So, today was the day. It was 80 degrees here in my little corner of SW Pennsylvania. Rain, starting tomorrow, and as far as the eye can see. Today. Do or die. Bathe or bust.
Let me explain: The two Great Pyrenees, Levi and Xena, are on the same sort of bath schedule as Queen Elizabeth I of England, they get one twice a year, whether they need it or not. And it was time.
Lord, they hate it. At about 325 lbs the pair, it’s an ordeal. Not that they’re nasty. They’re never nasty. What they are is passive aggressive. Both of them. What their body language says is something like “OK. I’ll stand here. If I must. But I’m going to make it as difficult for you as possible. And I’m not going to cooperate at all.”
I thought I’d seen every aspect of passive-aggressive technique during my two years as a moderator on Ricochet. But I was wrong. Levi and Xena are experts. They wrote the book. We could all learn from them.
Today, I did a little better than I have in the past. I bought a “chain/choke” collar, just for the duration of the procedure. Ordinarily, I’m not a fan. But I’m sick and tired of turning my head for a moment (literally, as Joe Biden would say, for a “moment”) and having one or the other of them slip their collar and run off. Getting into the spirit of the thing, I also bought a metal tie-out. No chomping through that, either.
And, I organized things a little better. Mindful of their tendency to step just outside the range of the hose sprayer (warm water, I hasten to add), or at least to turn themselves so that the part of them I want to get wet or address is out of reach, I moved the venue so that everything was in reach, and so that no part of them would be out of range.
I had everything under control. The bathing procedure actually went quite well. I don’t ever enjoy holding either of them up by the tail because they object to having their nether parts sprayed and soaped, but I managed it (thank God for the two prophylactic Aleve I took before I began. No flies on me, which is another reason I do this as early in the Spring as I can. No flies.)
Scrub, scrub, soap, soap, rinse, rinse. Till every last vestige of that slimy soapy residue in their fur is gone.
They were beautiful. Clean. White. Shiny.
Then, the whole “dry with a towel” part. They both love that.
And, let them go.
That’s when they launched into their Grammy-award winning performance:
We could’ve had it all
We could’ve had it all (where are my treats? Rolling in the dir-uh-uhrt)
It all, it all, it all, (you’re gonna wish you never had done this)
We could have had it all (you’re gonna wish you never had done this)
Rolling in the dirt (feels and smells so good, rolling in the dirt)
You had my heart inside of your hand (you’re gonna wish you never had done this)
And you gave me a bath (I don’t love you anymore, rolling in the dirt)
Rolling in the dir-uh-uhrt . . . . yeah, yeah, yeah . . . .
Just wait till the Fall, you.