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Fido's Hygeine

Bathing your Dog - Without the Tears

Whether you have 1 dog or 4 (like me), bath time for the pooch(es) can take on a circus-like atmosphere. Especially if the breed is known to be very active (I have JRTs 5, 2, 1 & 1 yrs old). Here's some tips on how this day goes off without a hitch once a month (we live in red dirt country).

1. SURPRISE! We make that day a special day for those 4-legged members of our family. My husband & I spend time with our dogs everyday but when the day comes to clean em up, they get extra special treats, a lot more time & attention.

2. STAY ON SCHEDULE. In our house, it's the 1st Friday of the month. Friday for a couple of reasons. Usually a light work day due to being the end of the work week & you should have more energy.

3. ACTIVITY PLANNING. Much like putting together a child's birthday party, eventful is the key to success but the end goal here are pets that are too tuckered to tangle with you over the issue of their lack of hygiene. We devote 1/2 of the day to playing fetch, chasing bubbles, swimming or chasing the hose stream & tripping around the yard picking up the little pieces of a once whole toy. And they get tidbits of a favorite goody. After a good few or more hours we head in to sweep the bathroom commencing the days fun by duelling the vacuum hose extension, it dared to invade their area & take the stockpile provision of hair they spread along the baseboards. But you should never let children do this as most vacuum suction is very strong which could suffocate the animal &/or kill your pet, especially smaller pets. And doing this may make it difficult for you to get chores done if they won't stop attacking the machine.

4. COME & GET IT! A quick dance & then they eat. Warming their food is not just better for their digestive system but it also works the same as warmed milk does for insomnia. Thanksgiving too, if you're serving turkey. I get a show in their anticipation of dinner. It's an adaptation of River Dancing but they add in some whimpering, jumping straight up in the air, & an occasional anxiety yipe. I get into the act too.

5. POTTY BREAK. After making sure each others bowls are thoroughly cleaned of any remaining morsels it's outside to take care of business, you know what lukewarm water does to us.

6. MAIN EVENT. Round up all those attending the de-grubbing of the dirt ball gang in the bathroom or where ever you perform this task. Make sure they have things to chew on & fiddle with while waiting their turn or while you get the water just right. I find it easier if I sit on the side of the tub with my feet helping to control urges to flee the scene. Which won't be too strong since it was a busy afternoon with no nap & a full belly. Wrap each one up in a clean, dry towel paying particular attention to the feet, head, ears, chest & around the tail. Sending em off with a big hug & smooch, NEXT! It's on to another pooped pooch.

7. POTTY BREAK. Once all done & every buddy is a sparkling version of it's previous mud rolling self, it's a good idea to take your pet(s) out again to do their business. You will notice a depleted energy level in your pet, adjust the activities accordingly depending on how you pet(s) walk outside & how long they take. **Our lot of hooligans will then snooze while we take care of our nutritional needs & then have a snack later. Don't be alarmed if you find yourself up the next morning with no company or your pet(s) seems to be slow or worn out. Just like human kids, a big day today for them means a more peaceful tomorrow for you. We get our household chores done so much quicker the next morning because they sleep in & lay around catching up on rest. -- CeCelia Barnes  

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