet animal. It should be soft and absorbent enough to soak up surface water, yet large enough so that your dog appears dressed in traditional Bedouin wedding garb.

Briskly but gently dry face and ears while monitoring your pet’s stress level. Some dogs exhibit anxiety if their heads are completely covered by a towel, while others, like Brisby, stand quietly awaiting the Rapture.

Budleigh doesn’t fit into either of these groups, or might if we were able to get a towel around him. This has proved a challenge that requires Giants One and Two to work in tandem like efficient fisherfolk attempting to net a fast-swimming school of herring armed with pocketknives.

GIANT 1: “He’s gonna break left, so get your towel ready. I’ll try to trick him to go right.”

GIANT 2: “He knows all your tricks, Dave. He’s going left.”

GIANT 1: “No, this time I’ll stand here with my towel behind my back and make a sound like the can opener. He’ll come right to me.”

GIANT 2: “You haven’t thought this through.”

BUDLEIGH: “I’ll just be going now!”

GIANT 1: “Really, I saw this on Animal Planet. Only instead of a terrier it was an immense migration of wildebeest. And instead of a can opener it was a raging, uncontained wild fire.

GIANT 2: “Perfect!”

BUDLEIGH: “I’m going that way. So, you know, good luck!”

GIANT 2: “Dave, we’ve got a runner!”

GIANT 1: “RRRrrrrr-RRRrrrr! Grind, grind! rrrrRRR-rrrRRR! Damn! Missed him!”

GIANT 2: “That’s your can opener, Dave? ‘Grind, grind?’”

GIANT 1: “Too nasal?”

BUDLEIGH: “I heard a wildebeest!”

Blow Drying, or Gone with the Wind

Who among us hasn’t washed their face in a public restroom, then groping blindly for the hand dryer, accidentally activated what appears to be the searing hot, thunderously loud exhaust of a Lockheed Martin F-22A fighter jet?

That’s how dogs perceive blow dryers.

Dogs tend to be leery of hair dryers, as they are of anything that requires thumbs. Getting your dog accustomed to loud noise like that produced by a dryer should be done in small stages. For example, monitor how he reacts when you pop open a can of beer. Did he remain calm? If so, drink your beer and think about that. Now move a little closer and pop open another. Still quiet? Hmmm…that’s worth some more thought. Continue this process until you’re tearfully telling your pet that he’s yer’ bes’…yer’ bes’ goddamn frien’ since your ex walked out leaving you with all those towels.

For many dogs, however, it is the dryer’s blowy-hotty functionality that is most distressing. Best to set the dryer on low heat and low blow-outyness, then move it quickly back and forth across the animal’s coat avoiding the face and paws.

Oh, and Brisby would also like to suggest that before you get to him, go right ahead and blow dry all the other dogs everywhere in the world. He’ll wait.

Budleigh, however, absolutely adores the blow dryer and hopes to marry one, pending a favorable ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States. This might be a trait common to terrier mutts. Oxford, our formerly alive terrier thing, would demand to be blow dried even when he wasn’t wet.

Oxford never feared the dryer, possibly because he’d grown so accustomed to it being used on Brisby, who was bathed often. Young Brisby was an easily distracted dog, often following butterflies through whatever patch of filth and muck they flew over. The butterflies thought he was hoot! He paid the price in baths.

Wet Oxford enjoyed a blow dry like an old Russian Jew relishes a good sauna schvitz. He’d sit contentedly in Giant Two’s lap, eyes half-lidded, wiry-haired chest thrust out, and lean into the air stream, sighing, “Such a day, I’ve had. Don’t ask!”

Even when dry, Oxford sought the wind and warmth, urgently nosing ahead of wet Brisby to grab the barber chair.

“Sorry, guy! Big client presentation today,” he’d claim. “Just need a little off the top, then I’m outta here!”

Though not as obsessed as Oxford, Budleigh is not nearly so resigned as Brisby. He sees this activity as a means to an end. The means is the hair dryer; the end is having the world’s entire population committed to making him feel good.

BUDLEIGH: “C’mon, c’mon, c’mon! Plug the thing in the thing! Get to work!”

GIANT 1: “He’s so excited, hon. What a little cutie. OW!”

BUDLEIGH: “That’s your only warning. Don’t talk. Dry!”

GIANT 2: “Did he nip you again, Dave?”

GIANT 1: “A little. Think he’s afraid of the blow dryer? Does he seem anxious?”

GIANT 2: “Maybe we should just hand dry him.”

GIANT 1: “Do we have enough towels? I could call Steve. He has stacks and stacks, that son of a bitch!”

BUDLEIGH: “No, no, no, no! It’s all good! See? I’m on my back doing that funny thing with the paws.”

GIANT 2: “Oh, look at him on his back doing that funny thing with his paws.”

BUDLEIGH: “I’m adorable!”

GIANT 1: “He’s adorable!”

BUDLEIGH: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

GIANTS 1 & 2: “ʻThese aren’t the droids we’re looking for.ʼ”

GIANT 1: “Here we go, Budleigh. Gooood Budleigh! Don’t be scared of the big noise.”

BUDLEIGH: “Ahhh…. Feels so good! Sounds like the can opener.”

GIANT 2: “Now we do your tummy. Next, your sides and back. Yeah, that feels so good, doesn’t it?”

BUDLEIGH: “Such a day, I’ve had!”

GIANT 2: “Hon, while I finish him will you get Brisby ready?”

BRISBY: “Look, if you’re not going to towel dry me, I’ll be next door at Steve’s, that son of a bitch!”

###

This article is part of “Sleeping Between Giants“, a new series of columns on the Write Good!: The Blog blog.

Sleeping Between Giants explores life – if you can call it that – with a terrier.

Your feedback is welcome, probably. dj

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.writegoodtheblog.com, is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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By Dave Jaffe

(Continuing Grooming Tips: Best Practices for You, Your Dog, and Your Fingers, we now move on to shampooing, Lord help us! dj)

Understanding the challenges of bath time, the pet care industry has developed an array of shampoo products that ease the torment faced by your dog and the unpaid college intern you’ve assigned to the task. The most appropriate soap should be one formulated to lather well while convincing your dog that he’s done nothing wrong.

The industry trend is away from products fortified with unnecessary additives and a return to a more natural bathing experience. “Natural”, of course, does not mean primitive, such as the pet-grooming customs practiced by America’s early settlers. A strict, taciturn people, they bathed their equally strict, taciturn dogs by heaving them in the river, then slamming them on rocks until dry. (Historical note: This gave rise to the once popular expression, “As worthless as a hound heaved in the river and slammed with rocks. Prithee!”)

Today’s fur care products are rich in healthful emollients beneficial for a dog’s sensitive skin. Unnecessary additives have been removed from most shampoos, which are now marketed as “Fragrance Free for Twice that Wet Dog Smell!” Liberal applications during bathing result in a coat that is lustrously moisturized, as well as strict and taciturn.

And because canine coats vary widely, a range of shampoos specifically formulated for different fur textures are available – from soft-coated like an English sheepdog, to thick-, rough-, heavy-coated like an English sheepdog wearing a thick, rough, heavy coat. Possibly tweed.

Bathing tip: Use enough shampoo so that when rinsed, your dog has become an entirely different breed.

Bathing tip: Use enough shampoo so that when rinsed, your dog has become an entirely different breed.

Faced, then, with such a variety of products, how does the conscientious pet owner make an informed choice?

While professional groomers, veterinarians, and my therapist might disagree, I base my selection exclusively on the dog that’s pictured on the label.

Many consumers are drawn to product labels that feature a widely smiling dog. That is a mistake. Dogs don’t really smile. And certainly not as though they’re eager contestants in the evening gown competition. A dog’s smile can mean many things: “I am submissive” or “I am aggressive,” or “Wow! Look what I threw up!”

Rarely does it mean, “Rub detergent in my eyes!” Do not be influenced by the smile.

Likewise, avoid labels that feature a cartoon canine, even those dressed in evening wear. Why, we wonder, couldn’t the marketing department come up with a real dog? Is there a problem with the shampoo? Did none survive clinical trials? Shouldn’t that be on the label?: “May cause melting.” If so, that’s a concern.

What I look for on a shampoo label is a picture of a real dog that is clearly insane – the canine equivalent of Nicholson through the door with an ax; an arch villain the Batman locked away in Arkham; a Packers fan in a Chicago bar. This is the proof I need that the product can successfully be applied to the most dangerous, criminally insane.

Like Budleigh, who has been standing in the sink, wet and shivering, for quite a few paragraphs.

On paper, lathering a wet dog seems a pretty straight-forward process. Liberally apply shampoo to the body, then using the fingers you like least, massage shampoo into the fur, beginning at the neck, and moving downward toward the “business end” of the dog.

A note about this “business end.” As all dog owners know, canines lick themselves – an entirely natural, self-cleaning behavior that veterinarians refer to as “disgusting”, although probably not in the waiting room. The causes of excessive licking can be behavioral or medical, so scrutiny by a vet is a good idea.

Saint Brisby, our gentle, obedient schnoodle, sometimes licks his business end with the attention of someone doing a particularly difficult crossword puzzle. After an examination, our vet explained that Brisby’s business-end glands were impacted, a common occurrence in dogs, which could be relieved by moving him to the more expensive business-end glands de-impactor room in back.

If you know nothing about impacted dog business-end glands, trust me, it is well worth the price to have the problem remedied by a professional who also takes the time to explain the process while you stuff your fingers deep in your ears and loudly sing Battle Hymn of the Republic until he’s left the room.

Fortunately, Budleigh isn’t suffering from this or any other malady except for being a terrier, so The Lathering can begin. Provided all parties can agree on the removal of his collar.

Budleigh, readers might recall, has a “thing” about his collar. He prefers to keep it close much the way a sailor knocked overboard into shark-infested waters during a storm at night likes to keep his life jacket close.

Like many sovereign nations, the Republic of Budleigh stubbornly resists interference with his collar by foreign influences except during periods of civil unrest and bath time. However, thanks to an accord reached through marathon negotiations between me, Budleigh, and the International Atomic Energy Commission, access will be granted provided that specific protocols are followed:

1. Budleigh, and all contiguous territories know as Budleigh, will be referred to as “A Good Dog!” And in certain cases, “A Very, Very Good Dog!”
2. No yelling.
3. In exchange for safe passage, foreign diplomats will present a cookie to those regions of the Republic of Budleigh designated as his mouth.
4. While the Republic of Budleigh is distracted, the collar may be removed.
5. The collar will then be presented to Budleigh who will hold it securely between his teeth until the universe ends or it is returned to his neck.
6. Processing of all fissionable materials will cease immediately.

So now, with collar safely in Budleigh’s death grip, fur fully saturated, a fresh bottle of Psycho Pup™ Shampoo and Conditioner at the ready, and Brisby standing by to lend his “support”, we are, at last, prepared to lather up!

GIANT 1: “Who’s ready for his bath? Budleigh’s ready for his bath!”

BUDLEIGH: “I need to see your visa.”

GIANT 1: “What a Good Dog! I’m just going to unhook your collar—”

BUDLEIGH: “Unhand that symbol of my people’s oppression! Guards! Guards!”

BRISBY: “Yes, well, I’m just going to head upstairs to meet with the Security Council under the bed in the dark behind the duvet.”

BUDLEIGH: “But he’s removing my emblem of office, yet has offered me nothing!”

BRISBY: “You have my compete support!”

GIANT 1: “Budleigh’s a Very, Very Good Dog!”

BUDLEIGH: “Don’t touch that! Do our laws, our history, our fissionable materials mean nothing to you? Well, we will fight. Oh yes, fight you to the very gates of our mouth! And when one tooth falls, 10 shall spring up in its place! And rivers of patriots’ blood will—”

GIANT 1: “Who wants a cookie?”

BUDLEIGH: “I love you!”

GIANT 1: “Now hold your collar while I soap you up. Ohhhh, so clean and beautiful! Doesn’t that feel good?”

BUDLEIGH: (Dreamily) “Fissionable materials…”

GIANT 1: “Oh, yes you are! So Very, Very Good! Now we rinse. Aaaand you’re done! That wasn’t so bad.”

GIANT 2: (Carrying Brisby) “Look who I found upstairs under the bed in the dark wrapped in our duvet.”

BUDLEIGH: “Traitor!”

GIANT 1: “Perfect timing. Dump him in.”

BRISBY: “Unhand me, you filthy dogs! I am the Prime Minister of The United Brisby Emirates!”

###

Next post: The Drying Game

###

This article is part of “Sleeping Between Giants“, a new series of columns on the Write Good!: The Blog blog.

Sleeping Between Giants explores life – if you can call it that – with a terrier.

Your feedback is welcome, probably. dj

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.writegoodtheblog.com, is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

Read Full Post »

By Dave Jaffe

Anyone who has safely landed a powered aircraft in severe weather without the benefit of instrumentation, aircrew or their vision has all the skills needed to successfully groom a dog.

Proper grooming provides numerous benefits for your pet beyond good health. A lustrous coat, healthy gums, and skin free of tics and dirt has catapulted many dogs into high-paying jobs as television news anchors. It’s commonly acknowledged that multi-talented journalist George Stephanopoulos began his broadcast career as a matted border collie.

Yet, many dogs balk when it comes to bathing, brushing, nail clipping or cleaning between the facial folds of certain breeds. And by the way, somebody really needs to come up with a name for that last bit because I never again want to write “cleaning between the facial folds.”

Regardless of size, breed or temperament, all dogs have their own idiosyncratic responses to being groomed, most of which involve biting me. Our formerly alive terrier, Oxford, seemed convinced that biting me was part of the grooming process. Even if someone else groomed him and I was out of town.

GIANT 1: “Hi, family! I’m home from Cleveland.”

GIANT 2: “Oh Dave! I missed you!”

LI’L GIANTS 1.1 and 1.2: “Daddy! What’ja bring us?”

OXFORD: “Look! I’m clean! (CHOMP!)

Grooming needn’t be traumatic for your pet. With just a bit of forethought, the proper supplies, and a few practical techniques, you can enhance your dog’s grooming experience and reduce the risk he’ll bite me.

Bathing Tip: Is your sink the right size for your dog? Not if his paws are in the garbage disposal. (Music swells) The More you Know….

Bathing Tip: Is your sink the right size for your dog? Not if his paws are in the garbage disposal. (Music swells) The More you Know….

Bathing: Nature’s way of convincing dogs we hate them

The web site of the ASPCS – an acronym for North American Free Trade Agreement –“recommends bathing your dog at least once every three months.”

From this wording, it’s not clear whether the ASPCA is offering to bath your dog once every three months, but God, let’s hope so!

The sentence goes on to note – and yes, we’re still working on that same sentence, so go get yourself coffee and a maybe a danish – that “some [dogs] may require more frequent baths if he or she spends a lot of time outdoors or has skin problems.”

This would seem to encompass a group of dogs that includes all dogs, which, if the ASPCA makes good on their promise to wash everyone’s pup, might severely tax their resources.

How often you bathe your dog is, of course, a personal and deeply religious matter between you, your dog, and your God, and your dog’s God. Wisely, the ASPCA and many other pet advice web sites offer dog owners a series of “how to” steps that are both helpful and non-sectarian.

Begin by giving your dog a good brushing to remove dead hair, mats, loose change, smaller dogs, and other debris. What constitutes a “good brushing” is open to interpretation and is much debated between breeds during their conclaves at dog parks.

LABRADOR RETRIEVER: “I like being brushed! He lets me get the comb. Then he lets me get the brush. And sometimes I bring him the comb AND the brush, ‘cause I can do that! And I bring him the ball. Then I bring him the ball again. And then again. And I—ˮ

PUG: “Why is your breed popular? I just don’t get it. Am I missing something?”

GOLDEN RETRIEVER: “Well now, he raises a good point. And so do you. So does everyone. I love you all. I’m a good boy!”

TERRIER MUTT: “Gimme that!”

PUG: “What?”

TERRIER MUTT: “I don’t know. But if you have anything, give it to me! Now!”

LABRADOR RETRIEVER: “—but I can’t bring the ball AND the comb AND the brush. So I leave the comb, but I bring the bush. Then I go get the ball, but he really wants the brush. So I—ˮ

TERRIER MUTT: “Shut up! Shut UP! Gimme the thing! And the other thing! And all your other things! Now! Gimme NOW!”

PUG: (To water spaniel) “What is his problem? Is he here every day?”

WATER SPANIEL: “You think it’s gonna rain? Looks like rain. Boy, I hope it rains.”

After brushing, put your dog in a sink or tub filled with about three-to-four inches of lukewarm water. Then depending on the animal’s bulk, wet it down using a hand sprayer, large plastic pitcher, or appropriately-sized piece of firefighting apparatus.

It is often at this stage that your dog will bite me. This is not their fault. It’s just the way that their brains are wired. Dogs in a bath are much like rock concert attendees who got their hands on some bad shit. They are alternately euphoric and paranoid. Take, for example, the typical bathing experience of our terrier thing, Budleigh.

GIANT 1: (To Budleigh, standing calmly in the sink.) “What a good Budleigh! Isn’t this nice and warm? Best boy!”

BUDLEIGH: “It’s all so beautiful, man! All the light…”

GIANT 1: “That’s right. Nice and calm. Now we’re just going to spray your coat.”

BUDLEIGH: “I can taste the colors. I’m floating … floating on a soft cloud of—Holy Shit! What is that thing?”

GIANT 1: “It’s ok. Just the hand sprayer—”

BUDLEIGH: “It’s a demon! A deeemoooon! It’s gonna swallow the world!”

GIANT 1: “Ow! Shhhh… It’s ok. You’re ok. Doesn’t that feel nice and toasty warm?”

BUDLEIGH: “I love you! I’m floating. Paul is the Walrus!”

GIANT 1: “Good Budleigh! Nice Budleigh. Gentle Budleigh. Ow! You son of a bitch!”

BUDLEIGH: “Oh, you’re real? My mistake.”

Shampoo is now applied, and if your dog wasn’t in a good mood before, life’s not about to improve.
###

Next post: The Lathering

###

This article is part of “Sleeping Between Giants”, a new series of columns on the Write Good!: The Blog blog.

Sleeping Between Giants explores life – if you can call it that – with a terrier.

Your feedback is welcome, probably. dj

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.writegoodtheblog.com, is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

Read Full Post »

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