Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Suds your Duds

Please excuse the graphic description I am about to include in today's post. If you think of it in a Lucy Ricardo sort of way, you will come much closer to the reality of the whole situation. No, seriously.

First the basics. I am a forty-seven year old woman. I weigh approximately 120 pounds. Corndog Stella - weighs fifty-seven pounds. That's like two twenty-five pound bags of dog food stacked on top of each other, with a couple of six packs of soda tossed on. Twenty-four ouncers.

Although her weight varied, from September to February, I gave Stella baths in the shower - with me. That thud you just heard was my mother's head hitting her printer stand on the way down. While I understand some of you may be repulsed by the thought of showering with a dog I assure you, we both come out better for it. The only thing that really suffers are the bathroom walls and my landlord's drain (bummer).

The tricky part isn't the showering, the showering is sort of zen-like to be honest, but it's getting the pit bull into the shower that's the real talent. It's a bathtub. I have to open the shower curtain, step one foot out of the slick-ass bathtub, pick her up NAKED, turn back to the tub and put her down standing, in the water. Typically I will then tell her that she's the best dog in the world and to Stay. At that point I pray that she does, sometimes I even pray aloud (note to Mom).

So a few days ago, after a long hiatus I decide it's time for Stella to have a bath. To be safe (hah), I get out a pair of shower shoes, the old style flip-flops you get at the beach, and put them in the bathtub with me while I shower. At one point I step into them and immediately they suction themselves like a frog, to the floor of the bathtub. I almost fall down. Fine I think to myself, I'll just leave them off and stand in them later, after I get her in here. So here we go with the potential 911 moment and Stella hasn't done this in a while, so she's mighty tense (I'm told this is because I'm tense which would make her a psychic - no?) I step, left foot out of the tub, wrap my left arm in front of her chest, tuck my right arm under her rump and stand upright. Then I move my left foot back into the tub and set her down in it. When I do, her front feet go right into the flip flops and suddenly she's standing on one of them and wearing the other one like a bracelet.

Did I mention before that I am NAKED? In a shower? With a pit bull, wearing thongs? Now I get laughing so hard in there that she thinks I've gone insane and I wonder if maybe I haven't. And she's looking at me like: Are we gonna' do this thing or not? It is at this moment I realize that I'm not always forty-seven years old. Sometimes, when the planets are aligned just right, I still get to visit seventeen, this day thanks to Stella.

[Ed. note] Somebody recently asked if I was absolutely head over heels in love with Stella now that she and I had been through these surgeries together (savvy question, I thought). The answer is yes, of course. I loved her before she was ever injured but the day you find yourself bathing an animal half your size with a warm washcloth because she can't do it herself, you're pretty much done for.

We recommend Perfect Coat natural oatmeal shampoo and, if you should choose this method of bathing for your own big dog, a crash helmet.

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