Bathing Beauty

Marla doing The Shake, sketch done right after the event, Sherry West, SherryWestArt, 2019

Yesterday,, I plunked the boys in a great big warm bubbly bathtub, where they had a wonderful time,then got out, dried off, dressed and exited.

Someone else was in there, too, standing right next to the tub that still had water in it. I looked at her, then looked at the tub, then back at her and proceeded to the next logical step, which was to out her in it.

She‘s 69 freakin pounds of unwieldy dog!

She didn’t fight me, but she certainly didn’t go in willingly, either. But I was MORE determined to put her IN than SHE was to stay OUT.

And in she went. (When I want something to get done, it gets DONE.)

She’s standing there in all that water hanging her head with her ears folded back like she’s about to be sacrificed to the bathtub water gods.

I felt really sorry for her, but it was really too late to back out now. I either started washing her and completed the job, or let her out sopping wet. Either way, she was wet, so we might as well get something done.

Besides, this way I wouldn’t have to wash her for another month, as opposed to next week.

I’m a pretty good dog (and cat) washer-upper. Been doing it since I was a kid. I was fairly certain I’d had enough experience with both to get the job done quickly and efficiently. How hard was this gonna be?

Polar bears. I have no experience washing polar bears. And I had a polar bear standing patiently in my tub.

I put a squirt of baby wash in my palm, rubbed my hands together and started working it through her fur in one spot. I don’t think bear fur is this dense and thick.

Supposedly, this is a short-haired dog. I don’t know who classified this dog as “short-haired,” but they seriously need to come up with a new classification ‘cuz that one isn’t accurate…not in the slightest.

I don’t know how much soap it took and how many times I had to repeat trying to work it all over her and into her fur to get her clean, but it was A LOT. That dog is HUGE. With a lot of square footage of furry real estate on her.

And, to make it even more challenging, water runs off her like a duck.

Rinse, soap, repeat…a few hundred times.I finally realized my spur of the moment “great idea” was Really stupid, not well-thought out, and yelled for Alex, my almost-18, almost 6-foot, long-limbed, strong-as-a-horse Amazonian Princess.

She came into the bathroom, took one look at what was going on, looked at me with that oh-it’s-another-one-of-moms-great-ideas look on her face then rolled up her sleeves and set to scrubbing.

We soaped, and we scrubbed, and we scrubbed, and we soaped, and we rinsed, and then we did it I-don’t-know-how-many-more times before I was DONE. I tried to stand up, but my back was so stiff and hurt so badly I was pretty well crimped into that position.

In the middle of the whole ordeal, one fed-up, sopping-wet 69-lb dog tried to climb out of the tub and escape.

One 185-lb human managed to somehow put her back into that tub and finish the job (Alex came after).

Someone decided they had had enough water and proceeded to start The Shake. You could just SEE it start at the end of her snout, travel over her head, past her ears, over her neck, down her back, down each leg, and on to the very end of her tail.

When we realized what was going on, we grabbed her before she could initiate the sequence a second time.

Alex and I were SOAKED. The bathroom was soaked. And there was white hair Everywhere.

I ran and grabbed some old towels from the laundry room. We rubbed her down as best we could, then tried to blow-dry her. That didn’t go over well, and we didn’t want to traumatize her, so we quit.

We figured that was as good as it was gonna get, so we opened the door to Freedom.

She’s not a stupid dog. She took it.

One clean, very happy, still-wet dog took off down the hall for parts unknown.

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