Tails from Ralston Vet

June 26, 2012

Chiminey’s first puppy bath

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ralston Vet @ 4:02 pm
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Submitted by Kasia Mannar

Customer Relation Specialist

Don’t be fooled by her cuteness,
she’s re-energizing.

My husband and I recently added 2 Shih-Tzu mix puppies, “Maybell” and “Chiminey” to our family which already include “BK” our toy Poodle and “Geeberz” Poodle mix.  Since bringing the puppies home, we have done everything  “by the book” which includes introducing: 1) puppies to a new house 2) introducing BK & Geeberz to their new roommates and 3) touching their feet, mouth and ears to get them ready for GROOMING  and future medical care. BK & Geeberz are used to being groomed. Raising Geeberz from a puppy, we played with her feet and ears, and gave her baths on regular basis. BK, a rescue dog, puts up with grooming because she tends to be too scared to do anything.   We started grooming our dogs because, honestly, we didn’t want to shell out the bucks for a groomer. They aren’t always “pretty” but we get the job done.

Yesterday, on my day off, I decide it is time to groom the puppies.  I started with trimming up Maybell and Chiminey’s feet and give them their first bath. Maybell was scared but put up with it. Chiminey, however, was a grooming event! The little 3 and half pound puppy gave me a work out. She kept backing away from the clippers; I had to turn her around so her butt was backing into me. I had to hold her feet and the clippers at weird angles struggling to shave the fur. Finally, I get all four done. I wasn’t even going to attempt a nail trim without my husband’s help.  Now, it’s bath time.  I put her in the tub, bounce, out she goes. Oh, this is not going to be fun. I would move her towards the water with my left hand, my plastic cup filling in the right hand, dump it on her. She squirmed away, I’d catch her with my left, fill water with my right, dump it on her. Soap and repeat. You would have thought she would start to wear down.  I think she was gaining momentum. At the end I’m sweating and panting, she could have gone another 10 rounds. Clearly, we are going to need to work on this. Who knew? In looking up some stuff on grooming your dog, I read you shouldn’t use a human blow dryer. It’s too hot for the dog’s skin but you can buy dog blow dryers.  Today, she is going to air dry!

I’m not giving up.  Bath time will be a pleasant experience for both of us.  It’ll take several baths, effort, and following the advice from Kelly, a RVC behavior technician, Chiminey will learn she’s not being tortured. The biggest piece of advice I received was to not baby her. If I coddle her, it only makes her think something is really wrong and she can feed off it.  Kelly also advised trying to hold her and swing her gently back and forth under the shower or dunking her in a bucket of water. If only I could read her mind, I don’t know if it was the water or the pouring.   And of course, I will give her a delicious treat when we’re all done. I refuse to accept that she will forever hate baths. She’s only 12 weeks old and we have a lot of grooming to do.


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