Since the frost melted we have resumed battlefield conditions and the house sits perched as a greenish oasis in a sea of muddy fields. Such times are challenging for a white dog, and even more challenging for she who has recently hoovered the upholstery in the living room. We have not yet reached the level of desperation that would call for a b.a.t.h or s.h.o.w.e.r. The gym shower door closing mechanism sits accusingly on the wash hand basin, spring thoroughly bent out of shape, as a warning of the dire consequences of such a step. Last week though, we had to resort to brushing out Lyra’s undercarriage which had become distinctly clumpy and gritty. This is a two man job. Lachlan is key wrangler and holds her, tum up, on his lap. I am designated evil wielder of the wire brush. I sweeten the pill with three resounding choruses of the muddy dog song.
(This is sung grimly to the tune of “Here we go gathering nuts in May” and runs as follows:
verse 1: Lyra has a muddy tum, muddy tum, muddy tum, Lyra has a muddy tum this will neber do
verse 2: This is the way we brush it out, brush it out, brush it out, This is the way we brush it out to make us nice and clean
verse 3 (largely aspirational): isn’t she such a very good girl, very good girl, very good girl. Isn’t she just a very good girl sitting nice and still (this last verse is traditionally accompanied by near hysteria on Lachlan’s part and many Sumo manoeuvres on Lyra’s part)
We have never made it entirely through verse 3. However by this point, by common consensus, we have reached “clean enough” to give up with dignity.
As can be imagined this is not a process to be undertaken daily. Lyra has already destroyed one grooming brush and is adept at hiding under the table when she sees the new one. Accordingly I have been working on an alternative inspired by the operation of a standard drive through car wash. Ladies and Gentlemen I bring you the walk through pup wash. Today’s walk followed a highly strategic route which included, immediately after the unavoidably muddy section just past the gate, a long walk behind the hedge past the alpaca field where the grass is long and wet and tussocky enough to brush off some of the worst. This was then followed by a trip through a large withers deep puddle followed by a brisk walk into the wind along the road. We made. it home with Lyra, whilst not entirely clean, not entirely filthy either.
Sadly the consequences for your’s truly were less good. To keep Lyra on the tussocks I had to take the muddy path. Being “splay fitted” rather than “hen taed” I invariably contrive to get any mud smeared all up the inside of my wellies and halfway up my thighs. My jeans, though, can at least go in the machine……….