Sometimes, I make my dogs unhappy by giving them what I call baths and what they call a brush with a hot, watery death.
They all go through the same six stages, similar to but not quite the exact same as the stages of grief. Dorrie’s are the most visible because she has such an expressive little face.
Stage One: Denial No, surely you couldn’t have said the word “bath,” you probably said something different, like “bed” or “wrath” or “snuggle time” and I just misheard you.
Stage Two: Bargaining I’m not that dirty. Besides, the sticky sap from those weeds you just got rid of makes my hair stick up adorably, like a puppy-Einstein, but it won’t do that if you wash it all out…just….turn the water off, okay?
Stage Three: Blind Hatred Fine. This is how it’s going to be? Fine. I don’t care. I hate you anyway. I’ve always hated you. You’re the worst Mom ever, and I’m not going to make this easy for you.
Stage Four: Depression I’ll never be dry again. This is how I’m going to die. Wet and soapy and miserable in this white torture tub. I’ll never have popcorn again.
Stage Five: Acceptance tempered with Lingering Bitterness Alright, I’m clean. You’ve shampooed and conditioned me and now everything smells like delicious coconut, and the oatmeal actually felt good against my skin, but I’m not happy about that. It didn’t last long enough to make it worth it to me. I’m still never forgiving you.
Stage Six: Unadulterated Bliss OH MY GOD, I’M SO CLEAN! I wish I was this clean every day! This was the best idea ever.