Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady!

Indigant! She was absolutely indignant. There were no smiles for the camera and certainly no smoochy kisses as we gave Lady her first bath and I started recording the moment for posterity. Just the deeply wounded downwards glare which concealed an inner growl: “That ain’t no way to treat a Lady!”

Lady had to have an instant, immediate bath. It was a definite case of do not pass go. Do not collect $200. I couldn’t risk her running into the house and sharing her joy. We’d never get rid of the stench! There was no time to take her off to the Palm Beach dog salon for the full shampoo, blowdry and pedicure! If Lady snuck into the house, my father would metamorphose into John Cleese and I could already hear him now: “Sybille!”

As my Dad looks like Basil Faulty, I’m careful not to press all his buttons at once! Dad has a very sensitive sense of smell and with the dogs not being allowed in the house, I really didn’t want to stretch the friendship. I have learned my lesson. You can’t get anything passed Dad’s very acute sense of smell.

Many, many moons ago, there had been the Schnapps Incident. As a fairly mature twenty something, I’d invited a group of single friends around for a Valentine’s Day dinner party at home while Mum and Dad were out. Two of my friends were drowning their sorrows with shots of Schnapps which all ended very badly when the bloke exceeded an elegant sufficiency and in his disoriented and inebriated state had managed to relieve his agony beside my parents’ bed, all over the fine cane lattice furniture. Although my friend, not the one who’d been sick, cleaned the muck off with an old toothbruth and we’d doused the place with industrial strength chemical cleaners, my Dad still walked in the front door and it was like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: somebody’s been sick beside my bed.

No! I couldn’t take any chances with Lady. After all, we’re lucky that Mum and Dad let us bring the dogs with us at all!

Lady having a bath. Clearly, she's far far from impressed!

Lady having a bath. Clearly, she’s far far from impressed!

This, of course, meant that Lady’s dignity was mortally wounded as we tied her to the flag pole. With the Australian flag flapping overhead, she received the hose treatment. While this might sound a bit cruel, the same dog had just been running through seawater and I doubt there much difference in temperature. Besides, it was a bright sunny day and Lady was until recently, a farm dog. Surely, she wasn’t used to the salon treatment in between rabbit hunts?!! As much as Lady was a cute little dog who would fit in very nicely with the local designer dogs the Avalon Café set, she was made of much tougher stuff! She more than knew how to look after herself!

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That said, I knew she wouldn’t like the smell of Dad’s shower gel.

Being on holidays, we didn’t have any pooch shampoo so I sent our daughter upstairs to get my Dad’s shower gel. It was a strange choice because we had our own Pantene shampoo but this was a crisis and my poor humble brain was very much in survival mode and I wasn’t thinking clearly.

I don't think washing dead fish smells out of stinky dogs was quite what the manufacturers of Dove had in mind!

I don’t think washing dead fish smells out of stinky dogs was quite what the manufacturers of Dove had in mind!

If you have already read about Lady’s handling of the dead rabbit, you won’t be surprised about the dead fish incident. In fact, you’ll probably blame me: “Really, Ro! What did you expect?” The dog is a veteran hunter. You can take the dog out of the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the dog. She is who she is, after all!

I guess you could just call me naïve. The last time I ventured onto a sheep property, I asked my friend if the sheep bite. That story circulated like wildfire. I was living in Geraldton in Western Australia at the time and they were in fits of hysterics about the girl from Sydney. It had been said that you could take the girl out of the North Shore but you can’t take the North Shore out of the girl. I’d actually thought I’d done a pretty thorough cleansing at the time and had well and truly moved on but apparently not.

Anyway, all this drama which resulted in Lady having a bath was all over a fish…a very simple fish.

You see, when my daughter and I were out walking the dogs today, Lady found a dead fish floating in the water. After the rabbit encounter which I mentioned in my last post, I had simply assumed Lady wanted to eat the fish. I thought it was species known as Leather Jacket which was safe to eat and so I helped her get it out of the water. I couldn’t see any harm in her eating the fish.

So I guess you could say that by providing assistance, that ipso facto makes me an accessory but I plead ignorance. I strongly deny any sinister involvement. As I said, I thought Lady was going to eat the fish. I never thought for a moment that Lady would use the dead fish as a kind of roll-on deodorant or eau de cologne.

As it turned out, that fish was also deader than I’d thought. It had already begun its deadly metamorphosis…especially as it had been drifting along baking in the hot, midday sun. So by the time Lady found it, that dead fish was so dead that it was starting to come back to life again.

You could just imagine the smell!

A very cheeky, stink dog posing as a dead fish...Lady before her bath.

A very cheeky, stinky dog posing as a dead fish…Lady before her bath.

Even after what must have been half a bottle of shower gel, Lady still reeks of dead fish. Somehow, I hope it filters out somehow before the long drive home. Two adults, two kids, two dogs in an overloaded car, there’s no room for the stench of dead fish!

Otherwise, I might just have to pinch a bit of my mother’s Chanel!

Surely, that’s how you really treat a Lady!

5 thoughts on “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady!

  1. maxwellthedog

    Oh my, that is one unhappy puppy. But you got to do what you got to do. What is it with dogs and stink anyway? OK, I get the fact they have uber senses of smell but should that not make bad smells even more repulsive instead of an invitation to roll over and frolic in everything putrid?

  2. muddledmom

    Oh, now I’m so thankful all we have are dead worms lying around! Gross! But a funny story to read. Now you know to keep Lady far away from fish!

  3. roweeee Post author

    Yes, there’s always somebody worse off! Three days later, the fish smell is finally starting to subside. She did an excellent job. Really rubbed it into her fur, deep into the follicles I suspect. We are back home now and she is much more settled. When we went for one dlast beach walk before we left, my husband had her on the lead. We were taking no more chances before the drive home. She was very good on the lead and now she’s back home and allowed in the house again, she’s much more subdued…back to being a lady again!

  4. roweeee Post author

    As much as we like to think that we have domesticated tyhe dog and removed all those dreaded instincts, I think they like to keep us on our toes and remind us that they are still dogs after all. My husband grew up on a farm in Tasmania and he’s shared stories over the years about a few of their dogs who were good hunters and go and roll into anything putrid to improve their chances. He had one feisty little terrier who could even take down a kangaroo. Being a kangaroo lover myself, I naturally don’t approve but it gives you some idea of her capabilities. When I was trying to get the fish stench out of Lady’s fur, I asked him how they cleaned up their dogs. Being a true blue country lad, his reply was very simple: “rain” along with comments like: “you think you’re coming inside stinking like that?” Obviously no salon treatments for their dogs!

  5. New Journey

    Chika was at my sisters, we getting ready to leave and she was just out doing her thing, I went in the house to say good bye when Peter came in and said, you better come look at your dog, all of a sudden she was just my dog, aghhh shat did she do!!! She had brown all over her pretty little black and white head and left shoulder….she had been down in the front yard rolling in deer poop, nice!! needless to say our departure time was postponed for a good hour….it was ground in to her long curly hair….nastiest little bath I ever had to give her, dawn dishwashing liquid finally got it all out….she looked pretty sad by the end of it herself !! LOL Kat

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