ani 004

The dog flatly refused to come in the bathroom… or to stay in the bathtub once forcibly deposited in it. She doesn’t like baths. She never has. Water… cold, muddy and preferably smelling of decomposition… that’s fine, apparently. But not soap and water. It isn’t her thing.

Imagine the scene… you’ll have to, because every time I beg, plead or sue for help in bathing the awkward animal, everyone disappears like steam through the air vent…

I can’t blame them.

ani table

The pre-bath dog is a pretty thing, all fluff and floppy ears and smiles. Bath-hound is different… all wide-eyed with stiff, outstretched legs and claws while ever there is something to impede my progress (as by this time I have dug her out form wherever she is hiding, bribed, invited and dangled the leash… and finally just given in and picked her up… and she is not a small dog by any manner of means…no matter what she says!). She will cling onto the door frame, me, the edge of the tub… then as soon as her feet touch the bath she is gone like a missile from a gun, or, if I manage to retain my hold, thrashing like a rabid octopus with hiccoughs and a death wish.

Or is that me…?

I generally manage to shampoo about half a dog at each attempt. Anything above the shoulders is no-go area and a wet, plumed tail should count as a lethal weapon.

home 100

The worst of it is, she manages to flood the bathroom, drench me, get hair up the walls… and still look so pitiful and hard-done-by that I just feel guilty and cruel for even considering inflicting such torture…

Stubborness… that state of digging your heels in and being unprepared to accept another alternative, can be seen as a good thing or a bad one. Circumstances… and sometimes our own personal perspective and desires… will dictate how that stance is perceived when observed in another. Our own feelings always colour our perceptions of events, and our reactions to them dictate our memory of them.

Ani’s bathtime is a battle of wills. She digs her heels in… and anything else she can… with a stubborn refusal to cooperate in an operation that I impose ‘for her own good’ and the benefit of olfactory decency. Of course, our views are diametrically opposite on that one. Ani, as a dog, likes to smell of dog… and anything else she can manage to roll in while we are out… and living in a village surrounded by fields she has a lot of options. To her, that smell is ‘right’ and how things should be.


I, quite frankly, prefer most things to the fragrance of eau de dog after such escapades. I am also aware that her skin dries and itches and the shampoo is designed to relieve that. As well as smelling better than cow dung and dead badger. I wouldn’t mind… her shampoo costs ten times the price of mine…

To Ani, my stubborn…and futile… attempts at canine cleanliness must seem like sheer bloody-mindedness (as well as simple idiocy given that she’ll only go and do it all again…) Her stubbornness is in the nature of self preservation and the heroic assertion of independence.

My memories of bathtime are manic… hers, I feel, may be tinged with triumph.


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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74 Responses to Stubborn

  1. denis1950 says:

    I love the story Sue and feel for the poor pup. However that image of the hand on the neck with the super stressed eyes may get you in trouble with the RSPCA. A dog must only be bathed when they have agreed, isn’t that how it goes?


  2. It sounds more like you’re bathing a cat. My dog doesn’t like it that much either but she tolerates it. When they roll in dead animal that is the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. noelleg44 says:

    I feel for both you and Ani! We have had a similar problem with our (She’s No) Angel. I have taken her to a dog groomer, which worked out well, but the last time, to save a little money, I put on a bathing suit and took her into the shower. She wasn’t happy but she couldn’t get out and I managed to get most of her washed. She loves being dried afterward because of all the rubbing and petting, reinforced with dog treats. We’ll see how it goes next time!


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’ve done the whole getting in the bathtub thing… my shower is a piddling affair that can’t even cope with my mane very well, let alone a dog-ful of plumes…
      Personally, I think she just enjoys making me chase her 😉


      • denis1950 says:

        Ah Sue you bring back memories. We had renovations and built a laundry/second bathroom with a walk in shower for washing the dog, (Afghan) one before Charlie 16 years ago. Guess what, never bathed a dog in it, take them to the groomers every 6 months, it sure beats trauma for the humans.


  4. MLou says:

    I can relate! I use to sit on the couch and coax my dog over to pet her….did not take much. Then pick her up and take her to the bathroom. (I had run bathwater earlier) hehe hehe, I hurried and closed the door. At least it was a small room to chase her down after she squirms out of my arms. Then in the bath she looks at me with those sad eyes and shakes… sad….but after the floor and we both have had our baths…ha ha hahaha I would let her out of the bathroom and she would run around the house like a wild banshee, shaking and running with a big smile on her face. LOL Then the cleanup would begin….. 🙂 Ani’s way to big to carry and strong I am sure. But somehow we muster through it….It’s our job! Hugs


  5. Rabid octopus- bwahahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. She looks so innocent and sweet. I can’t believe she smells like cow dung and dead badger!
    You must be thinking of another dog.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Éilis Niamh says:

    Have you ever just poured a bucket of soapy water over the whole of her? LOL! Something makes me think she’d rebel even then… That sounds as bad for you as bathing a cat. Yep, dogs and humans have very different preferences for clean. 🙂 I’m so lucky that my labradorable was bred for water and behaves himself.


  8. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha! Another well written piece!


  9. reocochran says:

    Sue, pets and babies are almost everyone’s favorite blog posts. Your Ani is beautiful, typical dog in a bath but extraordinary out of the tub. 🙂


  10. fkeegan2013 says:

    I do so love Ani. And I love you too, Sue!


  11. davidprosser says:

    No argument it’s hard.Dogs may not like it and will want to run but at least they don’t attack you.
    With a cat, claws and teeth come into play and you can’t let your arms go near a barcode scanner at the supermarket.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


  12. There is, surely nothing sweeter than the scent of a dog after having just rolled in fox dung. I would not change such perfume for all the tea in China Sue and there are a lot of foxes in Upper Norwood where my four legged companion and I live. Thanks for the great post Sue. Kevin and Trigger.


  13. KL Caley says:

    Haha! Excellent Sue – I was just thinking I hadn’t seen an Ani tale for a while, thought she must be preparing her Christmas book release ;). My boy (who isn’t small either being a rough collie), cannot stand the bath and his usual refuge is curling himself up underneath the dining chair, unfortunately he regularly forgets his big poufy tale which sticks out behind him. He’s not the best at hide and seek! I love burying my face in his fur when it’s all clean and soft so you’d think it would be worth it for the luvvies he gets after. 🙂


  14. Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
    Love it. Your nightmare,Sue, provides us with a giggle. Sorry! Jx


  15. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    It’s a DOG’S LIFE at Sue’s House 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Stubborn | oshriradhekrishnabole

  17. jenanita01 says:

    Over the years, we have had many different dogs, and at least one of them hated having a bath. Always amazed me how much mess just one dog can make when determined to be uncoperative. On the other hand, I remember one who loved to jump in whenever you were having one, a vastly different set of problems!


  18. Running Elk says:

    You’re not doing it right. See, I’m certain that if YOU got in the bath and settled down for a nice long soak Ani would be really pleased to join in… :p


  19. Such a sweet, innocent face…are you sure you’re not making this up, Sue ? I know better. The only time our dog jumped willingly into the tub is to hide behind the shower curtain during a thunderstorm. ☺


  20. Mary Smith says:

    Gave me a much-needed smile this morning, Sue. Does Ani forgive you for the water and shampoo torture immediately afterwards or does she does she have a ‘not-talking-to-you’ time first?


  21. Eliza Waters says:

    Such comedy – hee-hee! (Only in retrospect, of course!) Maybe a sedative beforehand? (for both you and the dog!) My vet prescribed Valium for our last dog so I could get her to her visits without a total meltdown. She would have her pill about an hour ahead of time, then she’d move in very slow-mo…. It seemed definitely to take the edge off! 😉


  22. *SIGH* “Mean Ol’ Mummy” Actually my Katy-did-it is worse, she loves to swim in the pool and surf, but try to bathe her and it’s all over, and as a Jack Russell Terrior-ist she is lightening fast gone. Have a great weekend Sue! Big huggies Ani, hang in there and stand strong for those beliefs!


  23. Hahaha! He does look dreadfully hard done by and I can only imagine the splashy escapades!


  24. Got such a laugh out of this one. Thank goodness this dog willingly steps into the shower and cooperates even if sullen about it. I have been known to drag large dogs across wood floors by their front legs while they go into the horizontal limp dust mop mode….can’t let them win or taste defeat when baths are concerned! Love the pictures


  25. socialbridge says:

    This looks very, very familiar! Great post, Sue.


  26. Ha Ha! She looked so pitiful in that photo that it is hard not to feel sorry for her! 🙂


  27. Excellent! Goooo Ani! What a character 😊


  28. pollyesther says:

    Laughing in recognition of Ani’s preferred odours as we live near a horse paddock…The easiest way to wash a dog in my opinion, is tied up to the Apple tree in the yard with a hose. Makes it a less than 5 minute job, instead of an hour cleaning the bathroom, black hair sticks badly on wet white tiles…Of course I am wearing my wet weather gear or bathers, depending on the temperature, and need a hose down after as well… When the lead comes off, we do the “catch me if you can” ball game around the yard for a “blow dry”.


  29. How cute is she?????? All clean 🙂


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