March 29 - April 4, 2020: Issue 444


Giving Our Dog A Bath

This story is about giving our dog a bath. Her name is Matilda Mae BooseBop Gumley-Guesdon. She is a Sydney Silky Terrier, born December 2nd, 2016, which makes her 3 years and 4 months old now.

Matilda was only very little when we first saw her, on Boxing Day 2016, so we had to wait until the middle of January 2017 before we could bring her home - and then she still needed lots and lots of puppy milk for months to grow up big and strong. 

Silky Terriers are usually quite dark when babies and they get lighter in colour as they grow up.

This is her the morning after we first brought her home:

This is her as a puppy with one of her first toys:

This is her chewing on my fingers as a puppy:

This is the first time we took her out to eat - she had a burger, down at the Beach House on Avalon Beach, and loved it - as you can see, she was still only one handful then:

This is her around 16 weeks of age - she likes playing 'chasings' with leaves - a gum leaf, a Norfolk pine leaf - any old leaf will do - whatever falls into our yard!:

This is Matilda on her first birthday in 2017 - we did all the things she likes, a run in the park, a nice breakfast, lots of cuddles and tummy rubs, a long game of chasings, a burger for dinner - we let her just be a dog and do dog things, even rolling around in mud are ok because we can give her... a bath!:

Matilda ('Tilly') is a very social dog and likes to come along to any story we're covering for Pittwater Online News. This is Tilly among the Avalon Bulldogs A Grade team as they try to do their warm-ups; she is giving as many as possible a good luck lick - and yes, that day and that match they won!:

This is Tilly with The Green Team - they said I could take their photograph as long as they could give Matilda a cuddle - she'd already given them all a lovely puppy kiss:

She's pretty involved in everything going on around here - when she gets the chance - and LOVES little boys and girls, who she also makes smile and laugh!

So, to give her a bath, we take off her collar and put the water on into the bathtub.

This is the look Matilda gives when I tell her she's going to 'have a bath' - although she looks a bit upset, after the bath she feels so much better with all that dirt and mud she has rolled in lately washed off:

'Are you sure you need to give me a bath?' - you can almost hear her saying:

When we're giving her a bath we have a special washcloth that is hers to sponge her with - this is also good for wiping around her eyes as it gets the muck off that builds up around there and also you're unlikely to scratch your puppy dog with your fingernails if you use a washcloth or sponge. We also make sure the water temperature is just tepid - not too cold, not too hot, and not too deep - just over her furry little knees is ample for depth:

Her specialist dog doctor (called a 'Veterinarian') also spoke about using a good shampoo that won't irritate her skin when she was very little - soap and shampoo for humans can irritate your dog's skin, so we buy this one - it takes us about a year to get through the whole tube and most importantly, Matilda likes it as it isn't highly perfumed. We did try another type to start with but it reeked of something sweet and she would go out and roll in the mud immediately to 'get that stink off'. 

This shampoo and conditioner are made by a company based at Warriewood - so that's a win for a local community business which usually turns out to be a win all round - her collars and leads are also from a local business, a lady at Bilgola Plateau started the business which makes her DOOG collars and lead and we like them as they're softer and won't cut into Tilly as some stiff leather collars or nylon ones may do - and they also have a great clip on the collar which makes it easy to take off - at any rate, her puppy shampoo:

While Tilly is having her bath it's a perfect opportunity to give the hairs which grow longer around her eyes a bit of a trim to stop them bothering her or hurting her eyes:

As you can see her expressive look of 'get me out of here' persists through the dog washing process:

Once she has been shampooed and conditioner added then rinsed out, we give her a good towel dry and put a heater on for a little while for her to sit in front of so she doesn't get a chill. We also give her a few treats to get her to sit there for a little bit:

Tilly likes running around after that, will jump up onto the couch so she can rub her fur and roll around in cloth to dry herself off even more - even rolling around in her dog bed beside my desk here:

And then she's ready for a brush to get some tangles out - just like we give her a brush after rolling in leaves to get them out - and then it's back to her usual dog occupations - sitting by my side, sniffing around the garden or telling us it must be getting near time for her dinner: