A recipe for disaster…

ani 007Warning: This recipe should only be attempted by the a) experienced, b) well-muscled and c) madwomen.

Nor, in a sane world, should it be attempted at all after a long day at work, a fruitless drive out of town, followed by dealing with the leaking fish tank you found when you got home. However, as the dog, besides smelling of dog, now smells of fish-water, having been determined to help, you may have little choice.

Remove all extraneous clothing.

Experience tells you that you might as well. You will regret it if not. It is also a good idea before you do so to close any blinds that allow the neighbours to be traumatised or prompt them to call either the RSPCA or the men in white coats.

Prepare the battle ground.

Fill tub with water, remove any breakables, pile up towels and put all required ingredients within easy reach. You may wish to do this before the removal of clothing in case you have mirrors. By the time you are done, they will be steamed up enough to protect you. Experience will have already ensured that the kitchen and bedroom doors are closed. Likewise the escape-route to the garden.


Next, catch your dog.

This, contrary to all expectations, can be exceedingly difficult in a small flat no more than fifteen paces square. There are a surprising number of places a not-so-small dog can secrete herself. The first port of call is usually her bed. Trying to drag both dog and bed into the bathroom does not work. She is not that daft. Having exhausted all possibilities, she will eventually take refuge beneath the desk and use the secret weapon… the guilt trip. Do not, at any point, use the ‘b’ word… any mention of bathtime will only widen the puppy-dog eyes even further.

Try bribery.

This only works a few times. Then they get wise. If tennis balls, cheese and chicken don’t work, you must resort to desperate measures.

The lie.

Dogs have no inhibitions. She will not even consider your nakedness… when you pick up the leash, she will simply assume you are going for a walk and suddenly become cooperative… at least as far as the bathroom door.


This, providing you have not caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, is a mere analogy. In fact, the dead weight produced by a doggedly reluctant animal makes most sumo wrestlers look like lightweights. You will, however, have to heft this dead weight into the tub. It is not going voluntarily. It is an interesting anomaly that whilst most creatures must go limp to produce the dead weight phenomenon, a bath-hating dog can do so whilst simultaneously wriggling like an eel.


Wash. Fast.

Once the Sumo Eel has been deposited in the tub, you have to lather, rinse and repeat. Fast. And one handed. The other is engaged in maintaining the headlock on the eel…or rump-lock, whichever you are presented with. Modern dog shampoos do not require a ‘repeat’ phase, but given that you will have to repeat the previous step at least three times in as many minutes as she escapes, repeats become a necessity. Rinsing can be done with either a jug or a shower spray. I recommend the jug as it holds a measurable quantity of water when it goes everywhere except on the dog, while the shower spray behaving like a mad snake while you re-catch your eel can have disastrously infinite effects.



Having washed as much of the eel as you can, let it go. The creature that could not have made it into the bathtub were it full of chicken, will now spring lightly over your shoulder. In the split second between its take-off and landing, drop everything, grab a large, fluffy towel and attempt to throw it over the back of the dog. The dog, immediately upon landing, will begin to shake violently and effectively. The towel, with a practiced aim, reduces the flooding from biblical to merely legendary proportions.

At this point, attempt to catch the dog and dry any bits you can hold on to. Then uncork the bathroom. The dog will shoot out at top speed. It is here that you will be grateful that you remembered to close the bedroom door. Nothing smells like wet dog and nothing is as good to dry fur on as your bed.



You probably haven’t for the past ten minutes. But not too much… there is that wet dog smell. No matter how clean and flowery that shampoo may be, nothing clings like wet dog.

The aftermath…

Twenty minutes later, the bathroom is sparkling. You have wiped down every conceivable surface with disinfectant and/or bleach. The mat of black fur has been removed from the plug hole. The floor had been baled and scrubbed.


The upholstery on the sofa that you ridiculously washed and dried in the winter sun that very afternoon, is now being used as a static towel. The shaking has extended to the living room and spattered the TV screen, walls and windows. The dog, already almost blow-dried by the speed at which she is cavorting, finally smells faintly of flowers. The bathroom smells vaguely of cleanliness and bleach. You, the living room and the sofa, smell of wet dog.

Get used to it. The hot water will take another hour to heat up enough for a shower. Wine helps.


The moral

Support your local grooming parlour… even if you need a mortgage to do so.

Or get a cat.

Image result for how to wash your cat

Image result for how to wash your cat

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 scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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93 Responses to A recipe for disaster…

  1. Made laugh through – thank you.


  2. TanGental says:

    Perfect Sue. Written with passion. Happily Milo being short haired rarely needs a wash but when he does he will stand in the shower with a sort of resignation while a warm shower spray does the job. The look though, the ‘how could you?’ Is a killer.


  3. Morning read..crying with laughter…and oh- that little face! How could you..!! Great post πŸ™‚ x


  4. Ritu says:

    Oh wow Sue!!!!
    And I thought our canine friends loved water!!
    We don’t tend to bath Sonu Singh too.much. as an.indior cat he doesn’t really need it, but we hand an experience the last time!
    The kids were so excited they wanted to be there.
    Hubby Dearest wanted me to hold him while he tried to clean.
    4 sets of clothes.
    All soaking by the end.
    Flooded bathroom floor!
    Traumatised cat!
    But clean!!!!


  5. That’s just had my missus in hysterics. πŸ˜„πŸ‘


  6. Bath time is not fun. Hope your fish are okay. πŸ™‚

    The picture of the poor kitty had me in stiches. πŸ™‚


  7. jenanita01 says:

    I had forgotten how much fun bathing a dog can be. I have washed a few cats in my time too, but they are never much fun. I always felt like a torturer!


  8. Mary Smith says:

    Thanks for the laugh this morning, Sue.


  9. ksbeth says:

    so funny, i needed this laugh, sue –


  10. willowdot21 says:

    Lovely Sue, the joys of dogs!! I know that look well!!


  11. Bernadette says:

    Your dog has a very wry sense of humor.


  12. vronlacroix says:

    Very funny. I have to say that our dog, although she hated baths or garden showers, her resistance was weak because she was such an obedient dog. My husband called her a good soldier.


  13. adeleulnais says:

    Oh Goddess, do we know what you go through. Dante goes stiff, like a toddler does when having a tantrum and no amount of lifting, pushing or negotiating with said chicken or cheese helps. Next idea is to wait till a rain storm and then wash dog in garden. lol


  14. trentpmcd says:

    Why do dogs love to swim but hate baths? I never understood it…


  15. macjam47 says:

    Oh my gosh, this is hilarious


  16. rivrvlogr says:

    Wine helps. πŸ™‚
    Except for a cat bath. There’s not enough wine in the world to ease that trauma.


  17. Wildly amusing. How often does this performance require repeating? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


  18. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Had to share in case anyone missed this πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„


  19. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Ani has been paddling in the fish tank overflow and requires immersion in sufficient fluids to remove the resulting aroma. Sue Vincent strips off and prepares for battle.. head over and find out the whole story.. and then get a budgie.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Darlene says:

    Our Dot isnΒ΄t fond of bathtime either. Fortunately in Spain, we can usually do it outside in a paddle pool. She does of course run into the house and sit on the couch to dry off!! (I always have a towel on the couch for that reason!) It is a two person job at our house. Your description was hilarious!!


  21. Pingback: A recipe for disaster… | Michaelphelps1's Blog

  22. Yecheilyah says:

    Lol. Doggie is a cutie.


  23. noelleg44 says:

    I laughed, and laughed. Ani is a handful. I have solved the problem of the dog bath by locking the dog in the shower with me and washing her at the same time I take a shower. I do have to bolt the bathroom door, though, and guaranteed the bathroom will have water everywhere, even after I attempt to dry her while dripping on the bathroom floor. As for the cat — I wouldn’t even try.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Ani a several handfuls! Sounds like Angel is too πŸ™‚
      Mine is an overbath shower so that isn’t an option…though we have ended up in the bathtogether on more than one occasion, wholly unplanned πŸ˜‰


  24. Have you notice that a small dogs have the “specific gravity” superpower? Normally they weigh maybe 20 lbs. 25? But when you are trying to pick them up, they increase their weight by raising their specific gravity. Suddenly, that little dog weighs 100 lbs or more. It’s amazing! AND they stick to furniture like superglue.


  25. HaHA! I love Ani’s little tricks to get out of bath time!
    Sounds like an epic task Sue that is only to be undertaken when absolutely necessary! πŸ™‚


  26. As the proud “parent of 2 dogs and 5 cats I can say with tongue in cheek that I enjoyed the read. I laughed until I cried. The best way to get my animals to take a bath is to make my self a bubble bath, at least two of the cats fall into the tub and my 9 month old husky thinks it is just for her. So I now fill the bath with pet shampoo and it works. I however stick to the shower it is no fun getting out of the tub cover in fur and smelling like a wet dog.


  27. Rae Longest says:

    Thanks for the delightful read!


  28. Brings back memories of when we still had a dog…


  29. dgkaye says:

    Lol Ani. You know how to make one smile. πŸ™‚


  30. russtowne says:

    I enjoyed the post and the last photo is hilarious!


  31. Helen Jones says:

    Oh dear, this did make me laugh! Poor you. Ani reminds me of our old spaniel, who would gladly slip, jump or throw himself into any body of water he could find, yet despised the bath with a ferocious passion. πŸ˜€


  32. Eliza Waters says:

    The cost of a groomer bath sounds like a deal to me!


  33. Hahahahaa! I would definitely go for the dog groomer! I have more respect for their job now after reading your story Sue :0)


  34. olganm says:

    Lovely descriptive and so true! Thanks, Sue!


  35. And still people wonder why I don’t have pets…


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