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Bath Time



Cricket is too small to take a bath in the whole bathtub, and we don’t have a plug to keep the water from draining, so we use a plastic storage box that’s just her size. We fill it up with water and dog shampoo and set it in the bathtub. I dress for the occasion, rolling up my pants, removing socks and shoes, and covering up the rest of my clothes as much as possible with the green kitchen apron that I never wear in the kitchen.

Cricket hates bath time. I can get her into the little tub, but she shivers and tries to climb out. After the soap and scrub phase, her grandma lifts her out of the tub and wraps her in a towel while I empty, rinse, and refill the plastic box with clean water. There have been times when she’s needed three dunkings, because the water gets so saturated with dirt that she needs an extra soaping before she can be rinsed.

She resents this process as much as you’d expect her to.

As soon as she’s been rinsed clean and cuddled in a towel by her grandma, she wriggles her way to freedom and then starts to growl and run and slide across the increasingly wet bathroom floor.

Then, when she’s allowed out of the bathroom, she runs to Grandma’s bed to roll around on the quilt and grumble and then she jumps to the floor and races back and forth across the apartment like a crazed animal because she is so mad at us! How dare you get me wet! How dare you wash off my wonderful perfume! How dare you make me shiver and trap me in water and dry me with a towel! How dare you!

One benefit of the running, shaking, craziness extravaganza, is that it does a lot to dry her hair. She goes from the shrunken down version of herself back to full fluff.

I don’t love giving her baths. She finds them so distressing; and I have to crouch the whole time and scrub poop and try to keep her form jumping to freedom. I know it’s in her best interests to be clean, and I can be firm and mommy-like when I need to be. But I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not hurting her, as she alternately bares her teeth at me, and whimpers. I repeat a mantra to myself, I am not the bad guy, I am not the bad guy, but I don’t think Cricket agrees with me.

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

12 responses »

  1. Lol. There are just certain things dogs do not enjoy and it all depends on the dogs as well. Alex, my girl, usually follows me to the bathroom and waits by the carpet until I come out again. When I bathe her, very seldom for it does dry her skin, I tell her, “Get in”. Meaning the bathtub and she lets me give her a bath without a problem. She does not seem to mind and Thank God for that.

    • Cricket’s trainer called her “relentless,” back when I still had hope for training her. And there was no water involved in that class. Sometimes I dream that I’ve become thouroughly disciplined about training her and Cricket has followed suit, and then I wake up.

  2. You are brave. I take my dog to the groomer. I would never be able to keep him still if I tried to give him a bath. He hates water.

  3. Our Chicki doesn’t like baths much either, but she turns it into fun by racing madly around afterwards.

    • I don’t think Cricket is having fun when she zooms around after bath, I think she is losing her mind. She especially likes to use our beds as scratching posts and she gets this raging puppy look on her face, which is ridiculously cute.

  4. I can so relate to this. A growl only a loving mother can love.


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