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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Adventures in Dog Washing

Of all the tasks I do on any given weekend, probably the one nearest to the bottom of my list is giving my dog a bath.

I own a shelter dog. He’s the sweetest pooch you can ever imagine; in fact, the shelter named him “Domino” because they said he was as “sweet as sugar.” However, he has some fears that I assume are from his past life. The list of things he is afraid of includes children, bicycles, scooters, small motorized vehicles, thunderstorms, the vacuum, blow dryers, beach balls, strangers (especially men with beards), and back massagers (don’t ask). Though I can handle him in most situations, come bath time, I am definitely not the dog whisperer.

I was able to get through the winter months without giving him a bath — after all, he was mostly inside. Come spring, he began to smell like dog, which permeated through the entire house, and the task could no longer be put off. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to the chore, but the thought of dragging my neurotic dog to the groomer was enough to nix that idea. Besides, I couldn’t afford the cost of paying someone else to do my dirty work.

How hard could it be to just bathe him myself? Was I in for a surprise! Here’s how bathing him at home really went down:

Bath #1: The tub
1. In an excited, high-pitched voice, ask the dog repeatedly if he wants to take a bath. Not knowing what in the world I’m saying, he seems game.
2. Go into the bathroom where the water is running in the tub. Hear the sound of four paws screeching to a halt on the tile floor.
3. Quickly shut the door so freaked-out dog can’t escape.
4. Yell at teenage son to help me lure this 50-pound dog into the tub. He brings salami.
5. Soap dog up, soaping myself up in the process when he decides to “shake it off,” manage to get him rinsed and somewhat dry, and he proceeds to run in circles around the house like a maniac.
6. Spend the rest of the day cleaning dog hair off every bathroom surface and wonder why my back is killing me. How long I can wait until Bath #2?

Bath #2: The hose
    In an effort to create a more “natural” environment for my dog, I had the bright idea to take him outside and (gently) turn the hose on him.
1. My first problem was securing the dog. I thought it was pretty ingenious to just step on the leash, which freed my hands up to hold the shampoo and the hose. Nope. He’s on to me and not liking it one bit.
2. Water from the hose is cold! Even though the day was hot, he acted I like I just blasted him with a freeze ray.
3. Manage to soap him up and rinse, when, of course, he starts shaking off the excess water.
4. I dry him off, let him go, and he immediately rolls in the grass — OK —the one patch of mud in the yard. Sigh.

Bath #3: The coin-operated pet wash
    So, there’s this handy dandy place at my local car wash where you can give your pet a bath. Perfect! Here we go!
1. Walk into an 8 ft. by 8 ft. concrete room that smells like 100 wet dogs and contains an oversized, metal utility sink.
2. Get my quarters ready for the money slot to get the water going. Clearly, I haven’t brought enough as I only get eight minutes for $6.00!
3. Get dog soaped up, start to rinse — aarrghh — need more quarters; they spill on the floor.
4. It’s stifling hot in this little cubicle and despite the fact that I am soaked, I’m dripping with sweat.
5. Finally finished, I manage to semi-dry him with a towel and take him outside, where he proceeds to roll around in the grassy area where he peed less than 15 minutes ago.

There has to be a better way! I’ve heard of this new place called Nilla’s Tub, where their motto is, “Save Your Back! Skip the Mess!” OK, I’m sold. Going there next month to see if this might be the solution. Stay tuned!
Nilla’s Tub DIY Dog Wash and Health Food Store for Dogs and Cats, located at 211 Landmark Dr. in Normal, has everything you need to bathe and groom your furry friend in a fun, relaxing environment. They also carry a large selection of dietary supplements, treats, and the highest quality dog and cat food, including raw and dehydrated raw. No appointment necessary, call 309-451-9274 or visit them online at NillasTub.com.


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