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Berginski: Misadventures in dog grooming

By Staff | Jan 16, 2015

Tuesday evening I resolved to do something I had been putting off for a while.

I resolved to give a dog a bath.

We have two dogs at my house currently: one, a purebred Cocker Spaniel named Frannie who’s ours, and the other, a black Chihuahua or something mix and a tripod named Annie, who’s my Aunt Gail’s, that we’ve been boarding at the house. The latter of the two started smelling something awful.

My parents and brothers were gone. I was at home, with plans to enjoy a quiet evening after completing my main task.

“Okay Annie, it’s bathtime,” I said.

She bolted into my parents’ bedroom. I didn’t have any doggie treats to bribe her with, and plus my patience was wearing thin. I taped (well DVR’ed, if that’s even a word) my favorite show (“Shark Tank”, in case you’re wondering), got up from the couch and walked to the room. Annie was on the bed, trying to put off the inevitable.

I carefully scooped her into my arms but she knew full well where she was going and what would happen once she got there. She started fighting, first by scootching her claws. When that didn’t work, she channeled the essence of soccer star Zinedine Zidane. In other words, she head-butted me, hitting my lips rather hard.

I anticipated a struggle, considering getting Frannie into the tub was like trying to solve a calculus problem while blindfolded and hitting speedbumps. But I wasn’t anticipating a head butt.

I put Annie in the tub and turned on the water, filling the tub up to her belly. I then closed the door so she wouldn’t try to escape. Annie has three good legs and one that hasn’t worked since she was a pup. What she lacked in four legs, she more than made up for in jumping ability. And she could haul like Usain Bolt.

At that point I felt something warm and salty in my mouth. I could taste blood. I ripped some toilet paper, wadded it up and put it into my mouth, with the intention of clamping down on it to slow the bleeding.

“Oooh ugged ee eal ood,” I said to Annie as I shampooed her fur coat. (Translation: “You slugged me real good.”)

She looked at me, as if to say, You bet I did, now get me out of here.

I took her out of the tub.

“Aay on huh owel,” I commanded. (Translation: “Stay on the towel!”)

I grabbed a hair dryer, one that looked as though it was made in the ’90s, and jacked the temp up to HIGH. I started to move it over the dog slowly, stopping only to let her shake out the water in her fur.

Once she was dry I let her out of the bathroom. I then threw away the bloody wad that I had in my mouth and walked to the kitchen, which is on the opposite end of the house. I then took an ice pack out of the freezer, walked back into the living room and sat there, numbing a fat lip while waiting for my family to come home from the Panthers vs. Sioux boys basketball game.

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