The Big Black Dog Gets a Bath…..
It is a nice spring day, the sun is shining, and light fluffy clouds hang high in the sky. My dog Zeus is outside in the back yard digging crazily right next to my pink and purple tulips. The ground is muddy from the last three days of rain and at the corner of the yard a big puddle still remains. I call out in a loud voice for him to come; he lifts his big head and looks at me as if he may have just heard something, but is not sure what, so he turns his attention back to the hole he is digging. Today is bath day, the day we both dread, my big moose of a dog that outweighs me is never overly excited to take part in this activity.
My 135 pound Rottweiler finally leaves his crater in the yard as I wave a treat in the air, He clumsily runs toward me as drool hangs from his jowls. Once Zeus is inside, he gobbles the treat so fast that I am sure he didn’t even taste it. I search for all the supplies I will need to get him squeaky clean. I gather up five towels, his shampoo, conditioner, and finally the bath mat for the bottom of the tub so he doesn’t slip and fall. I glance quickly at the shampoo and conditioner as I set them down on the edge of the tub and notice they are half gone already after only three baths. I have to use a quarter of a bottle for each bath because there is a lot of dog to soap up.
As I get everything set up in the bathroom, I peek into the living room to see my dog pretending to be asleep in his bed. He knows I am getting ready to give him his bath and will do anything to get out of it. I pull the grey shower curtain to one side and place the bath mat on the bottom of the tub. Now all I need is to change into some clothes that can get soaking wet. I then find Zeus snoozing in his bed like he has been asleep for hours when in actuality, he was digging crazily in the yard only ten minutes ago. I tell him it is time for his bath, he opens one eye and looks at me, and he then rolls over onto his back for a belly rub, which looks silly because he is the size of a pony. I try not to giggle so he knows I am serious and tell him again to go to go get in the tub because it is time for his bath. Since his belly rub technique is not working, he gets up and goes to the front door looking at his leash, implying now would be a good time for a walk. I sternly tell him that he can go for a walk later, but has to take a bath first. He finally gives up and makes his way slowly and sadly to the bathroom. He jumps in the tub and stands there with a pleading look on his face. He really hates bath time.
I can now start this two hour, back breaking process. I use the shower hose to get him soaking wet and he makes this difficult by shaking all the water off that I am putting on him. Once he is fully soaked, I give the shampoo bottle a good shaking, one big squeeze, and begin to lather. I lather for about fifteen minutes to make sure I cover him well. Once lathered, the shampoo has to sit on him for ten minutes before rinsing. I turn my back for one second to reach for the washcloth to clean his face with and he decides he is clean enough and jumps out of the tub, runs down the hall into the living room dripping soapy bubbles and water behind him as he goes, looking over his shoulder he checks to see if I am following him. Of course I am right on his tail and I am not happy! He knows this and gives me his best version of his sad puppy dog eyes as he sits again in his bed pleading with me that he is clean enough. I don’t say a word to him as the anger boils inside me, all I do is point to the bathroom and I think he knows that finishing the bath is the better choice because he walks slowly with his head down back to the bathtub. Now that the house has had a bath and the dog is back in the tub, I begin the rinsing process of this big black dog followed by applying the conditioner and rinsing again. Now it is time for the towel drying process which soaks all five towels. He shakes off the water doing his best to help me as water splatters the walls and everything in the bathroom, including me.
Now that the dog is clean, my house is not! I first start with the tub which is now full of black hair. I rinse it all to the drain and reach in with a paper towel to grab the huge black harry mass and toss it in the trash. I wipe down everything in the bathroom including the floor before pulling the vacuum out to suck up the remaining hair. The bathroom is finally spotless as I make my way down the hall and into the living room soaking up the soapy water that the beast tracked through there. With the dog clean and the house clean, I change out of my wet clothes and sit down rubbing my lower back where it is aching horribly. This process makes me wish I had a smaller dog instead of a gigantic one!
I look down at Zeus who is lying again in his bed. He is so clean that his black coat looks beautiful, shiny, and silky, although if you were to look close, you would still see the small white dandruff flakes throughout his thick black and tan hair. These little white flakes are caused by his allergies along with ear infections, and one itchy dog. This is the reason for his bath every two weeks and his special shampoo and conditioner which are more expensive than the ones I use on my own hair.
I look out the open window and hear the birds singing, Zeus and I are so glad that bath time is over and try not to think about repeating this task again in another two weeks. Be walks to the back door whining to go outside. I open the door as he takes off into the yard at full speed. I pour a cup of coffee as I look out the window to see my big black dog digging furiously with dirt flying. You wouldn’t know it now, but the big black dog did get a bath!
PLEASE, help us save our big black dog and visit our fundraising link located on our blog page. Thank you for your support!
NEWS FLASH…… Wake up my sweet, sleepy, boy, the Westland Observer wants to do a story about you! A story about Zeus and our fundraising efforts will be in Sunday’s paper, I really hope it helps us reach out to our community for the help we need to save our sweet boy!!!!! Make sure to get a Westland Observer on Sunday to read our story! If you would like to help us raise funds for the medical tests and treatment for Zeus, please visit our fundraising site to make a donation! Thank you for your support!
The bed shakes to the rhythm of a happily wagging tail; I feel eyes watching me along with hot panting breath in my face. My eyes open slowly, taking their time to focus in the early morning light that streams softly through the window. The only thing I can see is the face of my sweet dog Lucky, gazing at me with a look of excitement as his tongue reaches out to lick my face. After he gives me what he considers morning kisses, he looks at me intently, tail still wagging with what looks like a smile on his face. I stretch and look at the clock to see that it is a very early seven am. I look back at my furry friend who is still staring at me and waiting patiently with his head cocked to the side as if he is wondering why it is taking me so long to get out of bed. I reach up and scratch him behind the ear and he leans into my hand and his tail begins to wag faster thumping the mattress loudly.
With a yawn and a groan, I stumble to the kitchen and hear the sound of Lucky’s nails clicking the floor behind me as he follows at my heals. I flick the kitchen light on and it takes a moment for my eyes to adjust as I almost trip over the fur ball beneath my feet. He sits patiently waiting next to me while I start my morning java and the coffee maker comes to life as I look down at my little friend, with his tail still wagging. As the most wonderful smell of my fresh brew creeps into my nostrils, I stagger to the back door and as I pull it open, a flash of brown blows past me and out the door. My little speed demon takes chase after a squirrel that I know he will never catch. With a smile on my face I head to the window to watch him fly through the yard and laugh when the squirrel makes a quick getaway and races up the telephone pole at the corner of the yard. The beeping of the coffee maker brings me back from my morning daze at the window and I pull my favorite mug from the cupboard. I take a nice big sip from my now steaming mug and take a moment to enjoy the wonderful taste, one of my simple joys in life. I know Lucky is waiting for me outside at the door and as I open it, he rushes in and is ready for his breakfast. He sits pretty and waits ever so patiently as I fix his meal and set the bowl in front of him. After my hungry boy gobbles down the kibble as fast as he can, he happily follows me in to the living room to catch a bit of the morning news.
Now that I am awake and my morning coffee has done its job, I walk to the bedroom with a spring in my step. As I fumble through the drawers to find something to wear, I can see out of the corner of my eye, the wagging tail of the little dog that followed me and is now watching me intently in the doorway. Once dressed, I go in search of the collar and leach that belongs to my crazy little friend. He follows me excitedly knowing full well that it is his walk time. He helps me locate the leash and collar, his tail wagging so furiously that his whole body wags along with it. Trying to control himself and not having much luck, he sits and waits for be to put his collar on as a bark escapes his mouth. Now that we are ready, He pulls me to the door and our adventure begins.
As our walk begins, Lucky has his nose to the ground, taking as many smells as he can. He walks fast as though he is on a mission and in a big hurry, looking up every few seconds to look for squirrels. He spots one and freezes as a whine escapes him; he cannot control his excitement and with all his mite darts off to chase it, but the leash catches him and stops him in his tracks. By the middle of the walk, he has now slowed down and is prancing with his nose in the air as if he is the envy of all other dogs. He pulls up alongside a fire hydrant and leaves his mark for all other dogs that walk by after him and we begin our last stretch and head in the direction of home. By this time, he seems a little tired out and is panting as his tongue hangs from his mouth.
Once home, my shadow of a dog drinks a bowl of water before following me downstairs to the laundry room where I throw a load of wash in the washing machine. I take the stairs two at a time back up stairs and start my cleaning as Lucky keeps up right behind me. The wagging tail thumps the floor while I clean the bathrooms, he lies sleepily on the hardwood floor in the kitchen while I clean and put dishes away. Cleaning the bedroom, I realize that making the bed could be a difficult job thanks to the 40 pound mutt deciding it would be great fun to lie in the middle of it as I try to make it around him. I get the vacuum out, and he protectively growls at is as I plug it in and it roars to life. As I push this loud, heavy, sucking machine from room to room, my fierce attack dog continuously barks and lunges trying to bite it, then finally relaxes when the scary machine is turned off and returned back to the closet.
With a growling belly, I head to the kitchen and begin to make dinner as I catch a glimpse of my little brown dog watching me with hopeful eyes. As I cook, he lies by my feet watching and waiting for me to drop a morsel of food for him. I giggle at him as I drop a piece of cheese and pretend not to notice. He inhales it and I am positive he hasn’t even tasted it! I finally sit down to my meal and my adorable little dog sits next to me pretending he is starving and acts like he hasn’t eaten in a week. I show him some tough love this time and refuse to give into him because he will get his dinner as soon as I finish mine.
Now that the house is clean, the laundry is done, the dinner mess is cleaned up, and we both have food in our bellies, it is time for some rest and relaxation. My furry friend and I make ourselves comfortable and cozy in the living room and find something on TV that we both can agree on. I pet my attention seeking pup for a few minutes and he falls asleep fast. He is a tired little guy who has had a long day following me around and helping me clean, cook, and get the laundry done. He has chased squirrels and protected me from the big mean vacuum and in his mind; his days’ work is done. This little lovable, faithful, protective, loyal, understanding, happy little dog is my shadow; He follows me everywhere he can and…… I wouldn’t want it any other way!
For those of you who remember and have fallen in love with my Rottweiler Zeus, I want to update you on his condition… As of tomorrow, we will be cutting his prednisone dose in half. Although the prednisone is keeping his pain under control and enabling him to walk, larger doses for long periods of time can cause major medical issues including diabetes and cushings disease. Because of this, Zeus’ vet keeps trying to get him to a lower, safer dose. Until we can raise the funds to provide medical tests to see what else besides the Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis is happening in his joints, prednisone is the only medication they can give him. In the past we have not been able to lower his dose under 20mg/day because he relapses causing the internal medicine specialist to think something other than the Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis is happening to his joints. They cannot put him on medication for this, other than the prednisone, until they know what else is happening to his joints. It breaks my heart every time he relapses because his severe pain and difficulty walking returns. I do everything I can for him to make him comfortable and give him the highest dose of pain medications the vet will allow, but still feel helpless because I can’t take the pain away for him! I can only hope and pray we are able to raise the funds to provide the medical treatment he so desperately needs so that we can improve his quality of life and allow him to do all the things that dogs love to do!