Splish, Splash, I was Takin’ a Bath

Starting Line Up

Starting Line Up – Jeff Smith, Phillip, and Stan-the Man

The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, The Fabulous in 30 Days

Seventeenth in a Series

 January 1, 2016

 Splish, Splash, I Was Takin’ a Bath

On this long awaited day of back to back football entertainment, Paul shared the chair with Cindy Lou listening to the announcer’s voice as he watched yet another action filled game on the wide screen TV.  Selected chips were saturated with some sort of dip as Paul absentmindedly filled his need for high caloric intake ensuring the extra expendable energy required if he were part of the lineup.  While Paul watched the endless activity, the boys were stationed around his chair fixated on the hand that held the snack.  As Paul’s eyes remained fixated on the tube, the boys gaze followed the chip from the bag to the mouth of this man repeatedly hoping that this time the ending would be different.  My thoughts were interrupted with the words,” TOUCHDOWN!” shouted by an excited man who hopped to his feet with his watch party to do doing the happy dance as the fight song rambled in the back ground.  Jeff Smith, Loki, and Stanley wailed and wagged as Gracie Bird punctuated the performance with an ear splitting, “Woo Hoo!, Woo, Hoo!”

Phillip noticed the chance to enact his own play by play amidst the commotion. He dove for the unguarded chip bag and headed out of bounds.  Stan-the-Man opened the door as the pack ran interference into the yard to share the spoils of this hard won taste of victory.  As the chips fell, a bewildered Paul cut to instant replay wondering if this warranted a foul and searched the pantry for a replacement.    “It’s cold outside!” Gracie Bird said shaking her feathers.  “Yes Gracie, it’s cold outside.” I parroted shutting the door.  Stan-the-Man knew how to open doors, but had not yet learned to close a door after him.  Cindy Lou shifted her position in the chair opening one eye slightly as her sleep had been disrupted.

“That little counter grazer!  Did you see that?”  he asked motioning to the boys tackling and tearing the bag of crumbs that were once chips.  Loki had intercepted the torn bag and raced through the yard with “the brothers” in close pursuit.  Phillip rolled joyously in the salted, greasy grass.  “He is going to need a bath,’’ I pointed out as the mix stuck to his skin.  “Tonight, my dear, we will give him a shower, but now I need snacks,” he said closing the refrigerator that did not produce the desired delicacy.  Pointing a celery stick in my direction Paul continued, “I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s resolution.  Perhaps, I should start the year off eating healthier.  “Maybe the lost snacks pushed Paul into this official press release,” I thought wondering how long this resolution would last.  Paul muttered under his breath, “Are you cooking the black eyed peas… without ham?  Of course, you are!  Why would I expect ham from a vegetarian?” The celery crunched in his mouth accentuating his self-imposed punishment.  “You will never miss the ham when these are finished,” I replied as he settled back for more football.  “After all, these were special black eyed peas grown in our own garden for this very day.  What could be more meaningful?”

The bowls of beans sat steaming on the table for the traditional New Year’s good luck ritual.  “Yummy!” Paul exclaimed with unexpected zeal.  “Pass the salt, please.”  I rose to get the salt that was missing from the table.  “Of course, they taste good!” I thought rationalizing his praise.  “If you eat enough celery, anything tastes good!” Turning to approach the table, I caught sight of all four dog’s heads sharing the last remnants from Paul’s “yummy” meal.  The bowl was quickly returned to its lineup before I could call “off sides.”  “Need seconds?” I asked pretending not to notice the offense.  “No, I’m full,” he said patting his stomach and returning to the chair.  Phillip burped.  “At least some of us will have a good luck for the new year,” I smiled silently.

First baths are usually eventful for any dog and Phillip was no exception.  “Phillip…. Bath?” Paul said attaching the leash and directing the dog to the shower.  “Gracie Bird bath?” Gracie Bird begged while throwing water onto her feathers from her dish.  “Later, Gracie Bird,” Paul promised.  “It’s Phillip’s turn.”  Phillip planted his feet and like a defensive lineman would not budge in the direction of the small room with warm running water.  He did not like water since it reminded him of all those rain storms endured in a past life.  “Ellen, I don’t want to stress him out or force him.  Do you have any ideas to make this a more enjoyable experience?” Paul asked.  Phillip had excelled at so many new situations and we wanted him to associate “bath time” with “fun time.”

I thought for a moment and remembered a frightened baby Stanley terrorized by everything new.  He conquered stair climbing with the help of kibble scattered along the steps.  Car rides became a joy when he got to sit in my lap and eat treats from my hand.  We fed him meals in the shower to give the enclosed space a positive association.  It is hard to even imagine a confident Stanley having those problems so long ago.  “There is that Christmas ham loaf still in the refrigerator.  I’ll be back in a moment with a plan,” I announced running down the stairs.

The fears of a once frightened Phillip were replaced with the excitement of having a plate of “people” food all to himself.  The plate was carried into the shower followed without hesitation by a suddenly hungry Phillip.  He never noticed the shower door closing or the warm water washing over him as we calmly rewarded him with praises and ham loaf.  Phillip even offered to assist with his scrub by lifting a leg for better access.  Paul beamed proudly at the cooperation.  Phillip closed his eyes and leaned into the man and relished the touch of his first bath.

I opened the door to the tiny room to allow Phillip an exit as I followed with towels to finish the process.  Bone-it-a burst through the door demanding her turn and nosed intently for any overlooked ham loaf on the shower floor.  The others lined up awaiting their turn as if thinking,” NEXT!”

Phillip rolled onto his back to allow me to dry his tummy.  Previously unnoticed scars were now sickeningly visible.  They appeared to be the result of cigarette burns.  “How could anyone use this sweet trusting tummy to put out their cigarettes?  Can you believe this, Paul? How much evidence of his suffering will we uncover?” I asked a wet Paul who exited the small steam filled room followed by an entourage of clean dogs.  “Can you fix it?” he asked looking down with renewed concern at the dog that had just excelled in one more new task. “Yep, I can fix it,” I said without looking up as I mentally inventoried my homemade herbal concoctions.

From that day forth, the bathroom became Phillip’s personal locker room.  It had memories of post-game warm rub downs, praises, and ham loaf.  The shower stall was revisited often in hopes of finding overlooked ham loaf leavings.  He considered the toilet bowl his personal fresh water dispenser as the rest of the dogs lined up awaiting rehydration.  And best of all, Paul and I never needed to worry about being lonely in this small room… for if we were to only wait… for a very few seconds…the door would burst open heralding a happy Phillip followed by a parade of pouches intent on ear scratches from their intimate audience.

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About ellen3625

Love Cancer? Posted on June 5, 2014by ellen3625 I remember the day the we stopped dying and started living. That was the day that we stopped fighting the Cancer and started loving the Cancer. Love Cancer? You are undoubtedly asking yourself if you read that correctly. Yes, Indeed you have. We did not wish cancer upon my husband. Despite the devastating nature of this life-threatening illness, opportunities were made available to us that we would have never chosen. The illness drove us down a winding scenic road brimming with serendipitous events that led to unexplored possibilities and new realities. This drive was filled with glimpses of unimaginable ideas and beliefs that consumed our interest like never before. Unique new individuals and unexpected animals seemed to show up at each intersection providing uncharted directions that filled us with hope and wonder, displacing the fear of death. The worries of the cancer that once filled our every thought were welcomed with a no vacancy sign. That different path had always been there available to us…waiting for us, yet we never chose to take the time to explore it. There was never the time until there was no more time. We always felt there would be endless tomorrows. Cancer had seemingly removed that option. Now I say “Thank You Cancer!” I say this knowing that we have had a rare chance to embrace the treasures that are really meaningful now.. not waiting for those imagined tomorrows. “Thank You Cancer” for changing our lifestyles, our food choices, our thoughts, and our actions. “Thank You Cancer” for opening my eyes to the bounty of healing weeds that are growing in the medicine cabinet I call my “Back Yard.” I would have never had the courage or desire to try my “Home Grown Concoctions” without your shove. “Thank You Cancer” for the animals that have helped us along the way. We are forever in their debt. “Thank You Cancer” for teaching us to live each moment to its fullest for the best and highest good for all. Now when I see someone with Cancer, I don’t say,” You poor dear!” Instead I tell them, “Opportunity has just slapped you in the face. You are about to embark on the journey of your life! Buckle Up, Take in the View, and Love the Cancer!” Love Cancer? You bet ya!
This entry was posted in Adoptable Foster Dog, dog bath, Dog Photography, Football, Herbal Medicine, New Years, party, Phillip, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Splish, Splash, I was Takin’ a Bath

  1. Pingback: Splish, Splash, I was Takin’ a Bath | wackedoutonweeds

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