In 2010 I was asked to ‘dog sit’ a gorgeous little Spaniel called Rascal while my son and his family went to work out in Dubai.
The dog sitting has now gone on for over six years and let me let you into a secret – my son and his family will not be getting her back! If they try to there will be lots of paper work and I’ll get Rumpole of the Bailey to represent me because Rascal is now my best pal; always thrilled to see me when I came in, cosy to sit with on the settee and a warning voice when anyone approaches my front door.
Plus she makes me get out for walks, which means fresh air and meeting some nice people along the way. ….Now here’s the down side – there’s always a down side – Rascal is a Spaniel therefore it goes without saying that she loves water, mud and ditches and can find just those sort of places on the driest of days.
So when we get back from a walk, like so many other dogs who are medium sized and so ‘close to the ground,’ she almost always needs a bath.
I worked out that in the first four years of ‘fostering’ Rascal, I carried her soaking wet and muddy up the stairs to my bath room at least four times per week. That meant in four years that I made around 850 trips up the stairs (making my back ache) into the bathroom (which needed a through clean afterwards) not to mention Rascal indulging in her unique way of getting dry which consists of running up and down the landing walls and shaking herself (apparently 80% of water comes off a dog when it shakes itself, nature’s way of keeping them warm I suppose) all of which left me soaking wet and exhausted. So I thought, I can’t be on my own with this problem of a Soggy Dog® – there must be a better way. Hence Soggy Dog ® outdoor dog bath came about.
I designed and asked a pal Mr. Priest – (Thank you Mr. Priest) to make a prototype in wood. I decided on to have wheels on the base – not a good idea as Rascal sailed past us along the flags!
But following searches, CAD drawings etc. and three more prototypes later we finally had a bath which was durable, looked nice, was functional and worked.
I used it most days for a year to try it out.
I would put a couple of washing up bowls of warm water and a bit of dog shampoo into the Soggy Dog® bath before a walk and Rascal would just get into the now tepid bath when we got back.
I’d wash her using a simple jug (which meant that I could do this anywhere even if there was no outdoor tap or hose pipe – which Rascal doesn’t like anyway because the water can be too forceful and gets very cold. Incidentally I had two splash panels added to the Soggy Dog® bath to help protect the owner from hose pipe splashing or splashier dogs). Rascal gets out and shakes (outside remember), I tip the bath water out onto the garden, or it could simply drain into a grid.
Next Rascal gets back in and I rinse her with a simple bucket of clean warm water; she gets out and shakes (outside again remember) I tip the bath out (or sometimes I recycle this and water my plants) put a towel on the base of the bath, Rascal gets back in (she likes this bit best). I dry her with another towel and into the house she goes. Job done, plug out and the Soggy Dog ® bath goes under the garden bench ready for next time.
Another thing worth mentioning is that any older dog will find it easier to get in and out of the Soggy Dog ® bath because the sides are only 21cms (about 8inches) deep.
And on those really hot summer days ( all three of them) Rascal uses the Soggy Dog ® bath to cool off in and loves it.
So now Rascal’s bath takes me around 4 1/2 minutes as opposed to around 20 minutes in the bathroom.
No bad back, no soaking wet clothes or temperature increase for me – and in minutes the kettle is on.
I am sure that Rascal doesn’t see a bath; she just sees another small pond which happens to be in our garden. She makes no association with tiled rooms which she is wary of – such as the vets. I love our vet but Rascal’s not over keen! and Rascal’s healthier for being clean. My house is healthier and smells better for being clean. Rascal’s less stressed and so am I.
I can take the Soggy Dog ® bath anywhere. I don’t have friends worrying about me coming to stay with Rascal because I can bath Rascal at their house in their garden in the same way without creating chaos in their bathrooms. Plus it doesn’t matter how small the garden, there’s always space for a Soggy Dog ® bath. Rascal can even sleep in the empty and dry Soggy Dog ® bath with a dog blanket in the base and use it as a travel bed when she visits friends. Plus I can pack up all her bowls blankets etc and use it as a carry box in the back of the car.
The grit and dirt which dogs like Rascal collect during a walk is a cause of irritation if left in the dog’s hair – causing them to itch – now Rascal doesn’t scratch herself like she used to and she doesn’t gnaw at her toes like she used to. Plus that same grit gets into carpets and acts like sand paper grinding away leather and scratching the surfaces of a bath – The Soggy Dog ® bath means leaving all that grit outside. The only thing to come into the house is a cleaner, happier, less stressed Soggy Dog ® after a walk!!
I hope it works for you too. I know it will.
Best wishes and lots of love. Chris and Rascal. xx