Bathing a mountain (dog)

By Danielle Rodgers

How to give your Bernese mountain dog a bath

1. Notice your Bernese mountain dog smells like old socks.

2. Attempt initial brushing to remove excess hair (so as to not plug the drain of bathtub).

3. Chase your dog around your house for 10 minutes trying to get him to stay still for brushing.

4. Outwit him by cornering him in a small area such as the space between the front door and the freezer.

5. Wedge self in small space also (wrap leg around dog’s body to prevent escape).

6. Commence brushing.

7. Attempt to parent small child from confines of small space.

8. Give up, reasoning that attempting to rescue the entire Costco size box of arrowroot cookies is not worth giving up the stronghold you have on dog.

9. Remove grocery bag of fur.

10. Grab five cookies from kitchen floor and collar of dog.

11. Steer perpetually hungry dog away from cookie disaster in kitchen by holding five cookies against his snout.

12. Bring unsuspecting dog into bathroom.

13. Shut door, slip out and grab seven towels, then go back in. Take off your pants and shirt.

14. Note fear building in dog’s eyes.

15. Attempt to wrestle 110 pounds of dog into tub. Knock over bathroom toys, garbage cans, and dislodge toilet seat in process. Lose two cookies.

16. Soap dog and consequently lose hold of dog due to slipperiness of soap.

17. Attempt to maintain control of situation by holding onto fur as dog leaps out of tub, and fall into bath tub yourself.

18. Glare at blasted dog.

19. Wrestle 110 pounds of dog into tub again, and rinse. Lose last three cookies (note that you’re screwed if he jumps out again).

20. Pre-towel dog in tub, let dog out of tub, and provide second toweling, let dog escape from bathroom shaking and tossing copious wet fur onto walls as he retreats.

21. Jump into tub and rinse self with bucket because there is so much hair it won’t come off in shower.

22. Begin cleaning: Unclog drain of bathtub (plunger bathtub if manual hair removal will not suffice), pre-wipe walls, fix toilet seat, put garbage back in can, and put toys away. Wait for walls to dry before vacuuming because there is too much hair for mere wiping to be effective.

23. Upon leaving bathroom, note that dog has eaten all the cookies on kitchen floor, including what may be parts of packages.

24. Resist urge to pour glass of wine.

Total time including clean up: three hours.

Danielle Rodgers is a stay-at-home domestic engineer, loving wife, mother of two small children, and a keeper of two giant dogs.


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