The phrase “terrible twos” doesn’t refer just to age. It can refer also, to quantity. My little man is an irrepressible cheeky little chappie but when paired up with my parents’ Demon Dog, mischievous mayhem has been known to ensue, much as I recounted in my post Alarm Clocks.
My dog Max, like so many Westies, suffers from Atopic Dermatitis – a skin condition much like human eczema which results in itchy patches on the skin which the unfortunate chap then scratches until he’s raw. In addition to capsules, I bath him regularly with a medicated shampoo which is massaged in, left for 10 minutes and then rinsed off. Straightforward, no? *Pauses whilst all those who have never bathed a dog nod vigorously, and those who have laugh sardonically*.
Keeping a small, lathered, shivering dog who is unenamoured with the bathing process in a tub for 10 minutes is a Mission Impossible that Tom Cruise would flinch at. I now consider myself fairly adept at diversionary tactics, with my method of choice being to simply continue massaging the shampoo for the whole 10 minutes. Whilst finger cramp invariably results, my little man loves being stroked along his back and it’s proven even more effective than wafting a chew stick in front of his nose.
As an aside, a sneaky trick to avoid being sprayed from head to food is to rest your hand gently on the back of the dog’s neck so that your fingers curl gently around (note *rest* your hand, don’t grip) his neck. Whilst your hand is resting there, your dog doesn’t shake. Whip the shower curtain shut before letting go, and you, and your bathroom, will be shielded from the deluge.
Max was due for a medicated bath whilst we had Demon Dog as a house guest. Demon Dog was not so much aromatic, as positively pungeant, and in a moment of flagrant foolhardiness I decided I would lather Max, bath Demon Dog whilst Max soaked, then rinse Max off.
The entire time I was shampooing Max, Demon Dog ran round the house crying incessantly because he couldn’t see Max (incidentally, on an occasion where I bathed Demon Dog, Max showed no such loyalty, and knowing exactly what was in the wind, buggered off lest he be next!). The second I let go of Max to seize my next victim, he shook vigorously, covering both me and my bathroom in a shower of medicated droplets. I then nearly herniated heaving Demon Dog, who must weigh the same as a freight train, into the tub whereupon, freight trains being less nimble than my slinky Max, all 4 feet skated in different directions and a resultant tidal wave covered my bathroom floor.
Whilst I was shampooing Demon Dog, I spotted Max on the brink of another shake and promptly adopted the shake-resistant position, at which point Demon dog seized an opportunity and covered the pair of us, thus commencing a Mexican wave system of canine shaking where one would launch an attack the second I let go to deal with the other. By the time I’d suffered a second hernia heaving Demon dog back out of the tub, both I and my bathroom were dripping. Not content with that, Demon Dog took advantage of my engagement in rinsing Max, and ran from room to room, shaking in each and every one.
Bath the Terrible Two? Never again!