We’ve had an amazing run of excellent weather this spring. Today, now officially summer, we headed down to the beach at around 6.30 am with the dogs. It was a gorgeous warm sunny morning, with clear blue sky.
Even at that early hour there were plenty of surfers bobbing about in the calm sea, people doing group exercises, runners and walkers, and people with dogs.
On the far horizon were clouds, very low, and just dark enough to look like distant land.
Oshi and Sasha walked and ran, chased one another, and said hello to other dogs. All safely on the sand — they don’t like the water. Sasha will get her toes wet to fetch a ball, but Oshi’s scared of the sea, even when it’s calm. Of course, on a muddy path he’ll happily traipse through a puddle of dirty water.
The bath problem
It’s been more than a month now since Oshi and Sasha’s last haircut and they’re getting a bit shaggy. And smelly. I’ve been meaning for days to give them a bath. Today, a scorcher, was an obvious candidate.
In bathroom renovations a decade ago we ditched the bath in favour of a great shower.
Renovations in our kitchen led to the laundry sink ending up not entirely accessible, in a cupboard. The washing machine and wall-mounted drier are effective obstacles.
It’s fine for occasional use, but it’s always been a bit of a struggle to give the dogs a bath. When we had the work done that wasn’t a consideration.
Still, until recently we persevered. Then I had the brilliant idea of buying an el-cheapo large plastic storage box.
I put the storage box on the deck, fill it with a few buckets of water and extract the dogs from their hiding places.
Oshi hides nearby — he loves people — but is easily tempted with a treat. I scoop him up and carefully lower him, back legs first, into the water.
Sasha runs further and hides in a far corner. Still, she’s also easily tempted with a treat.
The outdoor bath’s a winner
The outdoor bath works well. I have old clothes on and it’s hot, so getting wet isn’t a concern. The dogs are on the ground, with their little heads over the edge of the tub, so although they don’t like it, they cope.
My biggest problem is getting a sore back from leaning over.
Oh, and while Oshi’s hair soaks immediately, Sasha’s coat is quite water resistant. I have to really work to get it to wet through.
Shampoo, rinse, extract, towel and we’re done. The soapy water gets tipped into buckets and emptied on the garden. The dogs immediately set to drying themselves off on the kitchen carpet or the deck.
I’m not sure I’m the most efficient dog bather around. Two hands aren’t really enough to shampoo, rinse and stop them wriggling. Still, I think they’re a bit less smelly and a tad cleaner. It only took 10 or 15 minutes, too.
And in spite of the sore back, it was a whole lot easier than previous struggles with the sink in a cupboard. Next time I might try it with the bath on a low table. We’ll see.