Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Buggy Bath and the Waving Miracle

Sailor here.

Mom opened the back of the station wagon.

"Hop in,” she said to Zoe and me. “We are going to do something new and fun."

"Will we get wet?" I asked, remembering the trip Mom and I took to the Baylands.

She smiled and gave me a funny look. "Oh, I hope not," she answered.

We drove by the Vet's office and went around the corner. Mom parked in a huge tunnel. It
smelled like water. It smelled like soap.

"Is this an outdoor DogWash?" I asked.

"Actually, Sailor," Mom answered. "It is a Buggy Bath. I'm going to wash the car and you two are going to supervise."

Mom is big on do-it-herself projects. I really didn't think she could lift the car up into a bathtub, but it turned out that she didn't have to. The water came to her! She fed a Hungry Box with metal discs and water started to hiss and spit.

“I hear cats.” I said.

Zoe jumped up at the word, cat, and bumped her nose on the seat back. “Where? Where?” she leaped over me and made nose prints on all the back the windows.

Mom ignored us and sprayed the car with water. I woofed and barked at the noise. Zoe ran around as best she could in such a cramped space and looked for cats. Mom took a big fuzzy popsicle and brushed the car sides, top and windows. I barked and barked at the furry thing trying to get into the car. Zoe tried to catch it. I was dry. Zoe was dry. Mom looked dry but her sleeves were wet up to her armpits.

Just as Mom began to rinse, the wind kicked up and blew water all over her.

“Oh, drat!” Mom shook water off her head and wiped her arms on the top of her jeans.

Zoe licked the windows. The Hungry Box beeped and the water stopped. I woofed a little more and waited to see what Mom would do next.

She did nothing. She just stood there and looked at the wand in her hand. She grumbled. She mumbled. She pulled a green paper out of her pocket and went to another metal box, which ate her money. Then with a clang, a bunch of metal discs sailed out. Mom laughed.

“Jackpot!” she called to me.

She started the rinse again. Zoe licked the windows. I woofed. Zoe licked. Mom rinsed. The machine beeped. The water stopped.

“Oh, brother,” I thought. “We are going to be here all day.“

“All done,” Mom announced.

She got back in the car and told us to lie down. I lay down. Zoe sproinged around all over me.

Mom started the car. "Hang on!" she called to us from the driver’s seat.

“Zoe,” I said earnestly. “I know what Hang On means. It means drop! If you don't drop when she says Hang On, there's no telling where you might end up.”

Zoe didn't drop.

Mom drove very, very slowly out of the tunnel and POW! She slammed on her brakes. Zoe dropped. Zoe stayed dropped all the way home.

“That is how Mom trained me to drop,” I told Zoe.

Zoe was impressed.

As we drove home, I turned to Zoe. “So that’s what the Buggy Bath is. We didn't wash insects, we washed the car. You and I stayed dry. And Mom got wet.”

“And I learned to drop,” said Zoe to me. “But with all that hissing a spitting, why there are still nose prints all over the inside of the windows?”

Mom drove us home and parked in the driveway. Zoe and I jumped onto the asphalt and Mom gave the windows a good look.

“Ack, phooey,” she said. “Look what you’ve done to the inside of the car!”

She led us into the kitchen, filled the teakettle and turned on the stove.

We knew we were all in for trouble because Mom made herself a cup of coffee with the high
octane stuff.

“She's done this before,” I told Zoe, “Sit back, hang on, and watch out!”

Mom put her empty cup in the sink and went out to the newly washed station wagon with a bottle in one hand and a white rag in the other. Zoe ran into the front room and carefully pulled the aluminum foil onto the floor.

“Hop up,” Zoe said in her best Mom voice.

I did as I was told, and we watched Mom from the forbidden couch in the living room window.

This made me a little nervous, and I began to drool.

“Don’t worry, Sailor,” Zoe said. “As long as Mom is outside, she can’t see where we are. We’ll jump off the couch when she comes in.”

Mom opened up the dog compartment of the car, sat on the dog shelf, and disappeared behind a wall of nose prints. Pretty soon we could see her white rag waving at us. Miraculously, the more it waved, the more of Mom we saw. She appeared once and crawled out of the back, only to disappear again into the back seat. The same thing happened. There she wasn't, then there she was.

I call it the Waving Miracle. Mom probably calls it Surrender.

Mom stepped out of the car and started up the brick walkway toward the front door.

“Quick, Sailor!” Zoe yipped. “Jump off!”

We lay down on the living room rug.

“Zoe and Sailor,” Mom exclaimed as she shut the front door. “You’ve been on the couch! Naughty dogs.”

“Ooops,” Zoe whispered. “You forgot to put the foil back on the couch.”

“Me? Me?” I shoved Zoe with my shoulder and and followed Mom into the kitchen. “Why is it always MY fault?”

Then Mom put Zoe outside in the dog run and attached my leash to my collar. She invited me to hop into the car. I jumped in and looked out the window. I could see! I waved the white tip of my tail. I wondered if I looked the same as Mom, but Zoe couldn't see me to tell me. I guess I'll never know if I made a Waving Miracle or not.

We drove to the Dog Wash and Mom hupped me up into a tub. She fed the Hungry Box and turned on the water. I pretended I was our car at the Buggy Bath.

“Sorry, Sailor,” Mom apologized. “I know you hate this place.”

“Hisssss, Hisssss,” I replied. “Gurgle, gurgle, whoosh!”

After my bath, I realized that I didn't mind going to the DogWash at all. I had Mom all to myself. Everyone in the building came up and told Mom how handsome I was. Then I got cookies from the sales people and even got to sniff a few doggy butts.

When we got home, Zoe said, "BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You had to go to the DogWash, too bad for you. Go roll in the gorilla hair."

Mom was very clever last fall and had gorilla hair put down on top of the dirt in the back yard. She called it mulch and said that gorilla hair should be called monkey fur since gorillas had black hair and their hair was fur, not hair. The gorilla hair keeps us from getting too muddy when we’re outside in the rain.

Mom left me in the back yard to contemplate the gorilla hair and clipped my leash onto Zoe’s collar and led her to the car.

Zoe dew clawed her nose at me.

"Nyah, nyah. I get to do something FUN!" she called, sticking her head out the window. “Nyah, nyah! All you did was have a bath!”

When they came home, Zoe smelled exactly like the DogWash and was damp. It took the rest of the day for her to speak to me again.

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