I hadn't planned on giving Maisey a bath the other night. In fact, I'd like to avoid the topics of baths all together, because it ends up destroying my entire bathroom each time. It's not that Maisey is unenthusiastic about bath time -- it's that she plunges in eagerly and whole-heartedly, and both me and the bathroom get wet as a result.
Tuesday was a gorgeous day, with temps in the high 70s. We went to the park after I came home from work and she romped with a big terrier mix who had about 10 or 15 pounds on her. For some reason, something has finally clicked with her and she has become more apt to wrestle with another dog than she used to be. Maybe she's figured out that a majority of the dogs don't want to chase her and be chased; they want to wrestle.
So she got herself really worked up tumbling around and showing her teeth and pretending to be a big dog, and then flopped into a mud puddle to cool off. By the time we got home, the mud had dried into ropy dreadlocks, and there really wasn't any way to get around a bath.
Maisey thinks baths are swimming, or rather, splashing. Maise doesn't actually like to "swim" in water deeper than she can stand. She likes to splash, and hop in and out (if it's a wading pool) and smack the water with her paw. She also likes to submerge, open her mouth and scoot around like a shark. I usually start the bath up with a few inches of water just so she can play, and then I break out the shampoo while she bites at the water coming from the faucet.
So I'm shampooing and rubbing, and she's splashing and getting dirty water all over her face, and I realize that I'm pulling out suspiciously large clumps of hair. But I pretend that's not happening, because I'm sure hair could be coming out because of the mud. Or because of the cycle of the moon. Or maybe a dog loosened some of it during play and it's just now coming out. Anything but what's really going on: the Spring Blow.
Once she dried out a bit, I brushed her and confirmed the bad news. See, Eskie's don't really shed except twice a year. Right around the time change in spring and fall, they do a "blow" and loose a BUNCH of hair, only to grow back even more until the next blow. In Maisey's case, her first blow last spring left her almost bald -- there were a lot of pink places on her body. Her fall blow was even worse, not because she went completely bald, but because her coat had grown back thicker so there was a lot more hair to lose. My apartment had a blizzard of long white dog hair everywhere.
So now I'm preparing myself for this one, which will probably be even worse than the fall. I have hard wood floors, so if I resign myself to sweeping every day, I should be able to deal with the worst of it. But I need to borrow a vacuum cleaner from my mother for the rugs that I do have, because frankly I'm still picking white hairs from last fall out of my red rug.