95: Wet Diggity Dog

95: Wet Diggity Dog

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?

Wet Diggity Dog

Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.

~Franklin P. Jones

I am the proud owner of a fur-lined bathtub. Some people have fuzzy slippers; I have a fuzzy bathroom. It happened on a week-night, when I opted to give the dog a bath rather than watch the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. Ginger, our 100-pound chocolate Lab, hated baths.

Getting her into the bathroom was the easy part. Keeping her there proved to be the workout. I coaxed her into the tub, where, initially, she stood motionless with her tail dropped and head hung low. The only things that moved were her eyebrows, alternately twitching as she stared up at me with a pitiful expression that said, “I thought you loved me.”

She stood silent as I soaked her from head to tail, but the moment I popped the top on the shampoo, she attempted to scale the wall. I tried to work fast and keep up, adding shampoo and scrubbing her fur as she played Slip’N Slide on the porcelain.

I thought I was a step ahead of her, but without warning, she leapt straight up, sending me backward. My backside met the floor hard enough to rattle the mirror on the wall. One hundred pounds of furry, foamy dog stood on top of me. There we were, nose to nose, reading each other’s minds. Mine said, “Ow!” Ginger’s said, “I hate you.” By the time I wrangled her back into the tub, I was up to my armpits in dog hair and had lost a shoe.

Halfway through the rinse cycle, her body leaned to one side and she tilted her head. I knew what was coming next and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. It started at the tip of her nose. She wobbled from side to side and her ears began to flap. I dropped the sprayer to the bottom of the tub, water shot toward the ceiling and rained down on us. I lunged toward her, took a handful of wet fur in each hand and screamed, “Stop!” Her body gyrated and she flung wet dog hair, water and shampoo across the room.

Giving her tail a few quick flicks, she attempted another escape. I now had shampoo in one eye, was trying to control the sprayer with my right hand and doing my best to contain a bundle of slippery fuzz with my left. It wasn’t a pretty sight. The dog-scented steam made my hair droop and my mascara run, and I smelled like a wet bath mat.

Standing ankle-deep in a marsh of wet towels, I finished the rinse cycle as clumps of gloppy dog hair slid down the shower walls and filled the drain. The sound of the water shutting off triggered another full-body shake, but this time I was ready. I tossed a towel across Ginger’s back, took hold of her tail and flung my body over hers. We both hit the floor with an “oomph,” and she scurried madly on the tile, trying to escape the confines of the bathroom as I attempted to towel her dry.

The minute the door opened she raced through the house like a rabid ping pong ball. With eyes wide and tongue flapping, she did laps through the kitchen, over the couch, down the hall, under the table, behind the chair and back down the hall. As much as she hated bath time, she loved the crazy, canine celebration that followed.

It took me an hour to clean my dog and twice as long to clean my bathroom. I rinsed the tub, wiped the walls, mopped the floor and did a load of laundry that consisted of eight towels and my soggy clothes.

It was the next morning that Ginger got her revenge. I stood in the shower, washing my hair, when something fell from the ceiling and landed on my shoulder. Spider! The biggest, hairiest, brown spider that I’d seen in my life. I did what any logical woman would do. Screamed at the top of my lungs and flung myself out of the tub. I ran out the bathroom door, flailing my arms and slapping at myself as if I were under some sort of naked bumblebee attack. By the time I reached the end of the hall, I realized that my assailant was actually a glob of wet, leftover dog hair.

As I turned back toward the bathroom, there sat Ginger with a dog-smile on her face, swinging her tail so hard that her whole body wagged. I had always known that dogs could love, feel guilt, express happiness and even pout. And right then and there, I learned that dogs can laugh. For Ginger, justice had been served.

~Ann Morrow

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