It’s days like today that remind me why I love my dog. Not love dogs plural or in general, but why I specifically love my dog.
For those that haven’t met my dog, let me give you a little background into what she’s like on a normal day. She’s normally quiet and congenial. She’s a people-pleaser so she pretty much does whatever that makes me happy. Over the years, she’s learned this means if I’m on my computer she is not to pester me for anything unless it’s life or death (hers or mine). Since she’s not me (and a dog) sometimes we differ in understanding what constitutes a “life or death” situation, but for the most part we live together in harmony. She knows me and we “get” each other.
She’s also generally a happy dog and loves people. All people. Any people. Children aren’t people. Children are gifts from God sent down to play with her, as such I lose all importance once a child enters the situation. For that matter, people that aren’t me also tend to get priority, unless of course she thinks I might leave her. There is only one real nightmare my dog has, and that’s being abandoned or not being able to be near me.
Anyway, back to today. It’s been a long boring day. So I decided to do all the boring things to get them out of the way. In an effort to subconsciously procrastinate the project I’m supposed to be doing, I decided I needed to take a shower. This reminded me that I was also supposed to give my dog a bath. Her “Aunt” had submitted a couple complaints about how stinky she was. I think she smells like normal dog, but it’s been a while since her last bath so I’d put giving her a bath on my “To-Do List”.
I am not a ritual doggie bather. It’s not like they sweat like we do, and being raised in a small town with inside-outside dogs by a farmer’s daughter, I was always taught that bathing a dog was really only necessary when the dog was actually dirty. With inside-outside dogs, this happens occasionally as the dog finds some doggie “Eau de perfume” to roll in which actually smells like “Eau de Rotten Roadkill”, or the dog decides it’s time to come inside wearing half it’s weight in mud. Since my dog is now a full-fledged indoor dog, she doesn’t really get dirty. So I tend not to bathe her. This is agreeable with her as well.
However, I also forgot that my dog is a stickler for rituals, and as such it’s been way too long since her last bath as demonstrated by her attitude. Since she’s very much a people-pleaser, it takes someone to know her well to catch on to her moods. She’s very much into civil disobedience in cases where she feels she’s being mistreated unfairly.
I should also mention here that she is extremely intelligent and learned early in life the principles of cause/effect. She does not like to get actually dirty or to make messes. Both of those activities she’s figured out lead to getting in trouble and/or baths.
So that she was “clean” prior made bathtime unfair. I also wasn’t packing to go anywhere, so no justified reason for the bath. In her mind, I was giving her a bath for no good reason.
I start the water to get it warm, and ask her to get in the tub. She usually will get to the edge of the tub and refuse to go further. Today, she refused to move completely, and tried to plant herself into the floor as much as possible.
I took her collar off for easy coat cleaning, then picked her up and put her in the tub. She stood in the tub stiffly and then looked back at me.
If it was possible to look at someone and have them burst into flames, she’d have done it. She was PISSED, and I laughed uncontrollably. I couldn’t help it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her that mad about a bath before, and it was hilarious. (I really wish I had a picture of that look.)
Mostly it was hilarious because both of us knew that there was nothing she was going to be able to do about it. I’m bigger, stronger, most days smarter, and I control the food and doorways.
She continued to glare at me the rest of the bathtime. After the bath was finished, I toweled her off, but she wouldn’t even recognize my presence. She’s passive-aggressive like that.
I took a shower then, and when I went to blow dry my hair, I decided to ask her if she wanted to be blow dried. This is not common place, and usually she could care less, but I thought I’d ask for fun.
Holding the blow dryer where she could see it, I called out. “You want some of this?”
She came running and I turned the blow dryer on. As soon as she was in the stream of air, she planted herself in the middle of the floor (where I normally stand to blow dry my own hair) and let me blow dry her…. and blow dry her… and blow dry her..
By this time, she’s normally bored of it as she usually doesn’t care to be blow dried. I assumed she would just go away when she was bored. She did not. So I stopped blow drying her, and started to blow dry my own hair, but she was in the way. I asked her to move. She pretended not to hear me. I moved closer to her expecting her to move out of the way, she did not. Instead she poked me with her nose and tried to get me to continue to blow dry her. Any time she could get in my way without actually moving her body from the floor, she would do so. She wanted to be blow dried, and she wasn’t done yet.
I seriously have not laughed so hard in months. She is so rarely that stubborn, especially over something I know she could really care less about, that I laughed and laughed and laughed.
Evidently, she wasn’t going to forgive me for the bath any time soon.