17 May 2008

Bath Time

Like most dogs, Molly hates baths. But as an SDIT, she needs to stay smelling nice. BCs aren't a breed that tends to smell bad, but Molly has been using a fenced area also used at other times by a couple of Shetland ponies as her playground. She can find nice things to roll in there, so she isn't quite her normal self. We wouldn't normally bother to wash her yet because it is very slight, but it's time for her Frontline treatment. She is picking up way too many ticks and Molly isn't any fonder of ticks than Rebecca.

So it was time for a bath. More correctly, it is a shower and not a bath. We have a setup that works and isn't too stressful and she is getting better each time. I get everything ready first--clear out the shower stall, put in my shower bench turned sideways, put the shampoo right where I can reach it, find 2 big Molly towels (She got three old worn out green ones I've had since I started college in '94. They're plenty big and none of our other towels look like them. One has holes from where I used it to cover the rat cage once and it got chewed...) and spread one out on the floor, put away anything that can get damaged when she shakes. Then I get Molly and shut us both in the bathroom.

As wet as I get washing her, I just shower myself while she shakes off, which is why you do not get Molly bath pictures (sorry Samantha!). I fix the water temperature to something just lukewarm and put it aside so it isn't spraying all over. Then I get Molly into the shower stall. This is not easy because she doesn't just hate baths--she hates most WATER, especially any that is moving and making noise. Today I'm not too miserable so I just lifted her up and carried her in and sat down on the bench with her. I close the shower doors before I let her go then everything is fine. She settles down and tolerates the bath but makes sad faces at me.

After she is all washed, I put the water away and try to encourage her to shake off in the stall. I don't want her to get cold or be stressed too long, but I want the worst of the water off before she is out in the rest of the bathroom. Then I open the shower door and let her out.

Molly has learned on her own to dry herself off on the towel I spread out on the floor. The first time I did it, I did it to try to catch the worst of the water she shakes all over so the floor wouldn't be slippery when I came out. But I sure did get a surprise. Molly immediately starts rubbing herself on the towel! She starts with her face--it's probably the most annoying when it is wet. Then she does her sides and back. She'll shake intermittently but go back and rub on the towel. She gets to do this while I wash myself real quick and towel off.

By the time I'm done, Molly really wants out of the bathroom. So I grab the dry towel and rub her down a bit. Today I did something new. She was impatient and couldn't focus on a take, but she seemed to understand what I was saying. So I lay the towel over her back and opened the door, telling her to take it to DH. She got it most of the way there and was working on the rest when I came out. I just reminded her what to do and she took the towel to him. He rubbed her down and put her collar back on. She let him wrap her up in the towel and they played some. She kept bringing it back when she'd run off with it on her and it fell off.

Molly may hate bath time, but she definitely likes the fun time with her daddy afterwards. I'm really glad he's willing to help because the bending down to towel her down is hard for me. I'd rather not get her up on the sofa when she's wet and if I sit on the floor I have the fun challenge of standing up again. If he can't help, it's doable, but it's best as a family effort.

In the morning we'll give her the frontline on her neck and hope it means fewer ticks. At least the vets say tick-born diseases are REALLY rare here. I worry though because it's a tourist area and who knows what those foreign ticks might carry.

So that's the end of today. It's time for us to get to bed. I'll try to write tomorrow about today's training and my contemplations of kibble. I started earlier but I wasn't up to finishing. Such is life with my health. I have to do things in pieces and spend a lot of time correcting typos. Then I have to go back and correct the typos I made correcting typos, so I have a horrible time getting rid of all of them. You'll have to learn to live with them. I'm trying to.

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