Saturday. I decided to give the girls their baths early today. They’ve been for a big walk, had their breakfast, pottered around the garden for a while and now they are all drowsing on the couch. Perfect.
I go into the bathroom and close the door, find the shampoo and conditioner, get out the doggy towels and put everything within reach. Don’t run the water—that’s a dead giveaway. All organised and back into the lounge room and—it’s deserted. Not a hair of a sleepy dog anywhere to be found. Sigh. I don’t know how they know, but they always do.
I look for Maudie first for the simple reason that I know exactly where she’ll be. When Maudie hides she hides in precisely the same spot every time—the doggie bed out on the back verandah. I come out the back door just in time to see her duck her head below the edge of the bed. I think she thinks that if she can’t see me, I can’t see her. Bless.
She doesn’t struggle. She does, however, squeal. I take her collar off. Squeal. I stand her gently in the bath (which has no water in it yet). Squeal. I turn on the shower hose. Squeal. Accidentally touch her tummy when she is not expecting it—squeal. Like fingernails on a chalkboard, swear to God. Such a drama queen. Especially as it takes all of about three minutes to get her wet down, washed, rinsed, conditioned and rinsed again. I turn the water off, throw a towel over the top of her and lift her out of the bath. Squeal. Quickly put her collar back on underneath the towel before she realises what I am doing. Muffled squeal. Dry, dry, dry, dry, dry, dry—release—and she’s off.
At that exact moment I realise I have forgotten to close the bedroom door. By the time I get to it Maudie has done three gleeful, full-speed circuits of the house, further drying herself on every fabric surface she has come across—carpets, rugs, cushions—she’s rolled on her back from one end of my bed to the other and has now buried herself deep amongst the pillows. She smiles sweetly at me from inside her little nest.
Molly next. She’s hiding under the settee, but not for long. She is much easier to deal with (no squealing for a start) and sits like a tiny black wet sock in the corner of the bath while I work on her. I squeeze as much water as I can out of her before I take her out of the bath but it takes two extra large towels to get her even partially dried off. When I let her loose she looks a bit like a walking brillo pad.
And now Mabel. Where’s Mabel? After searching for a while I am pretty sure that is her in the deep dark gloom under the bed—either that or there is something else moving around under there that I really don’t want to know about. Rather than risk traumatising her for a week I usually leave Mabel to come out of her own accord. Her record hiding time is 2 hours 14 minutes . . .
Got her. Someone came to the front door and she just couldn’t resist the urge to come out and see who it was. So, that’s it—all three. Done and dusted. They’ve all had treats for ‘being good girls’ (the term is relative). I’ve cleaned and de-haired the bathroom and every towel I own is now in the wash. The girls are all prancing about looking all very bright and shiny and pleased with themselves. Like it was all their idea. Watching them all sitting blissfully outside in the sun I can see that Molly is also going to need a haircut and good brushing out when she’s completed dried off.
But that’s for later. It is now all of 10.00am, and I think I have earned a nice cup of tea and a bit of a lie down . . .