Thursday, May 21, 2009

Part Two-The Bath

I recently wrote an article about tips for your dog to become a Canine Good Citizen. One of the requirements involves "welcoming being groomed"-- and, while the dog isn't tested on this specifically, that would probably include cooperating when bathing. Kelly still has some ways to go in this department.

The last time Kelly was groomed in TransFURmations mobile grooming, she struggled in the large, unfamiliar tub, trying to climb out repeatedly. Melissa, the groomer, gently coaxed Kelly along. She is gentle and calm with stressed dogs, which made me, and Kelly, feel a lot better. She ended up splashed and soaked but got the job done. Then, came the blow dryer. Kelly objected to the noise, nipped at the air coming out of the hose, and struggled the whole time. Again, Melissa was a calm, cool professional.

This time, I came up with an idea that I thought would help Kelly's stress level. We'd achieved relative level of comfort bathing her at home. If we filled up the tub first, while she was out of the room, the sound of the rushing water didn't frighten her. She'd improved greatly and tolerated the bath fairly well. I asked Melissa if she'd mind if we bathed Kelly ahead of time at home. She said sure. Again, her willingness to be adaptable to our needs made me feel like she was putting the dog's best interest above all else. I appreciated that!

So I filled up the tub with nice warm water, then my husband Mike led Kelly into the bathroom. She wasn't crazy about the idea, but didn't fight too much when he lifted her in. We used two cups to pour over her, and my husband took one side while I took the other. She tried to climb out numerous times, but otherwise cooperated.

After, we dried her with towels, combed her out, and let her air dry. This avoided the blow dryer issues too. She is so frisky and happy after her bath! She runs around the house and is so playful!

Tomorrow: Part Three, The Results!

What I Learned from My Dog: Sometimes we have to bear unpleasant procedures gracefully--or, as gracefully as we can. Also, cleansliness is not negotiable.

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