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Print

Nothing friendlier than a wet dog

August 26, 2011 at 04:03 PM

The State Journal-Register

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It was a hot afternoon. I was already soaking wet from working outside. Mickey and Toby had just finished rolling in the freshly mown grass. They had shown little interest in helping me mow, but were delighted with the results.

Sweat was dripping off the brim of my hat, but I had not yet reached the point of total saturation, so I thought, “What the heck. I’ll get out the tub and the shampoo and give the dogs a bath.”

When he insisted on working through a pop-up summer shower that frequently turned into a gully washer, Dad would remark, “It doesn’t matter; you can only get so wet.” I was quickly reminded just how wet that is.

I’ve seen Toby dog paddle in an icy pond or jump into a muddy creek to retrieve a bird. When the game is on, getting wet doesn’t enter his little liver-and-white head. But if there is no bird involved, his avoidance of water would embarrass most cats.

Toby has seen the bath equipment come out before. By the time I had the towels piled up and the tub full of water, he had his stubby little tail between his legs and was howling loud enough to scare away werewolves. I tried to tell him in 30 minutes it would be over. Thirty minutes in dog years must seem like an eternity.

At the edge of the tub, inches from a nice warm bath, Toby went limper than 40 pounds of overcooked linguini. When I picked him up to put him in, he instantly regained all his hunting muscle tone. The dog-sized tub suddenly became big enough for both of us, with me on the bottom. Toby — all four feet in the air — was on top.

He was still howling for all he was worth. At that point, his worth was dropping faster than the stock market in 1929. I’ve never been in a greased pig contest, but it can’t be any slicker than trying to reverse positions with 40 pounds of Brittany — so much for the “you can only get so wet” theory. Somewhere at the bottom of the tub were my hat and the bottle of shampoo.

Holding Toby with one hand and getting the lid off the bottle with my teeth, I nearly drowned. If you’ve never had a mouthful of flea shampoo, it is not as appealing as you might think. Soaped, scrubbed and rinsed, neither one of us will have to worry about fleas for at least a year.

When the last of the lather was gone, Toby shook off enough water to put out a brush fire. He stopped howling, he started wagging his tail and licking my wet chin. His goal had been achieved. I was wetter than he was. He jumped up on me, and without a hint of remorse, shook himself off once more.

Nothing is friendlier than a wet dog.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Thanks for making me laugh!
Great story!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 02:45 PM

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