Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Encountering a Pit Bull

As a teen, I was briefly employed as a dog groomer in a pet store.  Now I knew very little about trimming dogs' coats, so I was relegated to the easy jobs on breeds not requiring much finesse.  Obviously, no poodles or Chinese cresteds or Yorkies. Cayoodles* are seldom clipped or manicured.

Usually I wound up bathing the dogs; and this usually resulted in an impromptu doggy bath for me as well!  Oh well, when I rode the bus, I was not usually crowded by other passengers!

One day, the worst possible case happened.  A distressed owner brought in his large, drooling, uncomfortable, miserable pit bull named Thor to get a bath after getting sprayed by a skunk!  The scariest breed there was, and with a scary name as well!  And I was supposed to de-stink this fellow?  And, for God's sake, how did he come across a skunk in New Orleans?  Actually, a surprising number of wild animals have become semiurbanized opportunists.  But no Louisiana brown bears or alligators, as far as I know.

Actually, Thor shied away from me, expecting some other enormity on top of the skunk chemical warfare.  I gave him a dog treat to buddy up to him.  He sniffed at it, and accepted it after some thought.  I made sure the water was warm; immersing a pooch in cold water spoils the mood.  However, I started before the bath to massage him with a combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.  (I used gloves with the H2O2.)  He seemed to like the soft sponge.  Naturally, even a short-haired dog shakes off water when wet; and I got the stink removal stuff and some stink all over me.  Darn!   For some reason I put my arms around Thor's neck to better grasp the situation, and he took it as a hug.  That worked.  So I kept on with it, and he settled back and enjoyed the rub down and the following bath with doggie shampoo!  Contrary to the stories, there is no reason to bathe the dog in tomato juice; make the dog gazpacho instead.  Any way, I became his best friend when he realized that he reeked less!  (Or maybe the two of us smelled similarly!)  The story went on: I had to ride the bus going home, and I sat in the back. 

One day Thor and his owner came into the pet store.  As I was in the store itself, and not in the grooming parlor, he jerked his owner's leash and came to visit with me.  Thor was a sweetie!

*A New Orleans expression for mixed breed, garden variety dogs (mutts).

Such a winning smile.

9 comments:

Bilbo said...

Pit bulls have an unfortunate reputation for violence that is actually the result of how they've been trained and treated. Our daughter has a pit bull named Clara that has a sweet disposition, thinks she's a lap dog, and loves to cuddle with the children.

Brandi said...

Pit bulls are unfortunately stereotyped as dangerous. Sad and unwarranted.

TexWisGirl said...

sweet boy. yeah, that chemical warfare stuff is tough! we get it several times a year, here, with the 4 big country pups...

MarkD60 said...

Glad it went well! I love all dogs! When I give my dogs a bath, I always get one too!

Mike said...

One skunked dog is one too many.

Linda Kay said...

Everyone is right that the pit bulls have a horrible reputation. I'm not sure I would trust one that didn't know me. I can't imagine how you got rid of the odor. We had dogs on the farm that would occasionally get sprayed by a skunk, but they just had to let it wear off. Cute picture of the dog. Merry Christmas, Angel

Anemone said...

I heard about the tomato juice idea, and it apparently don't work.

Grand Crapaud said...

You went to the dogs, Angel. :)

Cloudia said...

Aw you're good to doggies!

We call them (mixed) "poi dogs"





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