Dog bathing. Something I hadn't taken into consideration when I settled on a short-legged, white breed – in duplicate, no less.
Weekly brushings aren't a problem: at the dog park or while watching a dvd. While I don't fancy them smelling all 'fishy' after they've been swimming in the canal, I'd bear it rather than bath them, even though they sleep with me on the bed. I could tolerate my persnickety bourgeois neighbours looking down their noses at my dusty dogs when we'd be in the lift; it amused me to pull the same disdainful expression while staring at their shoes. I also found it rather cute how the dogs would take on a greenish tinge in springtime after making like breakdancers, going round in endless circles with their ears to the ground – something about the dank soil and fresh grass compelling them to do so.
But, that nonchalance vapourized early this summer when a pan-handler – a man who uses half-a-dozen rubberbands to keep his foot-long, tobacco-stained beard under control and with whom I've exchanged pleasantries for a couple of years – said to me in a hushed voice with an air of concern: "Hey, Stretch, not to be rude, but what's up with your dogs? Ma-a-an, I don't think I've seen them clean 'n white once this year." ( ! )
I made a vow that day, to the Kitchen God, that I'd bath both dogs every three weeks – no matter what. Since then, every three weeks, as I'm hunched over the tub, I wonder if the Kitchen God even heard my promise.