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Bathing the Dog is not a Euphemism

November 10, 2008

Thanks for having me over, Ben, it was a lot of fun.  My puppy post over at Who’s Your Dachshund has made me realize that I haven’t written nearly enough about my boy Pilot. 

Pilot loves HGTV.

Pilot loves his HGTV.

Pilot is possibly the ultimate Pavlovian dog – after the incident yesterday morning, I realized he needed a bath.  Badly.  Enough so that when I went home for lunch and to let him out, I decided to wash him myself.

His history of bathing is fairly mild; a couple baths in the kitchen sink when he was still a bitty puppy and we could actually pick him up, one where my mother and I tag-teamed him in her enclosed bathtub/shower, one offical trip to the groomers, and two more trips inside the bathtub/shower with me to have his poor infected belly washed with antiseptic shampoo.  (He’s all better now, which reminds me that I need to call the vet…)

The shower portion is made of thick glass, and the tub is stone tile, coming up to about knee height.  While there was some reluctance the last time, today Pi couldn’t wait to get in the tub.  I opened the door for him and he jumped right in.  Part of that, I think, probably had to do with his eagerness to get at a water source.  He’ll drink from anything.

Now, Roxie hates getting baths at home.  She’s apparently an angel for professional groomers, but two humans in the backyard with a hose – forget about it.  The bathtub/shower is new, so Roxie never had that option.  Unlike Pilot, she would never get in of her own free will anyway, and no one in the family is really up to lifting her in. 

Pilot is actually a delight to give a bath.  He stands still, doesn’t avoid the water, doesn’t mind the shampoo, and doesn’t try to share the bath with me.  He even gave me kisses as if to say, ‘It’s all right, I understand.  You do what you gotta do.’ 

Now, for a bit of pet parent bragging: while Pilot ‘graduated’ from advanced training class, he’s not the best at applying what he learned in school to life at home.  However, one of the things he’s aces at is a technique called ‘No Street’.  Basically, while we’re on a walk, any time I come to a curb or am about to step into the street, I tell Pilot, ‘No street!’ and even if I keep walking, he’s supposed to stop.

I always put my dogs into a sit when we reach a corner, but I didn’t think Pilot was getting the separate command.  I especially worried about the part where I was supposed to keep walking – Pilot inevitably followed without waiting for a release from the sit, and had a tendency to drag me across the intersection.

I was shocked and thrilled, then, when the day after he graduated, we took a walk, reached the first corner, I said, ‘No street!’ and he planted his butt!  But what if it was a fluke?  It wasn’t.  We walked for seven blocks and each time I said, ‘No street!’ he stopped immediately and sat down, not budging until I’d said, ‘Let’s go.’

He got even better on our next walk – when it came to curbs, I didn’t have to say a word.  He immediately planted his butt the moment the sidewalk started to slope, even when I was still walking.  Between that and his ‘military sit’ (where, when I call him to me, he comes to my left side, turns around so we’re facing the same direction, and sits down), I am super proud of him.  He was the youngest in both the training classes, but he’s the tops in my eyes.


NaNoWriMo Day 10:  Things are…progressing.  My biggest concern now is that I’m writing about my past, and my past is horrendously dull.  My drama is so completely insignificant compared to most people’s.  So my next trick will be finding the angle that will make my story worth reading.  I think it’ll come down to a matter of storytelling, but before I can do that, I just need to get the words on the page, pull my emotional baggage off the plane of my past, if you will.

Given that I’ve written at least two sentences to the effect of, “If my life was a television show, I might have seen it coming,” I’m thinking of writing it as if my life were a television show. It’s an idea worth kicking around; who knows what all else I’ll come up with.


Quote of the Day:

Reasons your dog may not be eating his food:

Wanting to torment the owner

Wanting to “get back at” the owner for some previous wrong

Being in one of his “moods”

Because nothing is ever good enough

Because something is always the matter

Because God forbid the owner’s life should be easy

Because the dog doesn’t like the owner’s cooking, apparently

Because the dog thinks he’s “fat,” which is the owner’s fault for giving him a poor self-image

Because the owner stresses the dog out too much Or something.

– from How to Raise a Jewish Dog, by the Rabbis of Boca Raton Theological Seminary (Barbara Davilman & Ellis Weiner)  I think I need this book.

Link of the Day: Shiba Inu Puppy Cam – this is the most addicting site I have come across on my travels through the internet.  I’m sorry, but a sleeping puppy pile is just about the cutest thing ever.  Warning, if you have any weakness for dogs at all, you will get sucked in!

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 11, 2008 4:59 pm

    Yes! More Pilot! More puppies!

    (not that I don’t love you. But you plus puppies equals excellence)

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