Scrub a Pup in a Tub

He spent the day in the backyard playing Squirrel Assassin and proving that even old dogs get the zoomies.

When he came in, he was an olfactory offense against nature. He definitely smelled like he was past his sell-by date.

Time for a…[shudder]…bath. But where?

Max in hot tub

“Fill ‘er up!”

Earlier, I had cleaned the hot tub and it was already warming nicely. Nah, even in hedonistic Southern California, dogs don’t go in the hot tub. At least, not this Malt.

Max in sink

“Just not the dishwasher, please.”

Maybe the kitchen sink? It’s nice and deep and well-sized for dunking a doggo.

Perhaps not. The Alpha Japanese Female is protective of her territory which includes everything in the house including the kitchen sink. (He he he…see what I did there?)

Max in tub

Not the whitest object. Yet.

As it occurred, there is a small guest bath that had just been spiffed up and it was the perfect solution for a dirty Maltese.

Of course, that meant I would have to join him. Scrub buddies!

Max in tub2

“Do I look like I’m enjoying this?”

First, we suds up. It’s a two-step process starting with a medicinal shampoo and followed by his regular soap-free bathing solution that is scented with Japanese cherry blossoms. Really. Don’t judge me.

Then comes the rinse and conditioner. Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic don’tcha know.

Age spots

Age spots. Both of us have them.

Here’s what irks: the dog has a half dozen bottles of hair products. The AJF’s inventory looks like a Paul Mitchell warehouse.

Me? I have one bottle of Old Spice that says: “Body-Hair-Skin Wash.” I suspect it can also be used for de-glazing cooking pans, replacing brake fluid and cleaning the patio.

Oh, I should also mention (since I have a death wish) that the AJF enjoys what the designers call a “personal garden tub.” It’s huge. Neither Max nor I are allowed into that tub.

Get me out

“Get me out of here now.”

After the bath comes a thorough drying using his personal towels, ear cleaning and then he gets released to run around the house like a deranged, rabid animal, throwing himself with abandon on every soft surface until the last trace of moisture evaporates.

Quick roll

Self-drying in my office.

After all that, we are still not done. The little white dog needs to be brushed so that his fine hair doesn’t become matted. You don’t want to try and work the mats out of a Maltese’s coat. Or even out of his gym shorts. Snorf.

At least the brushing can be done while watching college football and quaffing a delightful barley, hops and malt-based adult beverage.

Brush out

We start at the back and work forward.

Finally, the deed is done; the mission is accomplished. The Furnugget is fragrant, clean and fluffed. He’s exhausted. I’m exhausted.

Time for a well-deserved Milk Bone reward!


“It took you long enough.”

Total time expended? 25 minutes. Number of scratches on my legs? 4 but only 2 drew blood. Cost of materials? I don’t want to think about it.

Having a clean Malt? Priceless.


“You forgot to express my anal glands.”

57 replies

  1. “You forgot to express my anal glands.” Max is too funny. If I joined in on the ‘age spots’ photo, we’d look like a freckles convention!

    For inquiring minds, did Max scrub your back! 😳

    Max looks squeaky clean now and no worse for the wear. You, on the other hand, are probably still sleeping!

    BTW, Murphy says she would have taken a pass on the hot tub too, but that the AJF’s “personal garden tub” sounds very inviting!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leo is very interested in that all purpose shampoo….if ever he finds a bottle of it I can see I will be out on the balcony tout de suite to try it out. If that works then the car will be next. He might even try washing with it…
    Bathing his lordship seems like a complicated job. I do ours on a production line system. Wait until they are all out on the balcony baying at squirrels. Lock all doors to the interior – a precaution which avoids finding out just how much fluff there is under the bed as you haul Plush out. Turn on hose. Grab dog firmly and trap against the balustrade…hose, shampoo, rinse, release. eight times. Backbreaking, so followed by removing wet dog from recliner, reclining and then realising that the barley, hops and malt based adult beverage is the other side of the locked doors and the dogs are still wet…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 25 minutes?? 25 bloody minutes! Try bathing a full sized Knucklehead who simultaneously gives withering looks, freezes in place with 27 stiff legs like a robot making sure you can’t reach that last elusive armpit at the opposite end of the tub (on the inside naturally) and then slips on the tub floor turning previously described stiff position into freaked out 85 legs windmill flailing EVERYWHERE while gallons of H2O splash over the enclosure like a Tsunami just hit. I’d feel like I had received the greatest reward ever with 25 minutes. Then of course, there’s the 45 minutes of de-dogging cleanup, drying myself off, taking Advil for now spasming back before resuming the process of drying, trimming and cleaning up fluffy hair that has floated everywhere. The recent phenomena of ‘freckling’ still has me wigged out. Excuse me now while I take a nap, I got tired just thinking about this upcoming chore. πŸ’€

    P.S. Hope your reward included a win for your team. 🍺

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Maverick takes a shower with me. It takes us about 25 minutes, and he also does the “rub my body against every soft surface” routine afterwards. It’s not difficult to brush him out, though – he’s pretty silky and doesn’t mat up much. And he dearly loves water! Anal glands – you do them yourself? Oh dear sweet baby Jesus, you couldn’t pay me enough to do that job!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. HA! Max,
    You crack me up! I am laughing so hard at the things you said! πŸ˜€ And you remind me of bath times for Cooper! Very similar to yours! πŸ˜€ I read what you said to Cooper and he said, “Why are you laughing, Mom? I see nothing funny here.”
    Gosh, Max, after all you went through, and put up with…you deserved a steak!!! πŸ™‚
    Well, I think you always look handsome…but this isn’t Smell-O-WordPress, so I will trust that your Dad and Mom knew it was time to scrub in the tub!
    PATS and RUBS to you!!!
    HUGS to your Mom and Dad!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too bad we don’t have “scratch ‘n sniff” options so I could share what a stinky Malt smells like. Actually, in the scheme of things, it’s not too bad as Malts generally have a light whiff of Fritos when they get dirty. It’s easy to see when a bath is needed because…well, white dog turns gray. We’re amazed at how dirty the water gets when we rinse him off. I’m sure Cooper commiserates with Max about the injustice of getting washed.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Max from Connecticut;Mr. Buttons completely understand how you feel about playing in the back yard. He too likes to play with the squirrels, but he does not need a bath afterwards.He also understands about the bath part too, especially when the bath tubs look scary to start off with.Β Mr. Buttons says because you are brave, strong & courageous you handled this like a pro. Take care, look forward to taking to you soonMr. Buttons & Audrey Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

    • How do you handle bathing your Maltese, Audrey? Surely Mr. Buttons gets a scrub now and then or do you take him to the pros? There are a number of self-wash establishments around here so one can avoid the mess at home but I found the simplest way is to jump in the tub with him, although that usually involves some scratches for me. We’ve found that 3-4 weeks is pretty much the limit before Max needs a scrub. After that he gets itchy too. He hates the bath but I thin he likes feeling fresh and clean.


  7. Absolutely darling … I chuckled my way all through your adventure!!!! Can completely relate to the shampoo-ing of our little guys. Fortunately, I insisted on a laundry tub in our new house (we downsized, so if you’re in the laundry room, you have to leave to sneeze) … just for Buddy. And yes, he’s got quite the collection of “products” as well!!! Had to laugh, too, at your pic of the after-shampooing ritual … I call it “rubbing off the clean.” Great blog … great, fun writing style!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lois and Buddy and welcome to the pack of reprobates that visit this silly dog blog. Your wonderful digital painting of the Christmas Maltese on your super duper photoblog caught my attention – we Maltese people need to stand together against the onslaught of pugs and others. We used to have a laundry tub when we lived in Utah and that was the best for washing a squirmy wormy Malt. I’ve tried the kitchen sink but spousal abuse made me give up that approach.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It is curious how they choose to shove their heads on the ground and their bums in the air post-bath. I myself have never done that. But I do agree with you about the beverage. Perhaps you should watch Barley and Me whilst imbibing. And speaking on behalf of all Alpha females, we do deserve garden tubs. We are not plebeians. PS, I didn’t know dogs could get age spots! It’s like he’s a Maltese cheetah.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mr. Scoatz, my beloved Scottish Terrier, was so smart that all I had to do was open the cabinet where I kept his shampoo and he would walk, very casually mind you, deep into his crate. I was always surprised he couldn’t close the door. I could never bathe him myself. I gave up trying and hired a groomer. My hats off to you for your effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really are good at sensing when we intend to grab them for baths, aren’t they? I have to be super surreptitious in moving Max’s bath products to the guest bath. If he spots me he hides under the bed. Same with his towels. Bath time has become a battle of wits and I appear to be at a disadvantage.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think Buddy, with all his extra sensory senses that I’ve been reading about, must have been reading over my shoulder as I chuckled at your story this afternoon. My husband took Budz out for a quick visit to the grass before we were to leave for dinner with friends. Somehow he (Buddy, not my husband) found something extra gooey and stinky … and he wallowed. Big time. So there’s me, all dressed up and ready to go, standing over the laundry tub, doggie soap bubbles everywhere … and thinking of you and Max. I mean. Talk about coincidence and timing!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why do I think it was Mr. Lois who was charged with cleaning the wayward pup? Poor Buddy just wanted some warm and familiar stank to surround himself with while his dog parents were out living the high life! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, no … Mr. Lois has never bathed any of our doggies. Dat be my job. As to Buddy surrounding himself with familiar stank, I frequently leave a sweater or something in one of his (many) beds to snuggle into while we’re out. Either that or he gets into the laundry basket and makes his own choice (which is pretty astounding, considering how tiny he is and how tall the laundry basket is!!!). These guys … don’t underestimate them!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh the dilemmas of holding to the standards of cleanliness! I’m so happy you both survived the ordeal in tact…and that Max was inspired to share some of that joy with the unsuspecting carpet. Hehe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our vet in Hawaii told us that when he was a kid, his family was so poor that they would wash their dog using laundry soap and a garden hose. I used to grab Max and say “Are you paying attention?”


  12. Ah, the joys of having a freshly-cleaned pup…something that Jett has decided he no longer wants any part of. Too bad he’s almost as big as I am, or I might have better luck wrestling him into the tub πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, size comes into play. I frequently leave the tub with blood on y arms or legs even though Max is a small fur monster. Sharp claws and a lot of bad attitude can do that and nothing gets his fur up like the a bath.


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