Blenheim Lodge is a family guest house replete with all the usual ins and outs of family life. One very significant member of our family is our rescued Great Dane. He is a loveable fellow and very amenable to just about everything; but on 5th February, he decided that he would NOT cooperate when it came time for his bath. Make a guess: did we or did the dog carry the day?
About a month ago, we took Horatio to the dog groomer for his first bath in a dog grooming parlour. In the past, we had bathed him in the yard, but it was more of a spot bath i.e. bathing parts of him rather than bathing his whole body all at once. He tolerated the spot baths, but it was a real chore for us with having to fill plentiful containers with lukewarm water, carry them into the yard, and then soap and bathe him without simultaneously bathing ourselves! If we could have found a hose to fit onto the taps, it would have saved a lot of trouble but we couldn’t find one. Besides, the air temperatures in Winter aren’t really conducive to an outside bath for a dog which loves hugging radiators!
We had made an appointment with the groomer the previous month, so off we went with high hopes of a beautifully smelling dog to return into our loving arms on Tuesday. Horatio had been there in December and although he hadn’t liked the tin bath which was, admittedly, a little too tight for his frame, the deed had been done and he had come out . . . well, not quite smelling of roses, but certainly smelling fresh. It had taken almost 40 minutes to bathe him then, with much of that time being taken up with trying to persuade him to get into the bath where he would be soaped on one side, backing out of the bath (because he was too big to turn around in it), stepping into the bath again and this time facing the opposite way, before being soaped again. Then, there was the palaver of repeating the above so that he could be washed on either side because it was a medicinal wash prescribed by our vet, and had to stay on for 10 minutes for it to work before rinsing it off.
So now that I have bored you with Horatio’s bathing procedures, let’s get back to his meeting with said groomer on 5th February. Oh, he was delighted to see her – it was all wagging tail and nuzzling muzzle and leaning his considerable weight upon her to get as close as possible for those delightful petting strokes. That is, until we tried to entice him into the bathing room itself. (As an aside, I should add that Horatio likes his comfort: he has never lain on a bare floor in all the time we have known him. He will lie on a carpeted floor, but not a bare wooden or tiled or concrete floor. He likes something soft under him.)
Now, Horatio paced and panted, and would not be enticed into the bathing room despite treats and all things nice! And then he lay down on the wooden floor. We knew then that he must be stressed. As I said previously, Horatio does not like cold or hard floors, and he rose soon enough. He was petted and praised and cajoled but continued to turn up his nose at his favourite treats which we had brought with us. Eventually, we managed to entice him into the bathing room, but he would have nothing to do with the bath, and walked to the corner furthest away from it before lying down on the very cold tiled floor, and stayed. Have you ever tried moving a 76 kg dog when he doesn’t want to get up?
Horatio did not rise from his prone position in the bathing area until the humans left the room. Then, when once again in the entrance hall, he drank a copious amount of water but still refused all treats. It was as if he knew that the treats were a bribe towards a bathing session, and he wasn’t going to be party to it. Thus did Horatio win the day. It was only when we exited the building that he took any treats from us again.
Was our Great Dane a “wuss” or simply too clever for us? You can answer that, but please don’t tell us. I think we already know the answer!
P.S. If you are looking for peaceful and friendly AA 4-Star accommodation with picturesque outstanding views of Lake Windermere and the fells in the Lake District, we would love to welcome you to Blenheim Lodge B&B in Bowness on Windermere. And you need not fear meeting Horatio if you don’t want to as he lives in our apartment and only comes out to meet guests on request.
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’