My husband and I have two dogs: Riley, the overactive pup, and, Mae.
Her name isn’t really Mae, but she prefers to go by a pseudonym. She’s a proper Southern lady, having come to us via Alabama, and she doesn’t want her friends to know if she’s done something wrong.
If that happened, there would be way-too-much “Bless her little fuzzy tail,” going on at the dog park.
Considering that now her “friends” are Riley, my husband, me, and our family and friends—and they know when she’s done bad stuff anyway—I don’t get it. But I honor her wishes.
Riley and Mae have been enjoying all the snow we recently got. They’ve been running around, chasing each other, and playing for days. I guess someone has to be happy about it.
The other day, when they came in from another romp in the snow, Riley was wet, but clean. We dried him off with a towel, and he went happily running around the house.
Mae, on the other hand, came in with something that looked like mud all over her face. (And before you say it, it wasn’t what you’re thinking. We checked to make sure it wasn’t poo right away.)
There was no way that we were going to let her run around the house dirty because we know her. In between drinking doggie mint juleps, this “fine Southern belle” would start dragging her face all over the floor or the couch to get the dirt off. This meant that she needed one of the things she dreads the most—a bath.
We’ve given baths to the many dogs we’ve had over the years. Riley will deal with it, but he hates them. As soon as he’s out of the tub and been dried a bit with a towel, he does the typical dog thing and drags his ears along the carpet…and the furniture…and his blanket. But he feels better after.
Daisy, the biggest pup we’ve had, would take all 85 pounds of herself and make it feel like she weighed 150. My mom would say that she “made herself heavy,” and somehow that’s exactly what it felt like. Then she would lean against whoever was bathing her at the time, until you were soaked and her head and neck were hanging out of the tub.
Scooby would run away if he heard the word “bath.” He hated getting his face wet.
Fluffy, the first dog I ever had (which is why her name was “Fluffy” because I named her while in kindergarten. My family is just lucky she didn’t stink that day or I may have chosen a different name.), would sit there and look as pitiful as possible.
Rascal was our easiest. He wasn’t thrilled with baths. But he also didn’t like other dogs to get something that he hadn’t gotten. If Daisy had a bath, he would sometimes run and jump in the tub after her.
I know; weird, huh?
Then, he would sit in there looking as pitiful and as sad as possible. He was a funny little guy.
Mae, however, trumps them all. She scooches as far back in the tub as possible, as though the water were her own personal kryptonite. Sometimes she will not quite growl, but just show her teeth, to remind us of how big and bad she is. But washing her face is the worst.
Imagine how it was when her face was the primary goal in this bath. Ugh…
She scooched, she winced, she even may have growled a bit (she sure was showing her pearly whites a lot). We wouldn’t have heard her anyway because we were too busy talking to her: “Stay Mae. Don’t move. If you let me wash your face, it will be over sooner. Come on; stop wiggling.”
After saying this to her about 347 times, her bath was over. She ran around the house all happy—she was out of the tub, and her face was clean.
The next day, she came in from running around in the snow, and her face looked dirty again.
Luckily for her, it was only soaking wet.
I just realized that the snow will melt soon, leaving us with a lot of mud.
A lot of mud for a fuzzy face to explore.
A lot of mud that will lead to a lot of baths.
Michele Wojciechowski, when she’s not hoping for a dry Spring, writes “Wojo’s World®” from her home office.
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