Bathing The Devil

Posted: August 8, 2013 in Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,


We have three shih-tzu dogs at home, and they are all roughly 5 years old. Before we had even one of these dogs, it was unknown if I could even have a dog because of allergies. Thankfully, these dogs are hypoallergenic, so it turns out that I can. Now, I cannot imagine life without having a dog.

For the most part, these dogs are a lot of joy. They’re pretty clean, they rarely bark, and mostly get along. The first one we had, Leroy, is more of a curmudgeon, liking his solitude. Our third dog, Moonie, is half the size of the other two, but is clearly the boss. She’s afraid of her own shadow, and when there is thunder or fireworks, we wish we could give her Prozac.

You may have noticed I didn’t mention the second dog. I’m getting to that.

Leroy and Moonie are everything you’d expect in a dog. They beg for treats. They do dog things. They act, well… dogs. Spoiled for sure….but still, dogs. You can depend on their behaviour. It is consistent and predictable, and so makes life with them that much easier.

And then there’s John.

John. I’ve mentioned him before. He’s our special dog. Leroy is our dog, and John is Leroy’s dog. At least, that’s what we used to say. But John has defied all expectations of him. First, since he is almost deaf, he needs a little more patience from us to convey what we want of him. Second, he also happens to be almost completely dumb. By dumb, I don’t mean ‘mute’. Shih-tzus are ranked 87th on the list of the 100 dogs in terms of intelligence. But John is WAY lower than that. He is probably 120th or so.

I once told you about how he has nightmares, and these occasions are the only times he actually uses his vocal chords. He howls like a coyote, and scares the crap out of us. But there is one thing that we do that drives him nuts, which truly separates him from the other two dogs…bath time.

Bath time for John is a crazy, scary, tumultuous activity that is not for the faint of heart. I bathe the other two first because with John, I usually need a drink or two. When I finally get him in the tub, it’s kind of like a Mexican Standoff. He looks at me. I look at him. I swear. He looks dazed and confused. He peers down at the water around his feet and then glances up at me as if to say ‘what is this stuff around my paws?’ That’s usually when I get scared.

One thing in particular about John in the bath is his hind area. He does not like to be touched there at all. But that area is usually the reason why he needs a bath in the first place. I have to try all kinds of ‘slight-of-hand’ tricks, I sing to him (I know, he’s almost deaf. The singing is for me). And, for the most part, it works. We dig through it. We get the job done. He comes out clean, pissed off, and then pouts for a day or so. However, the last bath time produced a first.

I have to bathe him without a t-shirt on, because he splashes so much I’m soaked anyways. But I am going to have to rethink that now because of what he most recently did. As I was completing the ‘area’, using all my tricks in the book, I had to reach over him to get the last spot….and John latched on to my armpit.

Let me explain to you what John’s mouth is like. He’s not a very big dog. But he has a huge mouth. It kind of defies logic, really. But suffice it to say that when he bites, he really gets in there. And my armpit was like the teat of a cow to a calf for him. He got on there, and he was not going to let go.

Had it not been for the swift intervention of my son, I likely would have had to go to the hospital to have him extracted. I’m pretty sure he had armpit hair stuck in his teeth. His face smelt of ‘Old Spice’ deodorant. I slept with a pillow in my armpit, and the next day walked around with an ice pack in there.

And so, if you see me with a little black dog in the back of my truck going through the car wash…well, that’s John!

  1. jennypellett says:

    I like that you call a dog John – a human, not a doggy name.

  2. Stuart says:

    Know exactly what you mean Bill! We always had Rottweilers for years then we got a male Shitzu ! Wow , not much difference really except I’d say our Shitzu Max is a lot tougher lol!

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