Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Dirty Doodle: Bath Time!

This morning we had one stinky labradoodle on our hands, but Justin came to the rescue to get our furbaby squeaky clean.

She was not amused.

Keeping a dog clean is hard enough, but then add long, wavy, light colored fur, and a love for the back yard to the equation, and it goes from hard to nearly impossible! As a result, poor Sadie Lou tends to earn an all expenses paid trip to the bathtub more often than your average four-legged friend.
How dare you subject me to such nonsense!
I really don't feel sorry for her, though. I think she has it pretty darn good. When I was growing up, my family always had a large and loveable Airedale Terrier around the house. From before I was born until I turned seven, Charlie (affectionately known as Chazogalopagos Hound) reigned over the day to day functions of the Hemmingson household. After Charlie, came Michal (affectionately known as Michal'ster Our Pal'ster). Keep in mind, the awesome Airedale is a pretty big dog. The average female weighs between 40 and 45 pounds and stands about 23 inches tall, and the average male is weighs between 50-65 pounds and stands about 24 inches tall.

Charlie weighed in at 80.

Chazo and Michal'ster most often had their baths on the driveway with cold water from the hose and whatever shampoo was lying around the house. Miss Sadie Lou gets nice warm water, oatmeal shampoo, and a full body massage with her bathtime. Actually, she gets two oatmeal shampoos. With all the bunny chasing and rolling in dirt, she needs it.

She fusses and tries to jump out of the tub like any dog, but once she calms down and realizes there's no way out (mwahahahaha), she's relatively cooperative. However, she still maintains the classic "Pouty Snouter" face.
But the real challenge is when the bath is over, and the instinctive "shake, shake, shake all over the place and get everything covered in bath water and fur" takes over. On the rare occasion that Charlie got to take a bath inside the house, my dad had a very detailed system that involved the whole family: The minute he turned the water off, he threw the biggest towel we had on top of Charlie and got him as dry as he could. Then he added another towel draped over his back like a saddle, and yelled for all of us to keep any door on his path to the backyard open, as he ran with the 80-pound King of Terriers through the house, and out the back door. All before that first massive shake could drench the entire house. Charlie usually stayed out there for an hour or so, pacing back and forth in agitation and shaking water off of himself every few minutes.

We use a modified version of this for our little fluff ball. At 16 pounds, her shakes can still destroy a whole room, so the minute the water stops running, the towel goes on. We recommend an oversized beach towel: You won't ruin your nice towels with fur and wet-dog smell, and the extra material means you can dry more dog without having to grab a new towel half-way through, risking a shake-off. We also try to keep her in the tub until she's dry enough that she won't do too much damage if she inadvertently creates a hurricane with a shake.

Are we DONE yet?
Why yes, she does look pretty irritated. Thankfully, Sadie is not a grudge holder. As soon as she's clean, dried off, and out of the bathroom, she's back to her old wiggly, cuddly self...
Until she hears the word "bath" again.

Justin, Ellie, and Sadie Lou

Do you have any great tips for getting through doggie bath time chaos-free? We'd love to try them out! Share them below!

1 comment:

  1. For my dogs, we try to dry them in a towel as best we can, then we hold them in the towel until they are a little drier (10 min?). Then just lay down the towel in an open area and encourage them to shake there, but hopefully they're not wet enough to make a spray by this point.

    ---Andrea <3