Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Dog, A Tub, Six Towels, and Me

Something wasn't right here. Somehow we'd missed the window of opportunity that Fall presented to figure out a nice neutral place for a puppy to do her Opposite End thang, so to speak. We tried, but our timing was horrible.

As a result, Anke has been messin' her kennel. Oh, for awhile we pretended not to notice, not wanting to embarass her. We dutifully cleaned it out each day. But when the Buddy Splash I lavished on her when she came inside to hang out was no longer cutting the mustard--and I mean mustard--something had to be done.

Such a pretty dog, such a vile odor. It got so it polluted the very 15-below-zero air I was taking her for walks in. It was the sort of intense, melodic odor that stiffened the spine, reset the receptor olfactory neurons to "fight or flight", and caused fully grown men to seek shelter.

It was time for a bath. In the depths of Mid-Winter, this can't be undertaken outside. On her way out of the door for her pm shift, Deb gave me her final instructions, a wry smile on her face. Could I rig a camera to catch the action? This she really hated to miss.

She also really hated the idea of turning the two of us loose in her bathroom. Hence the instructions; a hastily said prayer; a whispered "Kyrie eleison"; crossing herself as she hurried to her van to go to work. She has only lately gotten used to turning ME loose in her bathroom. Thirty years of marriage and men are still not in any real sense trainable. At least that goes for the guy my wife married.

So me and Anke. Anke and me. We got the bathroom ready. I got a large sponge and some buckets. I spread the floor with Spouse Approved towels ("Use the dirty ones! They've got to be washed anyway"). I had already cleaned and bleached the kennel, which resides in the garage. Anke seemed to know something was afoot. Oh, the excitement of being led through the house, past the kitchen into the Forbidden Territories! What's this? Towels on the floor of the bathroom? I think I'll just plop down and not move, I'm too big for him to move me if I plop down right here. WHOA!!!WHOOOOAAAAAAAH! Alpha Dog is lifting me into this slippery white place, ooooooooohhhhooohh. Wet, it's wet. Ooooh. Rain. Alpha is rubbing my fur, it is slippery. What's that funny odor? Yuck yuck yuck yuck. I smell like LILACS!

I got wet too. The whole process went pretty smoothly until I suggested Anke roll over onto her side. Then the pearly whites came out and her face became very fierce. I know that look. Ok. That is just not necessary, but if you feel that way, I'll just reach around you and do it that way.

What a big dog this is. But now she is lying on my office carpet, dog-damp and sleepy, and she smells....neutral! How long this will last is anyone's guess, but for the moment: I can bury my face in her longcoat fur.


Ethan said...

That is one cute dog.

...And never use the "c" word. ;)

Bruce Gee said...

Aw, but Anke IS cute! Cute, cute, cute, cute, CUTE! She loves to be told how CUTE she is, especially if the words are accompanied by a full-body massage.

Dr.John said...

This must be the Pagan part of Pagans and Lutherans.

Bruce Gee said...

Sleeping when she's tired. Chasing things when she's rested.
Eating snow and ice, condescending to let herself be brushed and fussed over.
Chasing the chickens when they escape the ark, sneaking off to bark at the Yorkies next door.
Devouring huge bowls of food. Yeah. Anke's a pagan. No Lutheran ever had that much fun.