Well, the muddy season never ended and here it is spring and you know what that means: April showers….
Personally, my tolerance of muddy paws has been thoroughly tested and I can honestly say, I am done with it. It is time to come up with ways to beat the mud.
First and foremost, I need help bathing my dogs. For the short-haired ones, I like going to Bark N Bean dogwash next to Quiet Waters Park. The kids sometimes come along and it becomes a real outing: they get smoothies and I get a special coffee drink.
If I am really lucky, the kids do the work and I can lounge in the waiting room and read a book. On other occasions, I simply ask one of the staff members to do it for me and I can run an errand or two.
Problem: they are so fast! I know, it’s a good thing for the dogs. They also have a professional groomer there if you need the works.
For my furrier dogs, I like to send them to the groomer. I have visited many excellent ones in Annapolis, but have finally settled on Leah’s Dog Salon on Bay Ridge Avenue.
Here is why: The two I send are the extremely fearful kind, the SPCA specials, one of whom had been considered unadoptable. Leah and the atmosphere in her shop are extremely calm. I have never seen anything like it in a dog salon!
My fearful Aussie actually calmed down and my Doxie seemed to have enjoyed the attention so much, she confidently strutted her new style out the door rather than scampering and pulling as she usually does when leaving a strange place. Plus, Leah took her time and I had as many hours as I wanted to work.
One bit of advice: even if you have a shy dog, training basic obedience commands can make it a lot easier for the groomer. Even my Aussie knows sit, stay and down. Apparently this not only helped the groomer control the pup, but I believe it gave him a sense of security as he understood what the groomer expected of him and received praise for accomplishing the task.
It was a means for Leah to communicate with him and build trust as he could understand expectation and experience positive results.
After the dogs are bathed, the last thing I want is for them to celebrate their arrival back home by running in the muddy yard—which they did. As usual, I had to get out a small tub of water, dip the sixteen paws and dry them. Luckily they all know the stand-stay exercise but still, I was exhausted.
And it’s not like they only go out once a day!
OK. I need a new plan: I am thinking of having the muddy part covered in small stones. Here is where I need advice. I’ve done this before in my old yard, but the stones were small and I fear they will go down the drains of this very marshy back yard.
Which size shall and color shall I get? I am thinking of asking Mariano’s Landscaping to do the work, but have not decided on that as of yet. Any advice is highly welcome.
Ready or not, here spring comes!