We needed a bath badly. We got one throughout the day Friday and emphatically on Friday night. Showers turned full throttle several times, along with a full dose of Mother Nature fire works.
When the storm had ended and morning came, the earth was shimmering with leftover water drops.
What had been a dull, dirty landscape on Thursday had come alive on Saturday morning, leaving us with a pleasant day of total outdoor enjoyment.
We're approaching that time of the year when cold nights could put their own damper on our summer beauty, but not just yet.
Though last night was crisp and cold and this morning required three layers, flowers and garden goodies have survived to live another day.
About the time that storm was wreaking havoc in Friday night's darkness, my cold was showing signs of giving up.
A good night's sleep and just a few residual sneezes, and I was feeling like a human again.
Yesterday Bill and I worked on yet another Liam-inspired project. This time we dumped and spread another pickup load of pea gravel inside the dog run aka the Liam mine field.
Now, I really don't mind Liam digging up the dog run, but I do really mind how dirty both he and Foster get when Liam's manicured claws get past the pea gravel and down into the dirt.
Wet dirt aka mud caked to dogs' legs and bellies and derrieres at the end of the day somewhat diminishes the spirit and meaning of "man's or woman's best friend." Not fun giving baths to dogs whenever Mother Nature decides to bathe the earth.
Seems like both should be squeaky clean when that happens, but it's just the opposite with dogs. The cleaner the earth the stinkier and dirtier the dog.
We could, of course, leave them outside, but they're our babies and so, of course, we have become full slaves to their needs.
Hence, a second load of pea gravel and even some discussion from Bill suggesting that I search the World Wide Web and see if home doggie bath tubs are available.
I did search and did find several models, many of which involve lifting dirty dogs into the receptacle, which I can see leads only to going to the human bath tub AFTER bathing the dogs.
There is one floor model, available at Home Depot for $700 smackeroos. It has a drain (which I still haven't figured out where it drains if not the laundry room floor) and a door so doggies and walk in, get locked in and then walk out when finished.
The one feature missing from this model and from the others is a doggie dryer. In my frequent bath sessions with Liam, I have noticed that the drying procedure is even more labor intensive than the actual bathing.
So, the bottom line---if we want to keep our bottom line from bottoming out any more from dirty, digging dogs---is for the dirty, digging dogs to quit the damn digging.
After we finished with our second load of pea gravel ($54 at Ponderay Garden Center) and I looked into those doggie bath tubs, I decided that, once again, the answer to most dog problems involves a skill that employed me for 33 years.
If you have to repeat it over and over and over and over again, "NO DIGGING, LIAM," do so. Any ol' teacher knows that.
Of course, this strategy would be most effective at those very moments when Liam is digging out there in the run, which is located a couple of hundred feet from the house with trees obstructing the view.
Which brought to my mind yesterday the need for closed circuit TV, a sound system and a microphone, both in the run and inside the house. The sound system would alert me to the fact that Liam is probably out there down and dirty and digging.
I could then look at my TV to make sure and then let out a 1000-decibal reminder, "NO DIGGING, LIAM!!!"
Surely, a few of these moments of emphatic reinforcement, and Liam would get the message, along with the rest of the neighborhood.
Then, I would not need to purchase that $700-smackeroo doggie tub. Then, I thought about how much the electronics would cost to avoid buying the bath tub.
The tab just keeps growing as do our challenges, but look at that innocence in the photo below, and you may agree that it's all worth it.
As an update, I did work on a little reinforcement without electronic spying (at one time hiding behind a tree where Liam wouldn't see me so I could catch him in the act). A couple of reminders, and the pea gravel remained somewhat intact for the rest of the afternoon.
That meant a no-doggie bath evening, and life was good.
All in all, it's just nice to have a clean earth and to hope for clean dogs at the end of each day.