Thursday, June 21, 2012

Showered in Medicated Dog Water

Teddy is stretched out at my feet.  He looks really fluffy.  A couple of days ago, he rolled in elk poop at the Three Forks Off Leash Dog Park and I just had to give him a bath when I got home.  Oh, he had smeared most of it into his fur and washed some of it off in the swamp water by the park, but I really needed to give him a bath anyway.  I couldn't imagine hugging him and letting Mike and Nick wrestle with him after seeing that huge smear down his right side past his cheek.  He was due. 
So when I got home, I dumped him into the bath tub, despite his protests.  I wondered how much elk poop got smeared onto my T-shirt when I lifted first his butt end, then his front end into the tub.  Nick helped me wash him even though he was still sick with this yucky flu bug.  This one gave us crusty, sore eyes, nausea, a cough, and no appetite.  We're on the mend now, but I really wasn't feeling up to spending a half an hour on my knees by the tub, you know.  I had wanted it to be easy, a stand-around for me while Teddy played.  It was a piece of cake, until the elk poop.  Like I said, Teddy was due but I hadn't expected due to be today. 

My cats don't really get dirty.  Oh, they jump onto my lap smelling of cat litter once in a while, but they don't go outside, so there's no matting, no strange smells to mask their predator nature, no burrs.  Nothing but cat litter.  If that's clean, then it helps when I have to think about where those sweet little paws have been.  Besides, have you ever tried to give a cat a bath?

Dogs are different.  Dogs get baths.  Swamp water bathing doesn't count for getting clean.  It really doesn't.  So every couple of months, Teddy gets a bath.  He doesn't know this.  Being just eleven months old, he hasn't gotten them enough for it to feel like a habit. 

After we wetted him down, Nick and I scrubbed Teddy with a nail brush.  Teddy was cowering with his head jammed into my armpit, but the way he stretched out his back for this part, I knew it felt good.  We used some six year old medicated shampoo that was left over from the last dog, Indiana.  Poor Teddy gets all of Indiana's hand-me-downs.  Even his collar is a hand-me-down.  This shampoo smelled almost as bad as the swamp water. I know I should just throw it out and get a new bottle, but I just can't seem to make myself.  Better yet, I could just use Pert on him, the same stuff Mike and Nick use.  Then he'd have the benefit of the 2-in-1 conditioning.  That could feel really nice on his fluffy fur and he'd smell like the rest of my family. 

As we scrubbed him, a handful of fur came off in the brush.  We got him rinsed using the hand-held shower head.  I like putting it down into his fur and floating out the soap, but Nick wanted to do it and he kept missing.  He sprayed me a couple of times and got Teddy in the face.  Poor Teddy.  I think Nick even sprayed himself once or twice.  Eventually, we got all the smelly soap out of his fur and I began to think about how to get him out of the tub without splattering water all over the bathroom.  I sent Jack to get more towels.  By this time, Seth had opened the pocket door and was inspecting the scene.  Can you imagine a cat who is smart enough to open a door?  It annoys me.  When I realized that the door was left open, I imagined Teddy running through the entire house dripping and shaking off water.  All over the kitchen counters.  All over my books in the bookshelf.  All over the video games and controllers.  Now, maybe that calamity wouldn't be so bad.  'Sorry honey,' I'd say without smiling. 'Teddy shorted out both the X-Box and the PS3.  Would he believe that though?  Probably not since Nick would be howling if he saw me using the squirt bottle on his precious game systems. 

So I closed the door with my toe while I hugged Teddy in one place.  By now, I was pretty wet, not clawed up like I would be washing a cat, but sopping and smelling worse than swamp water.  Then I laid the clean towel along Teddy's length before he shook.  He shook anyway.  Books in the magazine rack.  Wet.  I tried to rub him dry, then took the next towel that Jack was holding out.  Teddy shook again.  The toothbrushes by the sink.  Wet.  I'm not mentioning that both Nick and I are under this super-soaker spray.  Have you ever seen the slow motion shots of a dog shaking water out of his fur?  They are pretty effective.  Water goes everywhere.  I took the third towel and tried to dry the longer hairs on his chest.  When he's rolled onto his back, Teddy's chest resembles the long white hair on the chest of an old man.  He's kind of pink underneath.  This fur was no longer dripping.  It had been flipped off of him and onto any of the medicines on the IKEA rack.  Note to self.  Cabinets with doors would have protected these containers better than an open rack.  Once I thought of it, I realized that the blond wood of my nice cabinets were also dripping with medicated dog water. 

What the hell.  I opened the pocket door and let the poor beast out. 

I used to have a nice carpet.  After twenty one years of dogs, cats, and kids, I can no longer say this.  Still, I try to keep it nice.   Wet.  So were my socks. 

Teddy ran through the kitchen.  Counter tops?  Wet. 

Through the living room.  Laptop?  Wet.  Thankfully the top was closed, but the paper in the printer was bubbly. 

I sat down in my recliner and closed my eyes.  A good nap might take care of all this water. 

It's funny how that happens.  An hour and a half later, it was all gone, except in my mind.  Plus, I could still smell that medicated shampoo. 

Teddy eventually dried out and I took the special rake through his fur.  None of the other brushes I had bought would go through his thick coat.  The third thing they sold me at Petco was called a rake.  Gobs of fur came off that poor dog.  I thought he'd come out of it all naked and pink.  He didn't.  He had plenty of fur left.  Now, my damp carpet was covered in a layer of white fur.  Lovely. 

Teddy was beginning to look fine.  I mean, I hadn't realized how pretty he'd look after a bath and a good brushing.  He must have lost the last of his puppy fur for the handfuls of fur I got.  He looked absolutely sleek.  His long guard hairs glistened in the sun.  See, I had actually gotten a good idea part of the way through the brushing, that was to take him outside to finish brushing him.  Then, my patio was all covered in white gobs of fur. 

The end result is that Teddy looks fine, and I mean fine like an NBA player in an Armani suit.  The medicated smell has worn off of him and he simply smells clean.  His feathers are feathering, his tail is waving.  Teddy is a new man, well, dog. 

My house, however, still smells somewhat medicated.  There are water spots on my kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as well as the top of the computer.  The books in the magazine rack are a little more wrinkly than they were and a little more moldy smelling too.  The toothbrushes had to be sanitized.  There are three medicated towels hanging to dry in my laundry room along with the sprayed ones Mike, Nick, and I had been using.  I'll have to do an extra load of laundry tomorrow.  My carpet still seems a bit damp and somehow, the fur in that brushing spot wouldn't quite vacuum up, but it comes off on my black socks just fine.  I imagine that the germs have died by now, 72 hours later, on the lids of the medications on the IKEA shelf.  There are clumps of white fur on the patio and in the bushes next to it where a breeze has blown it around.  I have a lot of cleaning up to do.  I guess it's my usual SNAFU, Situation Normal, All Fucked Up. 

Thank you for listening, jb


  1. Wow that was some adventure! JB in my opinion ,you are a terrific writer...I enjoy reading your posts.cheers,

    1. Arti, thank you very much. I exaggerate, you know.