I gave my dog a bath today. He is 6 years old now, so you would think that I have perfected the art of Dog Bathing by now. But, alas, that is not the case. I used to bathe him in the backyard using a garden hose, but my back (after having two children) was not up to the challenge. So unless they invent a motorized, squatting machine, I don't think I'll ever attempt this method again without scientific proof that it is indeed the superior method.
I spoke to a friend about my back-and-dog-bathing woes, and he told me that he bathed his dogs in his shower. At first, I thought, "That is utterly ridiculous!" But, after I gave the idea more thought, I decided it had at least one thing going for it - it would solve my back issue since we have a sitting shelf-like area in the shower that takes up about 1/4 of the space. That size could easily hold my rescue beagle/German shephard mix dog. We also have a detachable shower head, so my work shoul dbe greatly minimized. Outstanding! So, this morning I decided to give it a try.
Getting my dog into the shower was the first hurdle. He was surprisingly receptive to getting into the shower (probably not aware of the what was to come), but he needed my help to lift him onto the shelf. Still, this was much better than trying to chase the dog around the backyard with the hose. For those keeping score Shower = 1; Outside = 0.
I used the detachable shower head to wet the dog down. Again, he surprised me by not trying to escape, and he seemed to enjoy the fact that the water was warm and not freezing cold. Shower = 2; Outside = 0.
Then came the fun part. Although my dog had not yet tried to run away, he had managed to plaster himself to the glass wall of the shower. So, any attempt I made to push him towards me (so I could wet the other side of his body) was met with his feet scrambling for better support in order to further press himself into the glass wall. I finally had to put the shower head in my mouth (THAT'S RIGHT) and use both hands to hold his body against mine. Yes, this sounds as ridiculous as it looked, and no, it did not work. Not to mention the fact that my dentist would screech if she heard the nice grating noises of teeth on metal. Shower = 2; Outside = 1.
Taking a mental step back to assess this situation, I watched as my dog happily pressed himself against the glass again. Finally, I gave up, picked him up, and attempted to flip my dog around 180 degrees. He is 50 pounds, so this was a challenge, but I didn't get a single scratch on me. I certainly freaked the dog out. Once he was in place, I was able to wet him down and shampoo him before I flipped him back around again to shampoo the other side. I repeated this process to rinse him off too, and all the while I swear my dog was smirking at me. In the past when I had washed him outside, he would run around, but in circles so I could get all parts of his body rinsed off without breaking a sweat. Shower = 2; Outside = 2.
Of course, the shower process takes a lot less time, and I think I was able to rinse him off more thoroughly. Shower = 3; Outside = 2.
But, the outside process allowed me to get a nice tan at the same time. Shower = 3; Outside = 3.
Which causes skin cancer... Shower = 4; Outside = 3.
... I think what it really comes down to is what you are willing to put up with when it comes to maintaining your dog and keeping him healthy. I felt like I had more control over the situation when I washed him in the shower. Of course, there was the whole issue of dog hair in the shower drain, but I guess I'd rather have that problem than trying to pick up huge chunks of hair blowing around in the wind. Again, control is everything.
But, my problems with control are another story...