It's bath day

It's bath day yet again.  Typically I bathe the dogs every couple of weeks;  more or less when needed.  In the summer months I try to get one in every week if I suspect fleas.  Fleas are easily killed by some water, suds and a 5-7 min. time span.  I also vacuum the house a lot eliminating the chance of fleas living in the house.  When I bathe the dogs, all their bedding is washed.  I have blankets on most of the beds which makes it much easier to do weekly washing.  I hate pulling those huge beds out of their casing; it is such a hassle.  So with blankets on top I just have to wash the blankets every couple of weeks and the actual bed cover less frequently. 

Luke is in need of a bath, even though he doesn't get dirty from tearing around he has become smellier in his age.  Ahhhh, the old dog smell.  He sleeps a lot which in itself causes him to get stinky.  He has always had more smell than the girls.  Tilley always smelled like a clean blanket; in fact we were just talking about her on the weekend.  My daughter asked my son if he remembered her smell and he said "ya, she smelled like a blanket."  We reminisced a bit about her and I remembered the day we lost her.  I held her tightly in my arms, breathing her smell into my core; there it would stay for the rest of my life.  I will never forget her smell. 

All dogs smell differently, Elsa also smells wonderful but not like Tilley.  Jessie, being that she was a smooth coated Jack Russell was much stinkier in general.  Shedding dogs tend to smell more than poodles; it is the difference in the coat.  Penny is a real stinker, but she has very sensitive skin too, so my daughter must be careful about too many baths.  Yes, a bath strips the natural oil from a dog's coat.  But it also takes the smell away.  There is a fine line between too many baths and not enough.  I have been in the presence of dogs who desperately needed a bath.  One woman who's dog I was shooting said she never bathed her dogs, like in the wild their coats cleaned themselves.  One whiff of her dog let me know that she wasn't kidding about never bathing her; and the feel was horrible leaving a greasing coating on my hand.  No thank you.

Elsa needs more baths when Penny has been visiting often.  The two of them roll in the dirt and mouth each other constantly creating bigtime smell and crunch.  After Penny leaves and Elsa has time to dry she is usually left with a crunchy collar and needs a bath.  So today will be that day.  Both Luke and Elsa will be lathered up, sit for 5-7 min. just in case there are any fleas hanging around and then rinsed, towel and forced air dried.  Then if I have a few extra moments, Elsa will get a quick trim. 

Bathing is a great time to have a really good look and feel of your dog.  I have seen several spots on Luke that we've gotten checked out after a bath.  It is also a bonding time; even though they aren't thrilled with the idea of going into the shower they get to spend one on one with Mom.  That goes for the rest of the process as well, towel drying, forced air drying, brushing and grooming.  It's all about them and building trust.