My dogs rolled in fish. Dead, rotting fish. Both of them. I had no idea anything could smell sooooo bad. Marty tried to warn me before I came home. “I should never have let the dogs run by where people fish” he said. “They rolled in fish. They smell. I would not have been surprised to see a dead body” he warned, “They smell that bad.”
I was still ill prepared.
Needless to say, a trip to the dog-o-mat was in order. We called Abby – she was willing to help. She is a brave woman and a good friend. Either that or she’s crazy. I told her if she was just willing to hang out with each of them one at a time while I washed the other it would still be a huge help. “No, she said, if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do it all the way.” Like I said – a brave woman. I told her I’d meet her at the dog-o-mat.
I put crib sheets over the car seats (they are a great fit for a small car), then a towel and a blanket. I was ready. Then I let the dogs in. I was not ready. It was bad. Windows open wide and eyes still watering, coughing jag kind of bad.
We got stuck behind an accident. Bella had to bark loudly at the paramedics. “You never know they may want to get in the car and touch my tail… I must act like I will eat them.” The barking had to be accompanied by lunging and acting like she’d jump out the window. After all, you just don’t have the full effect of a mad, crazed dog without the lunging. It was loud. It was embarrassing. And all I could think is “I am NOT shutting these windows.”
Let me just say that I don’t believe in violence. But if I ever change my mind, and if I need to create a biological weapon, dead rotting fish juice will be the base. What could be worse? At the very least it could clear an area fast. I mean, really – I have been in tear gas that was not as bad as this.
When we finally made it to the dog-o-mat Abby was waiting for us and the girls – all fish smell and tags waging happily greeted her. Then we went to go in and the whining and carrying on began.
We don’t go to the dog-o-mat often. And I am sure they are grateful for that fact. Still, I worry that they will banish us. Lock the door when they see us coming. The last time I was there (or maybe it was the time before) a woman asked me if it was Roxy’s first bath. Now mind you – she was 5 or 6 years old. That is how much she was carrying on. The time before that I was offered the special “filthy animal shampoo” for Bella.
We don’t go a lot – but we make it memorable.
I had brought Abby extra clothes as she had to go to work right after. As she went to change Roxy started whining. Whining loudly. She wasn’t even in the tub, and she was loud enough that the woman working there came out to see if she was okay.
The bath itself with Bella is anti-climatic. She’s furry. Thick, chow fur. Sponge dog we call her. And getting her clean takes lots of scrubbing, lots of time and patience – and lots of soap. But other than her wiggling and turning around so you have to be a contortionist to really get her tail good and clean, it’s all fine.
Roxy on the other hand requires the special tie downs. The ones for the bad dogs. By the time the water is on she is hooked up with a leash to the bar overhead, and with a second leash to the bar at one end of the tub. She is also attached to the tub itself with bungee cords suctioned to the bottom and to the sides. Still she manages to wiggle free and try to leap out. Whining loudly and passionately all the while.
We take turns washing Roxy. Which is to say wrestling with Roxy.
Abby keeps spraying my ass my mistake – I think it is by mistake. I don’t know – maybe it’s payback.
I am wearing an apron. Roxy manages to get her wet soapy body under the apron and dry off on my T –shirt. By the time we are done I can wring my clothes out. No exaggeration. The floor is soaked, I am soaked. Abby is soaked. There is fur everywhere. Roxy tried to jump out of the tub and hit my hand which was holding the soap bottle. It flew across the room. There are towels everywhere from trying to dry them off a bit. The towels –like everything else is soaked.
I am laughing. And I am sure they are glad to see us go.