Monday, April 17, 2017

Washing away the old

Before the bath
Sunday was warm, bordering on hot. We turned on the air conditioning for the first time and I expect it will be on from now until fall. We actually had more "open window" weather this year than we usually do, because the winter was so mild and spring seemed to come early. But it was 85 or more on Sunday and that's outdoor dog washing weather.

Cookie was the main attraction of the day. She had been partially bathed twice before she got here, but she needed a thorough soak-to-the-skin scrubbing. Thankfully, she was probably the best behaved dog I've ever bathed. She hopped up on the platform by herself, let me secure her, and didn't fight or fuss at all when I started wetting her down with the hose. She was very patient and I took advantage of that. I washed, rinsed, and washed again and again. I hosed out her ears and even got her head and face washed and rinsed repeatedly. I went through half a bottle of Dawn but we had a squeaky clean dog when it was over with no trace of her former smell.

The other dog I really wanted to wash was TJ. He hopped up onto the platform for me, but that's where his cooperation ended. He wasn't really bad, but I had four restraint ties on him and he was still looking for a way to get away from me. I got him well washed but I didn't do the ears and I left his face alone, and we settled for a single wash/rinse cycle.

With shepherds and other double coated dogs, the bath is really just the start of the process. Lots of hair comes off while washing, of course, but it's brushing the dog after drying that really removes loose hair. Cookie was as good about the brushing as she was about the bath. She even rolled over to let me brush her belly. I know it must feel good to get all that dirt, grime, and old hair off of her.

Brushing TJ was a different experience. I realized at once that he's still underweight. Although he's put on some weight to cover his ribs, his backbone is still very prominent and was sensitive to a steel brush. The other thing about him is that his hair came off, really off. He's left with patches that aren't exactly bald, but they are just short hair. His fluffy husky coat was largely shed in the process of bathing and brushing. I don't know if that's just the way huskies shed or if he's got an underlying condition that's causing him to lose his hair.

TJ is finally eating well and regularly, so if he's had a nutrition deficit hopefully it will be getting better. Cookie finally ended her hunger strike today as well. I didn't like the fact that she wasn't eating, but she's not underweight so I wasn't so worried. She's got a vet appointment in her future one day this week and I may take TJ in to have him looked at again as well.
Still wet, but clean

TJ was not a happy husky.

The smile came back when the water stopped.

I've never seen a dog lose hair like this. All the old hair is
gone and he's a short, smooth coated dog in certain areas.

Cookie is making herself at home around here. Her recall
is excellent, so good that I'll take her outside off leash.
She had her first pasture romp today, no interest in the ball.
She's doing well in her crate at night and hanging out in
the office with me and the others during the day.

No comments: