Most dogs have a job in this world. Some are bred for companionship. Some are bred for herding. Some, like terriers, are bred for capturing and killing small vermin.
And then there’s Beans.
Beans is, technically, a terrier. And he does enjoy chasing and shaking the life out of nefarious socks, or giving hell to a Kong. But Beans was clearly put on this earth for one purpose: to bathe others.
Maybe you’ve known a dog such as this. Maybe you have a dog such as this. If you’re anything like me, you find the first lick or two slightly endearing, but anything more than that causes your brains to curl.
Both of the adults in our household feel the same way about dog licking, no matter how cute or well-intentioned the licker may be. So what’s a Bather to do?
Fortunately, there are also sometimes two children in our home. Children never turn down dog licks. Ever. From tentative kisses on the cheek, heartily washing their fingers after a messy meal, or one sweeping smack, right on the kisser, kids welcome doggie kisses of every ilk.
For about the first year that Stacy and I were together, Beans was the only dog duck in our pond. Then we got Ripley. Ripley didn’t know it at the time, but part of his job was going to be to fulfill Beans’ destiny as a Bather.
Every night, around eight o’clock, after the dinner dishes have been cleared, and the kids are in bed, doggie dinner has been had, and evening business has been done, it’s bath time.
Much like a mama cat, Beans puts one paw on Ripley, and deftly and insistently cleans Rip’s face, head, and ears. Sometimes Ripley struggles, growling playfully or even nipping at Beans, but he knows that resistance is futile — Beans is on the job, and he’s going to do his job, just like any Good Dog would.
And so it goes, night after night. Once bath time is over, they can settle down for their evening naps — Ripley, freshly coiffed, and Beans, spent from a job well done.
Does your pet have an annoying habit that’s also their higher calling? I’d love to see your stories.