Patti Soldavini

Getting Detailed

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/19/2011 at 4:15 pm

"Why are baths SO exhausting?"

One of Olive’s least favorite things in the world is getting bathed. She knows it’s coming when I take her into the downstairs bathroom and shut the door behind us. She looks at me like an escaped convict who’s just stumbled upon an unanticipated 25 foot brick wall. I used to be stupid enough to let her watch me gather the oversized towels and drag them into the bathroom along with her. But, the real giveaway is when I put my swimsuit on. This is an undeniable clue. When she sees this, she runs upstairs and does one of two things. She either jumps up on the overstuffed pony print chair that she has claimed as her own and sinks as far down into it as she can, or she runs into my office and curls up into a fetus on the Orvis fleece wraparound bed she has eviscerated at the seams. She is desperately trying to make herself invisible. I gently drag her off either while she fixes her pleading eyes on mine. “OH C’MON OLIVE. IT’S NOT SO BAD. YOU’RE ONLY GETTING DETAILED. IT’S NOT LIKE YOU’RE GETTING WAXED AND BUFFED. AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU’RE NOT A SHOW DOG?” She retreats to the farthest corner of the bathroom deliberately avoiding all eye contact with me. I remove her olive-colored nylon collar with its repeating pattern of brown dog bones. I replace it with her stinkless stainless steel prong collar. It’s the only way I can pivot her inside the shower stall to ensure I’ve not neglected any of the nether bits. I squeeze into the stall after I’ve helped Olive cross its threshold and quickly shut the glass door. I pull the handheld shower spray down and turn on the water. Making sure it’s neither too hot or too cold, I proceed to “rinse” Olive. I love watching the transformation when Olive changes from weimaraner to seal. She goes from her usual grey-taupe to a dark brown-grey. All I can think of when I see this is that she looks like a seal. Not that I’ve ever seen a seal get a bath before, but I imagine them (some of them at least) to be this color. I start with her back, then work my way to the “undercarriage,” the limbs, neck and chest and finally the feet, tail and the trap door in the back. Then I lather her up in mostly organic Lani shampoo, trying to work it into her fur to get down to the skin, and realize that her micron-sized fur makes this next to impossible. I save the nose, ears and dainty head for last, knowing that this is the part she absolutely despises. Then I rinse her and wait for her to shake. She doesn’t. NOT THIS TIME. NOT EVER. NEVER. Not while she’s in the shower. I swear, this is her way of getting even. I’m not about to stand in the shower waiting for her to re-consider, so I open the door. She runs out and shakes ecstatically like she’s just been baptized by a polygamist cult. Droplets of water zip-zip-zip in all directions while she tries to dry herself off by rubbing her entire body on the teal-colored throw rugs. I try toweling her off, but she’s spastically twirling around the room now like a much-too-young-to-be-competing-in-beauty-pageants toddler. She now bites the towel repeatedly trying to engage me in a game of tug-of-war. I open the bathroom door which she barrels through like she’s been shot into outer space. Legs akimbo, she struggles to gain traction on the linoleum floor. She finally comes into contact with the carpeting and proceeds to zoom across the 24’ x 18’ room executing multiple figure eights at supersonic speed. You can hear the carpet screaming.

  1. My dog Summer, bless her soul, used to let me towel her off before she got out of the shower and then she’d let me use the blow dryer to fluff her up a bit. She was half lab/ half chowchow and her coat was THICK. She loved that blow dryer though! =D

  2. Oh, Olive how funny this was. You really gave your mom a time giving you a nice bath. You standing in the shower refusing to shake sounded very familiar to us…that goes on here too. Us doggies have to be sure the walls and floors are watered, huh? Hugs and nose kisses

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