THE CLEANSING OF THE DOG – Marilyn Armstrong

It costs $60 to get one of our dogs groomed. With three grimy dogs, that comes to a chunk of change and I couldn’t do it. Usually, I manage to find the money somewhere, but this time, there was no hidden money.

Really, we can only wash Bonnie because she is small enough to fit in the kitchen sinks (one end in each sink). Gibbs is too big and too crazy, while the Duke is completely wacko and also way too big. In any case, Bonnie is always the dirtiest of the three. Something about her relatively soft coat and its curliness, but it attracts mud and bugs and poop and things I can’t even talk about in public.

About a week ago, I pointed out to Garry that lacking the money, we were going to have to give Bonnie … a bath. He didn’t look happy. I’m sure I didn’t look happy either, but what must be, must be. This morning, pre showering, we put her in the sink and with a mixture of Dawn for cleansing, Suave for conditioning, the big kitchen scissors, my bamboo comb, and a big blue Turkish towel, we set to do it.

Bonnie was surprisingly calm. Maybe I got the water the way she likes it (tepid) and after all the kids I’ve scrubbed, managed to keep the soap out of her eyes, but she was surprisingly cooperative. The major problem was maneuvering her so the right piece of her could be scrubbed, conditioned, and thoroughly rinsed. Then I had to comb her.

I am not a groomer. When I meet a matte, I cut it out. Actually, I had to cut off a lot of her coat. She’s a Scottish Terrier and her resemblance to a small black sheepdog was purely coincidental. Normally, she gets clipped rather than cut. I do have clippers, but they aren’t the expensive ones like groomers use and they get too hot. Both of us got burned. So it was me and the scissors. I’m proud to say I got her ears looking more like Scottie ears than the groomers usually do … but the rest of her? Well, it is shorter and a lot cleaner. Is it neat and even?


Is it smooth and shiny?


Does she smell better? She smells so delicious that the Duke was filled with lust. Bonnie was not filled with lust and tried to remove his nose. The Duke decided maybe not. Gibbs was just really really happy it wasn’t HIM getting The Bath and I was happy it wasn’t the Duke in the sink. When I finally finished clipping and combing, Garry looked at me, suggested he should clean up the kitchen and I could take a shower. I probably looked about as slimy as I felt. I’m not sure that all the dirt on the dog somehow transfers to the human doing the washing, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

I did not, as they groomers do, preserve all of Bonnie’s very long beard. All it does it get full of food and mud (she’s a digger — head down straight into the mud). But oddly enough, she looks pretty good. I’m sure any professional would sneer at my efforts, but the odeur de doggue with which she normally imbues this household has been reduced by a good 75%.

And she looks clean and cute. No longer the kind of grimy mess that makes you wonder if it’s safe to touch her without rubber gloves.

Categories: Dolls, Marilyn Armstrong, Optics, Photography


19 replies

  1. I am very glad the cats can give themselves a bath. I had to do it a few times due to fleas, and what cats lack in size they more than make up for in sharpness of their claws. They can turn a bathtub into a scene from the Bates Motel if you don’t hold them just right during the process…


  2. We take our dog, a 70 pound Lab/shepherd mix, to the local pet store because it has doggy baths with shampoos and blow dryers there. She doesnโ€™t like it, nor do we, but we do it once a month and itโ€™s only $12 a bath.


  3. Ziggy and Pudge both need a bath. Since my groomer (former groomer) has jacked her prices into the stratosphere, that leaves me to do the deed. I’ve never washed these guys, so it’s gonna be new territory for us all. Pudge was prone to growling and snapping when I first got him, I’m hoping this activity won’t revive that unpleasant habit. Ziggy SHOULD be docile and sweet, which is his nature in general, but one never knows. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is my cleanser of choice, a vet I liked and trusted suggested it. I keep a small bottle on the sink just for the dog wash. I’m glad Bonnie was a good girl and she now smells as sweet as she looks! And why is it that the male of the species (any species) always thinks romance is the answer to any situation? Good on ya Bonnie Girl. Tell HIM who is boss!! ๐Ÿ˜›


    • She got downright snappish about it. We use dawn because it’s non-toxic. The baby shampoo supposedly doesn’t bother their eyes and I used to use it too, but I’m pretty careful about the face and eyes anyway. And we have a LOT of Dawn in the house.


  4. happy diy
    for doggy
    & master ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Phew, what a cost for grooming!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This brings back some very messy memories:)


  7. She’s clean and she doesn’t smell, that’s the main thing. I’m lucky that Cindy is a short-haired dog although having the double coat she does shed a lot. Bathing is tricky. David and I used to do it together, in the bathroom until a DIY dog wash opened in Huonville. We made an outing of it and washed Cindy in their tub with proper hoses and shampoo and conditioner laid on. It cost us $10. It was at a petrol station so after that, we’d wash and vacuum the car as well.
    Now I’m back to washing her at home again in the tub. I tried the shower but she won’t stay in it unless I hold her. Either way, I have to clean the bathroom when I’m done so in the summer I do it outside with buckets of water. There is a mobile dog groomer and I’ve used him two or three times but it’s $80 a time and I can’t afford that every month. It’s another reason it’s unlikely I’ll have another dog after Cindy and certainly not a big one. I can’t lift 25kg of dog so it’s a good thing that she is mostly cooperative.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I recognise this scenario… though I either have to draft in one of her boys to hold Ani while I scrub or get in the tub with her… and she is a heavy octopus of a dog to lift. So far, I haven’t found anything that removes the wet dog smell or even the dry dog aroma… but at least I know she’s clean… for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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