Saturday morning. Time for Buddy’s weekly bath.
His look says let’s not do this.
My look back says doing this will be done.
I won (for proof, scroll down to the bottom of the post). He doesn’t really fight it as much as most dogs I’ve had and he absolutely loves the hair dryer and brushing which follows.
This animal is truly high maintenance. The weekly bath is necessary because of a skin condition he has, as are three anti-histamine pills daily. To get him to take those, they need to be wrapped in food of some sort, making the slow process of getting him to lose weight a bit slower. The fact that, when we go for a walk, he runs at top speed most of the time and top speed is getting faster and faster as he gets more fit, means I may end up losing more weight than he does.
He has trained me in his regime. A short trip outside then a full brushing before breakfast. Then the first walk of the day. Around noon, a second walk which begins with him pulling me over to the car and looking expectantly at the rear door, as will all other walks during the day. He fully expects to go for a ride in the car every day.
He has a play routine he likes when he can get me in the mood, mostly my tossing a rubbery bone toy across the room for him to run and get. This cannot be done in a civilized manner with me sitting on the sofa and throwing it, however. I needs must get down on the floor at his level and toss it from there so he can run it back and drop down in front of my face and grrrr at me while try to take it away and throw it again.
He actually likes a little rough-housing now and again, where I push his around and poke at him and he bites my hand and fist and comes back for more. The good thing is that his small mouth makes his bites, which are not forceful in any case, more a tickle than a skin-penetrating pain.
He likes to get up on the couch but must be lifted on so that is the occasion for another look exchange whenever he decides it is time. Of late, he has also decided that, especially if I am reading, just curling up next to me is insufficient. he has to be on my lap. This is his most efficient and demanding stare since he is not so far below eye-level when sitting next to me. I finally lift up the newspaper or book and he crawls into place.
He’s very alert to sound and other people and dogs, but he can be fooled. When we were coming back from the morning walk one day this past week and I stopped to pick up the morning paper off the sidewalk, the woman who lives above us came by with her dog. After they sniffed each other a bit and she went to her door, which is on a stairwell extension next to the door to my place, I said to Buddy, “Look, that dog’s going into your apartment.” He didn’t react then but as soon as we got inside he took off down the hall and across the living room, then back to the kitchen and down the side hall to the bedroom and bath and finally back for another tear around the living room, before coming over and sitting down in front of me with a confused look on his face.
The barking when left alone thing? I think I’m winning that one slowly, ever so slowly, but I wouldn’t put money on it.
High maintenance, like I said, but great fun.
Buddy in the shower for his bath: