The First Bath

The First Bath

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QUOTE 2/19/2010 6:15:33 PM

Princess Pea’s First Bath
        It’s been way too cold here to bathe any of the dogs. We have an elevated tub in the kennel building-it is really a cow waterer but works great-when it’s 70 degrees or higher outside. You can bathe small puppies in the kitchen sink, but anybody bigger-nope. I had considered putting down a lot of towels in the kitchen and putting a few inches of water in one of those big plastic storage containers that are all over Wal-Mart, standing a dog in one of them, but did not get around to trying it.
Some time around Christmas I had a black male I was co/owning with the man who usually checks us in at Delta when we fly puppies. There were 3 tiny black males in that litter, I sold one, I have one here, and one was going to live with Anthony. It may not sound smart to keep for available breeding, two litter brothers, but their mother is apricot out of cream to cream, their father is brown out of blue to red isabella, and they may easily each carry different colors or traits.
I realized when I was about due to be at Anthony’s house, that this boy had never had a bath! It isn’t true what you hear about Shar-Pei needing so many baths, the wrinkles powdered, and all of that. But a black does get dull looking, loses some of the shine of a healthy coat if he has never had a bath!
All 3 of those boys, and their fawn sister, are very docile and sweet. I just took that boy in the shower with me, had no worry that he might freak out. What ever I used on me, I used on him. He was fine with it, he doesn’t mind anything.
This is the first time I can remember our weather not hitting 70 in a whole month, and I have lived here at least 50 years of my total 63. And I don’t like cold weather!  We got 7 inches of snow the other day, a record.
Miss Pea –formally Shenanigans Princess Pea-turned 6 months old on the 9th and I realized she had never had a bath. Now this is the sweetest puppy ever, but she is spicy! I have contemplated now for a couple of days taking her in the bathtub with me.
I have bathed grown dogs in the bathtub many, many times, but you put a leash on them and tie it to the bar over the soap dish. Somehow they can squiggle lose, they pull down every bottle, razor, Buff Puff, anything in the area, and have been known to try to climb my chest.
I have had a lot of puppy buyers over the years whose dogs bathed with them. Some have told me the dog got in the tub on its own. Some have taken the dog into the shower and just done it until the dog got used to it, and then liked it. If you have a shower curtain, this would be a lot harder, but we have the flexi-glass doors that slide.
Miss Pea is starting to show those little spots that the nicest horsecoat puppies seem always to get, so I got together the 10% hydroxyl peroxide soap and some medicated shampoo.
I used the Dremel on her for the first time, too, while the bathroom heater was on.  Some dogs, the majority I would say, have a fit at this, they don’t like the noise. But they get used to it. Miss Pea just sat in my lap and looked at each toe as I did it, seemed quite philosophical about it.
The peroxide shampoo I had bought in a bar, it was much cheaper than the lotion shampoo, for the same stuff. Wrong decision-it did not lather up for the longest time.
All I kept thinking about was how cold we would both be if I used up all the hot water between bathing two of us. Pea just looked at me like something very strange was happening. The hot water didn’t run out.
If you are ever bathing a Shar-Pei, there is one thing not to forget. If you do not dry the area from where the tail joins the back, to the middle of the back, frequently the tail will hang down for up to two weeks. This happened to Andrew once, and we had never seen it happen before. We were nearly hysterical, he had just won First Award of Merit at Westminster at eleven months old and had a week’s straight showing coming up in Raleigh. I called the vet, made an appointment with the Neurology Department at N.C. State Vet School, which the appointment they gave us was six weeks later, since the problem was cosmetic, rather than  a medical problem.  Then a friend of mine called and we told her the problem. She laughed and laughed and told me that was called Golden Tail since it happens a lot to Golden Retrievers; it would be back up in ten days or two weeks. And it was!
After I put little Pea down on the bathroom floor, half dried off, I remembered this and took a hand towel to that area. She again looked at me wondering what new experiences we were having today.
She’s the best bed-dog we have had since Andrew, too. Mike almost took pictures a couple of mornings ago, he told me. Both of us were under the covers, side by side, each had her hands near our left cheeks. She runs right to the bed to be lifted up in it, and gets under the covers and never moves.
 Now for Michael Lauer to be in love with a Toy Shar-Pei who is a chocolate horsecoat is really saying something! I hope you all get to meet Miss Pea.  Susie Lauer








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