Dog Parenting Update 1/13/2015 “Bath time”


Dog Parenting Update 1/13/2015 “Bath time”

Well, as you might expect if you are my own personal stalker #moreliketheHolySpirit, Ella and Ted just received baths. Ella is currently trying to inspire Ted to play with her (violently) as it he is perched in his spot on the couch.

They have a set bath time routine. It is usually me that gives them baths, because for whatever reason it just ended up that way. My mom brushes them. Lauren does nothing when she is home. “Ella is your dog”, after all (lol). Don’t tell Ella that. She’ll burst into your space and bustle her way through your crossed arms and cynicism, like she ever cared.

But yeah, bath time. It went a little differently this time, because I tried to ease them into it by trapping them with familiar things. On the one hand, now they know I will trap them easier. I was making up weird voices and songs, and they usually think that means I will play with them, because it usually does. We took a detour into the bathroom, where they normally interrupt my quiet time. So far so good. Because they pay no attention to detail and only notice the attention I give them, I strategically sit on the toilet lid and kick closed the door. I had put the towels and dog shampoo and whatnot strategically in place before I started this process. Come at me, bro.

I totes trap them. Ella always gets bathed first, because she’s willing and Ted hides. She always gives off a gross amount of fur and hair; I swear we should strain the water with a clean fly swatter or something like it’s a pool so that Teddy can also use it. He couldn’t this time.

She is used to my voice, and because she really likes me interacting with her regardless of the circumstance, I sang to her with Rend Collective in the background so she would behave and just let me do it. As long as you keep eye contact, you’re golden.

This time, I mixed their shampoo with about 4 ounces of water to dilute it some so that I can actually get it out within 15 minutes max. I added a little dog conditioner to Ted’s, because he gets dry Poodle skin. That, and oatmeal shampoo really helps his dog skin probs.

After the water was going again for Ted, Ella was gearing up to jealousy and the fact that my attention would be with him, so I let her crawl into my lap. At this point, I had wrapped her like a tiny lamb in a couple towels, and because she likes attention, I dried her off slowly. She also has a lot of hair.

But yeah, she wouldn’t get out of my lap and Ted was still hiding, perched in a nest of a couple pairs of pajamas, near the trashcan. He doesn’t make eye contact when he really does not want to do something. After several minutes of Ella being obnoxious, the water in the bathtub becoming slightly cooler (he’s sensitive with temperature), I eventually turned away from him, scooted towards him on my butt, scooped him up quickly and just put him in the tub. The betrayal.

The first moments in the bathtub are always the most frightening for Ted. He isn’t one for big changes all at once, and he normally does best with consistency and silence. But, the music was already on, so I just kept singing like I was and he settled down after I started working water into his fur. He’s rather waterproof, so it’s like you have to pet him with water in your hands. He is so much easier to wash than Ella. She has a freaking undercoat.

The best part about giving Ted a bath is when you scoop him out and he’s completely panicking somewhat. I hold him so some of the water drips off, and then I wrap him like he wants: like a baby. It’s like the Madonna and freaking Child, but its Haley and Teddy the Poodle. He just does his thing, and Ella looks at him like murder from the floor, and jumps a little when I put him onto the floor because she’s waiting ‘til I turn around to rip into him. Not gonna happen.

They always get a treat when they are done. Blame my mom for that habit. They run around the house, chase each other, roll on literally everything that isn’t nailed down and as hard as a rock, and then some. At that point, Ella barks enough to level a small city, and I make them sit and they get a treat. It’s like rocket science.

It’s funny, because Ella gives me a lot of side eye lately. She is starting to chase me here and there, but she’s not okay with it most of the time. Teddy likes to sit with me anyways, but he’s being extra affectionate these days. He waits for me to sit on the couch, he stares at me from across the room and looks vulnerable because he knows it will work, and then when I sit on the couch he tries to lick my eyes and face. It’s ridiculous. He likes to stick out his tongue and lick the air when he’s happy and can’t reach (Oh hell no, I’m not that weird; save it for cleaning Ella’s eyes, Ted). It’s like watching a frog dog try to catch flies, and his breath just kind of stinks and he doesn’t even notice because he’s still trying to get at my eyeballs. Ella is more into protecting me and the house, but she can distinguish better what is going on and I try to listen more when she’s seriously freaked out. We found a mouse yesterday living in our pantry. Despite some professional level pantromimicry (“pantomime” + “pantry” + “mimicry”), they just looked at me with heads cocked, ears up, and seriously dumb. Sigh. I never realized that I was the kind of person who screams when a mouse comes towards them, but yeah, great. All the stereotypes and more, eating saltines out of my cabinets, and leaving little remains of bigotry and the fact that you don’t have to be a prima donna to panic when something small and furry scurries your way.

They may not be dogs, but they are certainly frogs, children, and more than anything, goobers. I like it when they want to sit with me and choose to freely. It’s a nice feeling.




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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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