Doggy Day Spa

6 Mar

A friend of mine recently asked me to help give her dogs a bath. I said, yes, of course, no problem.  Mostly because I was thinking how easy it is to bathe my dachshunds – I simply lift them into the half-filled tub, squirt a little doggy shampoo on, and suds away. 

Debbie, however, has big dogs. Personally, I think they’re horses wearing dog tags to fool the neighbors.  She says they’re mixed breeds – perhaps one of the breeds is Shetland Pony?

Obviously, these are not the kinds of dogs who fit into your standard-size bathtub without some type of Origami-folding trick. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s not room for one horse/dog and Debbie in her bathroom at the same time. Not without removing a wall.

Nope, these are the kinds of animals who go out for a bath. So we corralled the dogs into the van and drove them to Peggy Ann’s Pampered Pet Parlor. Imagine kind of a doggy day spa, with soothing music, fresh-washed towels, and a whole assortment of aromatherapy shampoos. We chose “liver,” which supposedly calms canines and eradicates the stress of having to prevent the mail carrier from getting too close to the house.

I have to say I did find it oddly disconcerting that some dogs get to go to the spa, but whenever I want a soothing bath, I have to fill my tub with whatever I have in the house that bubbles – usually dishwashing powder – and the only relaxing sound is the sound of my toilet running.

Once we chose our shampoo, Peggy Ann asked if we’d like some cucumber. I figured she meant as a snack. I wasn’t sure if it was for us or the dogs, but I was hungry, so I said yes. Then she started to show us how to place the cucumbers slices over the dogs’ eyes. I have to admit I laughed. I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, but I was afraid she would suggest a full-body salt scrub with shiatsu massage next. Or meditation and chanting affirmations: “I am a strong and intelligent dog. I deserve lots of treats, ohm…”

Debbie grabbed me by the collar and hissed, “Be a good girl!” as she dragged me off towards one of the giant tubs, with a large hose and sprayer attached. The dogs trotted behind us, munching on their cucumber slices.

 If you’ve never bathed a large animal, you should know it involves three basic steps:  Step 1:  You have to convince the large animal that a bath is fun. You do this by using your “This is fun!” voice, the same one you use when trying to convince your three-year old that the cough medicine tastes like candy. Of course most three-year olds don’t slobber all over you in the process. 

Step 2:  You must get the large animal to remain in the tub long enough for you to at least spritz him or her with water. Every time Debbie’s biggest dog, Bailey (personally, I would have named him Trigger) felt there was the least chance he could get wet, he hopped over the side of the tub, clearing both our heads like he was Keiko the killer whale at the end of Free Willy. I gathered from his behavior that Bailey did not enjoy bath time. I also started a mental list of the favors Debbie now owed me.

Step 3:  If you ever do get the large animal washed (we did after only thirty minutes and some relaxing herbs – for me, not the dogs), you must get it to stand still long enough to towel it dry.  You’d think a dog who doesn’t enjoy getting wet would love getting dry, but you’d be wrong.  Bailey ran around the spa, knocking over shampoo bottles, conditioning sprays, and a large basket full of curlers. I pretended I didn’t see the latter because there was no way I was going to give a dog a perm. Not without another swig of those herbs.

When we finally got Bailey and Maggie, the much-better behaved dog, out of the spa, they yanked hard at their leashes and dragged Debbie and I over to a muddy spot in the grass next to the parking lot. They were apparently disappointed that mud baths weren’t part of the doggy pampering package and proceeded to take them anyway. I guess they were trying to cover up the smell of liver. 

I should have taken a mud bath too, because when I got home to my low-maintenance dogs, the liver aroma followed. And the dachshunds eyed me like I was lunch. I handed them a slice of cucumber and decided to take a bath myself.

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2 Responses to “Doggy Day Spa”

  1. Parice March 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Cute! Cute! Cute!

  2. Kia March 7, 2013 at 4:05 am #

    LOL hilarious! Big dogs sure seem like a lot of work…glad Simba is mini 🙂

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