“How do you keep them so clean?”
“They are so white!”
“Are they brushed all the time?”

Before the blog, these were questions frequently asked when we were either out with the boys or when people saw their pictures. Since the blog, I’ve received emails from readers asking these same questions – so even though I’m a bit of a sceptic about divulging my “cleaning ritual” obsessions, I’m going to take a leap of “faith” – step out on the “wild side” and share my “in house” secrets about their hygiene habits, and PRAY you don’t think I’ve lost my mind!…

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When I started my search for Harley, I had some “non-negotiable” standards that I insisted I keep: I vowed not to have a home that announced I had a dog before you saw one – come on we’ve all had that experience… I also decided not to have guests leave my home with a souvenir from my dog stuck to their pant leg, skirt or coat after sitting on my sofa, chair, or floor. I will admit though, falling head over heels for a dog with little to no shedding issues was a huge plus!

The first few weeks, I convinced myself that puppies like babies could be introduced to almost any regimen and accept it as a lifestyle as long as it was done consistently and pleasantly. So, between my “need to research” everything and my “mommy skills”, I soon carved out “what worked for me” when it came to grooming, housekeeping, and dog cleanliness. Nothing was really planned, a remedy just somehow seemed to magically “present” itself.

Remember in an earlier blog I talked about “tethering” Harley. Subsequently, everywhere I went he was sure to follow (he really had no choice!). So one extremely early morning (back then they were all “extremely early mornings”) as I washed my face to try and wake up for our first of many walks, I looked down at Harley as he was rolling around the bathroom mat with his paws all over his face. After I watched this for a second or two, I realized he was trying desperately to get those nasty little “eye crusty’s” out of the corners of his eyes. I grabbed a little piece of toilet paper and in a matter of seconds, he and I both could see! Cleaning his eyes regularly has also helped to eliminate those dark spots that can develop from the moisture from his eyes, not to mention it’s just plain “nasty” to have it sit there and “cake-up!”

When we were stationed in Europe, our children had an incredible educational opportunity – they were able to attend Kindergarten in Germany. One habit they learned and introduced to me, was not to wear your “outside” shoes “inside.” Till this day, we still remove our shoes when we enter the house. So as I walked Harley, it just made sense to “wipe his paws” once we returned. I generally come in through the garage which leads us directly into the laundry room, making it the perfect “pit stop” before entering the house. I found some very inexpensive baby wipes from Costco, and both he and Leo know the drill by heart. Leo will even give you his paws one at a time, usually it’s the left first! I know what you’re thinking, “what about his back paws?” well after you do the front he will either stand up knowing I’m coming to the rear, or if he’s really feeling frisky he will actually fall over on his back, stick his legs up in the air and let you wipe his back paws. For you sceptic’s (smile), I will try to catch this on video for you.

A parasite moved into Harley-Darley’s body when he was very young. The vet told me while he was on the antibiotic, she wanted me to “wipe” his bottom after he pooped, to avoid “re-infection”. Well let me tell you  – even I have my limitations! I wanted to scream “ARE YOU CRAZY?” But for the love of Harley, I would glove up and wipe down at least twice a day. After a while it became part of the regimen. I’d wipe all the paws then check the bottom – “wipe, wipe” and we were on to more fun, pleasant, and exciting things. One day, while visiting a friend, her dog came back into the house after using the bathroom, he walked around a bit, and then did the strangest thing: he sat down and began to drag his anus around the carpet, almost as if he was using the “Berber rug” for “Charmin Bath Tissue.” Let me tell you, when I left there, I RAN back to Costco for more baby wipes….

As for their coats: They are bathed weekly and I brush them daily. It is “okay” for them to have baths that often- they play, they get dirty, they sweat and they smell, so they get baths! Brushing takes place before dinner and it is just part of the routine. I want to be honest, some days it is not the “highlight” of my evening. There are times when it is more of a chore than a pleasure. We all have things that we do daily and for me this is one of mine. It’s sort of like cooking, I don’t love to do it, but I don’t mind either because I’m doing it for someone/thing I love…


So there you have it, this is how I manage to keep them looking like they do…

Can someone say OMD (Oh My DOODLE)

  • Tiffie
    January 19, 2012

    OMD indeed! Awesome blog :p

  • Dee
    January 23, 2012

    The evidence of your love is evident.

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