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.
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.
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.