Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bath Time

Emma came to me in rather a smelly state.  She had lived her life mostly outdoors, and it showed...errr, smelled.  Bad.  So I decided a bath was in order.  No problem, right?  Labs like water.  This should be easy. 

My first clue came when I gave each of the other dogs a rawhide to munch on while I was busy with Emma, and lured Emma to the bathroom with her rawhide.  As soon as we started to enter the bathroom, she dropped the rawhide and tried to run away.  At this point there was no water present, no towels, nothing to indicate a bath was coming.  But the sight of the empty bathtub was enough to make her give up her treat and send her running for cover. 

No big deal, I thought.  I have given baths to at least 20 or 30 dogs, and 10 cats, most of whom did not wish to be bathed. I can handle an unhappy dog in the bathtub. So I went and got Emma, and picked her up and placed her in the bathtub.  Fortunately the tub is enclosed by sliding shower doors so she could not jump out. 

We started off easy.  She huddled at one end of the tub, and I turned on the water at the other end.  I got her a little bit wet, and the mud just ran off of her.  Then she figured out how to use her nose to open the sliding door and jumped out of the tub.  And shook herself - and muddy water - all over the bathroom. 

"Okay, I can handle this", I thought.  I put her back in the tub and tried again.  This time I got her covered with shampoo before she got out.  At this point she was a bit panicked.  She ran all over the bathroom trying to find a place to escape from the evil bathtub.  But I couldn't let her go with shampoo all over her - and unfortunately it was too cold out to just rinse her off with the hose outside.  So I got some beef treats, and we spent some time just hanging out in the bathroom while she calmed down.  She started coming to the tub and even would put her feet over the edge to get a treat from me.  But she wouldn't get back in.  It was getting late and I didn't think she'd make any more progress right then, so I decided to call in reinforcements.  Fortunately my husband Dave was home and he came in and helped me get Emma back in the tub.  Then he held the doors closed while I rinsed the shampoo off of her as best I could.  At that point I wasn't worried about her getting clean - I just wanted to get enough shampoo off that she could get out of there.  So a few minutes later we let her out of the bathtub, and she again did her freaked out running around and trying to escape.  She even jumped up into the bathroom sink at one point.  The dog is seriously scared of baths. 

So now I have a slightly cleaner dog that is a failure as a lab.  She won't fetch, and she doesn't like water.   Hopefully someone out there will want a slightly smelly Labrador Failure. 


meowmeowmans said...

Oh, poor Emma (and poor you and Dave, too)! She looks sweet, and like a real character. Love the last picture.

My family had a sweet and gentle lab mix growing up. He definitely did NOT get the "water-loving" labrador gene ... if we went anywhere near the hose, he ran the other way. And when we would go to the beach, he'd gingerly approach the water line in the sand, but would turn tail and run whenever a wave made its way in. ;)

Bobby said...

If they don't like a bath it is so hard even little Pip wiggles and escapes several times, and yet he goes in water outside.
Best of luck.

kissa-bull said...

stinky winky emma
pibble sugars
the houston pittie pack

Anonymous said...

OH NO!!! tonight I was going to finally bath Piper. She's been here a week, but a bath - which will most likely be the first one she's ever received in her long 2 years - and after such trauma in her life, I thought I'd wait til she gained a little more trust in her loving foster mom. Now, though ... makes me think I might just get out the wipies! ;)

BerniceK said...

you should have called me Laurie. Lexi used to be an escape artist but now I think I have her settled down a little and she doesn't mind it so much. We could have double teamed her and you wouldn't have had to bother Dave!

hero said...

That was quite a hand full there with Emma, huh! Hope Emma will take it better next round after her initial encounter. Lab failure or Lab extraordinaire?

Licks, hero