Monday, March 7, 2011

Operation de-stink.

Every now and then Stella and Ethel start to get a little funky. They never really get that dog smell, but they start to smell sort of like sour fritos, because, you know, we all know what sour fritos smell like?

In short, they needed a bath yesterday. A bath is a serious event in this house, because my little "rat dogs" as I lovingly refer to them, love to burrow into blankets, beds, furniture, or anything they can fit into. I've found both of them curled up in pillow cases before...that were already housing pillows.

When we bathe them, we not only have to wash them but also wash every scrap of material they've been marinating in for the last couple of months. Otherwise they simply make a run for the nearest burrowing area and hide there until they've absorbed all of their stale dachshund stink. Blech.

It's imperative to wash Ethel first. Stella completely panics when bathed, and if she goes first she works Ethel into a lather of "I'll save you!" hysteria that makes for a second chaotic sink scrub. So, I plop Ethel into the kitchen sink and she just sort of becomes paralyzed; very handy. She gets washed and dried, and I plop her down and race her to the doggy door to lock it. If I lose she runs outside and rubs all over what microscopic bits of filth she can find immediately. Then I race her to the bedroom to close the door so she can't do a nosedive into her smelly bed. Fortunately I've got about 20 inches of leg on her. (Evil cackle)

Then it's Stella's turn. The first step is to locate and withdraw her from her chosen hiding place. She doesn't seem possessed with the same obligation to help a fallen friend that Ethel is overcome with when Stella is the victim. She prefers to make a run for it and let Ethel face her demons alone. Once the coward is in hand, down she goes into the sink. Whenever possible she grasps the edges of the sink with her paws to try to avoid going in (the good old mammalian umbrella trick). Once I'm done I try to dry her and she insists on burrowing through the towel and drying herself. I guess I can understand her telling me to eff off.

Ethel is greatly relieved when Stella is returned to her, and the two of them celebrate by ripping around the house in a display of energy completely uncharacteristic of them (barring the invasion of a Girl Scout cookie peddler or a Meter Man) while I scurry around the house and pick up every bed, quilt, towel, or pillow they've claimed as their own. I then lock all of the contraband into the laundry room. I spend the rest of the day holding my breath as I shove unbelievably stinky linens into my washer.

In the evening, the clean dogs are reunited with their clean linens. Oh, the joy of this moment! I pull in the still warm dog bed and comforter (yes, they have their own comforter) and Stella leaps into the air in bliss. Ethel roots around to see if she can locate a dryer sheet. If she strikes gold she'll rub her face in it like the freak that she is. They both cavort about the bedroom as I reassemble their ridiculously elaborate sleeping place and as soon as I step away they dive in (No really. They catch a good bit of air.) and snort happily about until their snorting converts to snoring.

So, if you want to smell a "spring breeze" fresh dachshund, come over to my house in the next 48 hours. I make no promises after that!

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