I will preface this story by saying i did not take a photograph to pair with this post. It was just one of those days when things had to be done quickly and there was no time to fiddle with things that weren’t water proof.
I arrived home from work one evening to turn on the heat lamps in the tree boxes. A cold front was already blowing in and the sun was getting steadily lower behind the gloomy gray clouds. The wind was whipping the wind chimes and the tree branches back and forth. I went to let the dogs out thinking i’d get the fruit trees situated and checked for the night and then i’d turn on the heater in the house and start supper and that would be the end of our night.
When i opened the door to the house i realized it was not so. Cashew had actually managed to push her pee pad underneath the bars of the crate and onto the floor in front of it. It lay flat and unused in front of her crate with just a corner still touching the black plastic tray. Cashew sat dripping. She must have peed and then rolled in it because she had it on her chest and ears. She was dripping, literally dripping with urine. It was 42 degrees and windy outside. I sighed. Muttering a string of colorful words under my breath i went to the shed to get the dog shampoo and the bowl i used to pour the water on them. I contemplated taking her into the shower. It was cold. It was too windy and cold out for a bath…but she couldn’t be left like that; dripping. she would drip urine all the way to the bathroom. It would be a colossal disaster and if she shook on the way i’d be facing urine covered furniture. I’d be cleaning all night. Also, there was at best 4 minutes of warm water to be had in the shower at 42 degrees. Finally i just said “**** it she’s getting a bath in the yard.” I put every pot i had on the stove. I boiled as much water as i could. I poured it all into the steel tub in the yard. Then i emptied what little warm water existed in our water heater into a pitcher a few times and dumped that in as well. I had to add 1.5 pitchers of cool water to make it so it wasn’t scalding and then before the wind and the temperature could cool it off further i put on an old t-shirt, dragged the crate to the front door, opened the door, releasing cashew into the yard, scooped her into my arms, and dunked her in the tub. I had placed the tub to the side of the car and parked the car so that it shielded her from the direction the wind was blowing. The towel hung from the side mirror and the soap and rinse-bowl were beneath it. For once in her life, Cashew didn’t want to get out of the water. She sunk in as deep as she could and tried to flatten herself in the tub. For once we were on the same page. The poor dog did not want to be in the wind and tried her hardest to stay deep in the warm water of the bath. I soaped her as fast as i could, as i was out there in an old t-shirt, wet with urine and bath water. I was cold too and wanted to go inside as much as she did. I soaped her, rinsed her, and wrapped her in the towel, then carried her up the porch stairs, finished drying her feet and legs, and set her on the floor inside the house. Then i began the process of cleaning her crate. I slid the tray out and emptied the urine from it in the yard. I dumped the bath water on it to rinse it. I leaned it against the electric pole to dry in the wind. The wind blew it over several times until i just laid it flat in the grass. I washed the bath-tub, put it away, checked the fruit trees, turned on the heater in the house, changed my shirt, made supper, and sat down. I looked at my wet dog sitting in front of the heater wagging her tail, “You sure are a lot of work.”