It was New Years day but it was also a Sunday so, as we always do on Sunday, we secured the dogs and went off to church. With travel there and back, Sunday school and the worship service we are gone about three hours.
For Blondie Bear and Cochise, that is no problem: they are tankers and can hold their bladders for a full day if they must. Like when it rains. They HATE going out in a hard rain. But for Tinker, three hours is quite a while and he will be dancing around and running for the back door as soon as we come in the front door. He IS reliable, he’s just uncomfortable at that point.
So all the dogs got a time in the yard while Marie and I took care of some things around the house. Then we readied to go to my Mom’s house to visit with my half-brother and his family, who had driven in from Nebraska the night before for a Christmas celebration with Mom and her grand-daughters.
We thought about securing the dogs again, but it was no longer raining, it was not especially cold, and Mom’s house is actually on our property, just outside the dog fence. They can keep tabs on us if they are in the yard. At the very least they like to bark at us in warning about the dangers of willingly entering a home where not one but TWO cats live.
Mom prefers cats over dogs because they can be kept in the house all the time.
We visited for a couple of hours.
After about an hour, Tinker stood at the corner of my garden, stared up at Mom’s living room window and – taking a page from Cochise’s play book – barked sharply twice, looked meaningfully at the window where he knew we were, then turned and stalked up the hill toward the house. This is a statement that translates as “I want to go in the house, come open the door – now.” I almost complied … but didn’t.
When we finally did leave, all the dogs greeted us at the upper gate and we headed to the house. Tinker was getting frolicsome with Cochise, and leaving muddy smears on his shoulders and neck. Upon a closer look we found that Tinker’s chest and forelegs were soaked in black gloppy mud. What a mess!
I ran ahead and put a gallon of water in a bucket, got a hand towel and met Tinker as he came in the laundry room. But a sponge-bath from a bucket of water was clearly not going to cut it. This called for a bath tub.
We have one of those, but it is usually full of dog supplies. Currently it contained a large crate (nested for storage), a couple 40 pound bags of kibble, a bag of hoofies, several spare blankets, and the bucket (when not in use). Marie scampered in there and pulled all that out (except the bucket which was in use in the laundry room) while I way-laid Tinker. Then he and I took over the hall bathroom and got him cleaned up.
He was not pleased, but neither was he combative.
While this was going on, Tinker and I discussed the situation. He reminded me that he had asked (demanded) to go back inside and I refused. So he got onto the games that Jasmine and Blondie were playing, then lay down for a rest. But instead of resting on some high and dry piece of relatively dry lawn, he chose a boggy spot, soaked up as much mud as he could and proceeded to share it with the others. “This is your fault, you didn’t let me go back inside when I wanted to.”
“And who’s the one standing in a tub of water getting a bath?”
Sigh, “Well … yeah. There is that.”
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