Our Thanksgiving morning began beautifully. Sunlight came streaming into the bedroom. Opie was sleeping peacefully on his side in between my husband and me. He looked so peaceful and content. I woke up groggy but rested. My husband let Opie out into the back yard and reported that Opie had bolted to his favorite tree and done his duty with enthusiasm and passion. I dropped back off to sleep.
Sometime later my husband let Opie back in. This is what I heard as I burrowed deep into the warm covers.
“Did you have fun out there? … Wow you are really muddy! No, not on the bed… OH MY GOD! WHAT’S THAT SMELL? OFF! OFF! OFF! “
I caught a whiff of something … and my nasal passageways slammed shut — I am a veteran mom and I have great olfactory self defense. I stopped breathing immediately. I pulled the covers farther over my head and shoved my head under the pillow.
“Honey — the dog is a mess you’re going ot have to clean him up!” Said my husband.
Okay, some of you are wondering why the person who let the dog out into the muck that he rolled in is asking the person who was innocently sleeping and minding her own business to deal with this dirty job. Well, here it is. You may recall that Opie was pretty leery of Dad when he was first adopted. Of course, he adores Dad now, but Dad has a lingering concern that because he’s not the top love monkey for Opie he will not get forgiven as easily for cleaning “assaults” as the number 1 love monkey. As you all know, I am Opie’s number one love monkey. He loves me even though I’m the one that takes him to the vet for shots and rude examinations as well as the hated pet groomers. He forgives me every time! So these tasks fall to me. Besides, myhusband had to take the turkey out of the brine and do his magical Thanksgiving voodoo on it — a very important job!
I got up — put on my slippers and my glasses and headed to the living room where there was a brand new bottle of dry shampoo and doggy deodorizer. I went for the Chicken Jerky as well — Opie was going to need some persuading to sit still while I worked this stuff into his hair and brushed and washed him with wipes and rags. Chicken Jerky is my secret weapon.
I went to work. Half a bottle of dry shampoo later, I asked my husband to wet a rag with warm water and some Dawn dishwashing soap! Whatever this stuff was it was not coming out. I’d knocked out 50% of the smell, but Opie was still quite pungent. He was going to compete with the smell of the turkey roasting.
Two of these Dawn filled wash clothes later and Opie and I were headed toward the bathroom. Opie would have his first bath in the house! I should mention we’d been reluctant to do this washing ourselves because his hair is so wispy. I had a horror of washing him and matting him up so badly that we’d have to have his little body shaved.
Turns out it wasn’t so bad. We have a shower/bath that has shower doors. I ran the water and set it perfectly ( I am thankful for our New Tankless Water heater that gives us INSTANT Hot Water — no waiting) Opie and I got into the tub. ( Yes, I was still in my PJ’s.) I set him down in 2 inches of warm water and watched the mud swirl away from his little paws. We didn’t have any special doggy shampoo, but I’ve got kids. Here comes the Suave Kids 2 and 1 Wild Watermelon scented shampoo. It’s kids shampoo, but it even has a dog on it!
By this time Opie and I now have an audience. The boys are up. Gregory gets Opie a big Spiderman beach towel, runs to clean his grooming brush and fetches my blow dryer. Opie had three shampoos and rinses. Michael gave Opie a lot of sympathetic pats.
I would have taken a photo but ALL hands were busy with the dog or with the Turkey, so no camera. Let’s just say the fluffy dog you see in the top right hand corner of this page looked more like a miniature Italian Greyhound than a Schnauzer.
His hair was slicked down completely on his body. I made the water warmer — he was shivering. We got a great lather going, and finally he was rinsed. I dried him off in the shower and then sat down on the closed lid of the toilet to dry him off. Luckily, our heater was going full bore at this hour so all of us were toasty. After some towel drying, Gregory started up the blow dryer. He stood about 3 feet back. My blow dryer can straighten hair and I’ve burned myself with it. I didn’t want Opie get burned. We brushed and dried and brushed and dried and soon he was silky smooth. We took a break from the dryer while Gregory washed Opie’s collar which turned out to be caked in the malodorous stuff. It was even stuck to his tags. (I began to see how people lose their dogs. On Black Friday, I’ll be at the pet store buying Opie a back up collar.)
Michael fetched some diaper wipes so that we could get the last of the goo out of Opie’s eyes. Michael and Gregory dried Opie’s collar.
Finally, he was done — 95% dry, but 100% clean! He looked just as good as he does when we come back from the groomers.
Total time for home grooming operation — 45 minutes!
We just learned something. Opie doesn’t have to wait for the groomers for a bath. Additionally, his hair feels really, really good! Suave is quite good– it’ll do in a pinch.
Opie stayed clean the rest of the day. No more unsupervised backyard time until we locate it, and the gardners come sweep it or dig it away. Our day improved from then on . We shared a lovely meal with Grandma Gloria and Grandpa Joe. Opie had a his own Thanksgiving meal of Innova Kibble with a layer of turkey breast and thigh meat with drippings as well. — that doesn’t count whatever he managed to scavange as I was chopping things for the dressing. He spent most of the day with his nose in the air. I was happy to fill his nostrils with the smells of roasting turkey, candied yams, collard greens and pumpkin pie.
Thoughts from Opie on the situation
How the @#$% was I supposed to know that really cool smelling stuff was going to get me into so much trouble! It smelled different from the last stuff I rolled in. Geez! They are SOOOOOO picky!
I must say that I’d rather spend 45 minutes at home than 5 hours at the groomers, just sitting around and waiting. Mom didn’t cut or clip anything and she even got in the tub with me. All my family was with me. Maybe home baths aren’t so bad. But I don’t like that dryer. It’s too loud.
I can go anywhere in the house. I can roll on everyone’s bed and Michael and Gregory have a lot of sympathy for me. I’ve gotten tummy rubs from EVERYBODY today – even Grandpa Joe and Grandma Gloria. Joe says I’m spoiled.
My dinner was AMAZING! And the house smells like HEAVEN! Grandpa Joe fed me MORE turkey when he took his plate to the kitchen. I heard Mama tell him not too, but he did it anyway. Grandma gave me some too. Later that night as Mom was putting things in the refrigerator she tore me a really good delicious piece — juicey and dark.
I LOVE Thanksgiving!