‘Maddi’s excelled herself today,’ called Hubby as he came into our dining room where I was setting the tables. ‘Why? What did she do,’ I asked.
Hubby had just returned from the promenade at Lake Windermere, having walked both Maddi and Zack, our two Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, by the lakeshore. It is flattish there, which is helpful for Maddi as she has arthritis and finds it difficult to walk. Lake Windermere is only 5 – 7 minutes’ walk from our guest house, Blenheim Lodge, so it is all very convenient both for us and our guests to access the Lake and pier.
‘I met a couple at the Lake and they used to have a Pyrenean Mountain Dog. She died when she was 10.’
Obviously Hubby had moved on to another topic. ‘What type of dog do they have now? And what did Maddi do?’ I asked patiently.
‘They have a retriever.’
‘Don’t know; just for a change. The Pyrenean didn’t live very long.’ (Actually, 10 years is quite good age-wise for Pyreneans.)
‘Tell me what Maddi did!’
‘Oh, Maddi must have found something in the ground that she wanted to examine more closely. Zack was wee-ing and Maddi decided to burrow under Zach and sniff around.’
‘Ugh! What happened?’
‘Maddi was under Zack while he was wee-ing and he weed all over her!’
My nose began to twitch involuntarily. Surely I would be able to smell that smelly dog of ours. ‘You had better clean Maddi up,’ I admonished Hubby. ‘She’ll be stinking!’
That night, 4 hours later, Maddi was still stinky. All I could smell was wee. Hubby said that he had already cleaned her with water. I found out later that Maddi had been weed on on one flank.
Now, I thought, if only I could get Maddi into the bath, and wash her, I might be able to get rid of the smell. Thus, I set the scene. I prepared the floor by spreading a sheet over it to catch any excess water. And I released a piece of smoked salmon from its pack, hoping to entice Maddi to the bathroom. Maddi, our greedy Pyrenean, followed me as far as the entrance to the bathroom. When she heard and saw the sound of running water, she turned tail, and even smoked salmon could not tempt her!
The adage says, ‘If you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ This time, I put the salmon on the tap, dragged Maddi into the bathroom and encouraged her to step into the bath. No dice. Maddi lay down on the floor, trying to make herself as small as she possibly could and dug her nails into the tiles. There she lay, rigid as rigid could be so that I could not even yank her up.
Necessity is the mother of invention, I thought. Okay, so Maddi would not play ball. I kept the water running, held onto Maddi with one hand, and with the other, I began to wash her down. Voila! I cleaned both flanks as I didn’t know which side was the dirty one.
Maddi was so set on remaining in the down and stay position – which, by the way, she had never done before, and probably will never do again unless I don’t want her to – that she stayed put even after I had finished wiping her down. As I finished, I pulled her up gently and gave her the salmon. She looked at it suspiciously – ‘What is mum up to now?’ – before opening her mouth and gobbling it, then legging it.
I truly hope Maddi does not get herself wet the way she did again. It wasn’t pleasant for us and it probably felt downright nasty to her when we had to clean her up. But aah, what is a dog to do but to provide laughs for her family? Life is never dull with our Pyreneans!
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