Dog Baths

August 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

Before the boss and I moved here to the reservation we lived 5 miles southwest of Franklin between 2 hog farms. For more than 20 years we raised and showed our beloved Miniature Schnauzers in 12 states. Because of the dogs we met and made friends with many great folks from all walks of life all over the country and the world. These friends are still enjoyed thanks to Facebook. I have dog friends on 5 continents.

During most of the time that we showed our dogs I worked 7 days a week, and getting weekends off to go to dog shows I almost had to take vacation days. Showing dogs is a lot of work and the boss and I spent many hours grooming, stripping and training our little “monsters”. But, it was fun and we were much younger then and the long days and nights didn’t take their toll until the later years.

This is the story of one memorable weekend. Like all our dog show weekends it started on Thursday evening when I prepped the motor home with water and checked oil and tires and everything else needed for a safe trip. Friday the boss loaded clothes and food and when I arrived home we would load the dogs and head out for the dog show. This weekend we awoke Sat morning to rain and rainy dog shows are not the most fun but if you win it is not too bad. However, this weekend not only did it rain both days, we did not win making it a very bad weekend. Trips home after sucking the hind tit are always a long and somewhat painful endeavor. This drive was even more so because it poured down rain all the way to the house.

As we arrived home the rain was beginning to stop and we decided to put the dogs in the kennel run to go potty and run off some energy before going to bed, while I spent the next 30 minutes unloading the motor home and doing the things you must do after all such trips. It was 11:30 and time for bed. I closed the garage door and let the dogs in from the kennel. Mud! They were covered with mud. Dripping mud! Their faces and beards and furnishings (the hair on the legs if you didn’t know) were caked with the damn mud. 6 of the 8 dogs are absolute mud balls including the 2 we were showing at the time. Evidently they had seen or smelled a mouse or chipmunk and the hunt was on. Schnauzers are terriers you know and vermin is their game. They had dug a huge hole in the kennel trying to get under the fence hoping to catch the critter. I had to use a shovel to back fill the hole and then the next evening go buy concrete stepping stones to cover the hunting grounds of the killers.

The boss said to put them to bed and we can clean them up tomorrow. But, I said, ‘It is tomorrow and dried mud is harder to remove and plus it stains the hair and we will have to wash muddy bedding and clean muddy crates.” The bathing began. It’s midnight and I’m tired and need a shower and have to get up at 4:30 to go to work. I am not a happy camper.

Mud seems to be somewhat related to super glue because it doesn’t just rinse out. The dogs had to be washed twice to get all the mud out. The non-showing dogs were washed first and put to bed wet. They could dry as they slept. But the 2 dogs we were showing were a different story. The hard hair of the schnauzer coat is never supposed to get wet. It curls and that is a no no and they, as luck would have it, had the most mud. It was all over them.  Because of all the mud they received a soaking bath and immediately put on the grooming table and blown dry and that process takes about a half hour to make sure all the hair is dry and straight.

It is now after 2:00 am and I really need a shower and if I remember right the clock said 2:30 when I crawled under the covers. Needless to say it was a very short night and a very long Monday and after dig proofing the kennel run area that evening I went to bed very early.

Oh! The things we do for our dogs.

Thanks for listening.

Richard Isley

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