One day Ellen went to the car wash with her dad. As her father was washing the car Ellen noticed a small bay with a sign that said “Dog Wash.” Ellen asked her father if people really washed their dogs at a car wash. Her dad said, “Sure they do. Sometimes people wash their dogs at home in a sink or laundry tub or outside with a bucket of warm water and a hose, and sometimes they take them to a dog grooming salon. But lots of people wash their dogs at special car washes that have the right kind of equipment for giving animals a bath.
“Wow,” thought Ellen, “I have never given Wire Dog a bath of any kind.”Why do dogs need a bath anyway?” Ellen asked her dad.
“Why do they need a bath?” he repeated. “Well they need a bath for the same reasons that people need a bath. Dogs need a good wash now and then to keep them health and smelling fresh and clean. You see dogs have a very good nose and they like to go around smelling everything. Dogs like to smell things that people don’t like to smell. Sometimes dogs will find some dirt or grass that we would think is really stinky, but they like some stinky smells and sometimes they will even roll around on some smelly soil so that their hair and skin picks up that awful smell. For some reason they think it smells good, but often people don’t like the smell. And there are some bad smells that even dogs don’t like, for example, if a dog makes the mistake of chasing a skunk and gets sprayed, the skunk spray will burn the dog’s eyes and make the dog smell just terrible. Even the dog doesn’t like that smell and he will be happy to have a good bath to help get rid of it. Some dogs and other pets can get fleas. There are tablets, sprays and powders to control fleas, but a nice fresh bath never hurts and often makes the dog and the owners feel better about their pet.”
After hearing all of this, Ellen looked down at her little pet Wire Dog. Then she said, “Wire Dog, when we get home today, I am going to give you a good bath.” And that is exactly what she did. Ellen decided that she didn’t need to take Wire Dog to a special car wash or a pet salon; she just got an empty ice cream pail, filled it with warm soapy water and gave him a good bath outside. There were lots of bubbles and she scrubbed him down from head to tail. Then she dried him off and said, “Now don’t you feel better?” Wire Dog looked up and seemed to smile as if he was thanking Ellen for making him feel so fresh and clean.
That night as Ellen thought about all the things her father had told her about dogs getting smelly and sometimes getting fleas, she decided that a good bath might make her feel better too, so just before bed she had a nice bath and that night she slept better than she had in a long time. Wire Dog did too.