How Washable is Your Dog?

Your humble host washes Hawken the Wolfhound last night.
Your humble host washes Hawken the Wolfhound last night.
Photo by Abby S. M. Barron
Photo by Abby S. M. Barron

Every dog falls somewhere on the washability index, from “Okay, this group of four-year-olds is soaping me while I calmly sit in a red wagon” to “I will kill you the next time you lift that garden hose.”

We don’t use groomers. Abby worked for a veterinarian for years and knows how to do all that stuff, so she and I take care of it, including washing our dogs. Chihuahuas Max and Sierra, who have both passed away, were tolerant of baths but not enthusiastic, while Summer the  Chihuahua is still figuring it out. One thing Summer does surprisingly well is get her nails trimmed.

Our front porch ended up resembling a rastafarian barber shop.
Our front porch ended up resembling a rastafarian barber shop.

Hawken doesn’t get along with water. To bath him, I have to leash him to a rung at the bottom of the stairs on the front porch.

If Hawken looks particularly filthy, it’s because he is: to keep cool in the summer, he wallows in holes he’s dug under the back porch. If it has rained recently, he gets even muddier, and after we wash him, it’s difficult to get him dry enough that he won’t get completely filthy as soon as he lies down for the night.

I knew better than to dry Hawken with a good towel, so instead I used this car wash towel, which he enjoyed shredding.
I knew better than to dry Hawken with a good towel, so instead I used this car wash towel, which he enjoyed shredding.

I made an effort to cut some of the mats out of his fur, which are just tangles of hair mashed together when he lays in the grass or dirt.

He’s such a happy dog, though, and while he seems super-annoyed to be getting bathed, he is then instantly glad to play with us. Last night as I was drying him, he decided it was a game, and before the game was done, the towel was torn in half.

Abby and I use a dog shampoo called Plum Silky. It is foamy, smells good, and leaves the dogs' hair soft.
Abby and I use a dog shampoo called Plum Silky. It is foamy, smells good, and leaves the dogs’ hair soft.

1 Comment

  1. Dauphine’s about a 7 on the wash ability scale. Not that we’ve bathed her much. The vet told us that her breed comes equipped with this waxy coating that allows her to auto-clean. Such a nice feature!

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