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Kooper the Dim cleans up his act

This is the continuing story of Kooper “The Dim”. I have shared some of his antics in previous stories, that can be re-read at:

He is a 10-year-old yellow Lab mix weighing in at about 100 pounds of very friendly, although a bit socially awkward, mutt. Being mostly Lab, his favorite thing is water. It could be Conesus Lake in our front yard or water from the hose; if he can get wet, game on.

We’ll get back to him in a minute; I have to start at the beginning of this latest adventure.

Because we are staying primarily at home while we ride out this pandemic, and much like the rest of you, we started cleaning our home, top to bottom, inside and out. This is going well and I have to give a big shout out to the service that picks up our trash. We’ve been keeping them busy. Thank you.

I do have a little side note about our trash pickup though. For those of you that are walking their dogs along the street I live on: I think it is a great thing taking the dog and yourself for a little exercise. I do have one small request: Please don't let your dog wet on my blue recycle box when it's by the road. First, it's kinda gross when I have to retrieve it. Second, it makes my dog crazy; he then wants to wet on it, then I have to wet on it, and around and around we go. It's gotten to be a whole thing. Let's break this cycle now!

Back to the main story. Inevitably during this deep cleaning cycle we are noticing dog hair everywhere. Time to turn my attention to Kooper. I have learned over the years of doing this that even though I have a process I want to follow; he doesn’t necessarily think he is obligated to cooperate with it.

The process starts with a good brushing. I do this outside on the deck with a tool that looks like a small rake with teeth. He loves this part. He will turn, so I get every bit of him and roll over, so I can get his belly. However, this results in copious amounts of hair. Usually enough to fill a plastic shopping bag, sometimes two.

This time I am getting a lot of hair and its piling up around us. As I write this it is early spring in the Finger Lakes, and we have a number of bird species building nests. With all that dog hair around, I suddenly am swarmed by numerous birds flying around us, grabbing beak-full’s of dog hair and taking off. It was almost like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.

Now to get him back inside into the shower; my process, not his. He has figured out that it is BATH TIME. He immediately runs behind my chair and is trying to hide in the curtains. He needs to be coaxed out, and this requires a handful of treats, otherwise known as bribes. I start laying a trail to the bathroom and shower, but he doesn’t fall for that old trick. So much for my process.

I finally have to go in and encourage him out. Talking to him and feeding him treats by the handful. As long as I have my hand on him, he’s OK. We get into the bathroom, get the shower going with nice warm water. Water! In he goes dragging me behind with all my clothes on.

He loves the shower, getting soaped up, and rinsed off. He turns when needed, so I can get every inch clean. We finally finish, and he then shakes all over the bathroom, going through half a dozen towels to get him and the floor, and the cabinets and the mirror and everything else in the room dry. However, it is impossible to fully dry a dog like him, so he is still a wet mess, but at least he is clean.

To get back at me he runs into the bedroom, jumps up on my bed and lies down on my pillow. The next day when I let him out, he immediately roils around in the nearest open dirt he can find. I think he has figured out that by showing a little reluctance gets him more treats. Repeat process...

I guess it’s time to re-evaluate my process.


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