Doggie Water Therapy

A veterinary office can be a very busy place. There is usually a lineup of animals that need to be evaluated and treated so there is a lot of commotion in the waiting room. It takes attentive owners to make sure there are no doggie fights or aggressive behavior. The animals are frightened, of course, and many remember the place with less than fond memories. You take a cat, for example, out of its natural habitat, and its claws are extended. I admire the staff in the office for their patience and concern. They try to get to each pet quickly and to make the checkup painless and stress free. They know most of the patrons from their regular visits and they greet each animal warmly. This calms them down and makes for a more orderly business.

Some of the animals balk at being prodded and poked, but some like their designated therapy. I am referring to the small hot tub we have for rescue dogs. It seems that the abandoned pups like the warm bath. They get a good soaking and a thorough cleaning which they sorely need. Animals that have been living on the street get pretty grungy. It takes some elbow grease to get off the caked on dirt. You can imagine the condition of the hot tub after just one washing. The staff are so busy that it is hard for them to stop everything and take the time to rinse it out and get it ready for the next dog. Someone has to do it, and that someone could be me. Regular cleaning of a hot tub is essential. I have been known to volunteer for distasteful tasks and this certainly counts as one among them.

I empty the hot tub of all of the water and mop the floor surrounding the unit as it is full of sudsy soap. I wipe out the surface of the tub with an old towel and run for the disinfectant. I spray it on lavishly and swish it around with another clean towel. Then I rinse if down once again and it is primed for the next use. It takes a good half an hour so if you have a few rescue dogs waiting in the wings, they just have to wait their turn. If we are super pressed for time, we can bathe two dogs at once, but the water becomes so murky you wonder if the pups can really get clean. I love the hot tub availability. It sure beats hosing the dirty dogs down. The only place we can really do that is outside behind the clinic or in the surgery room. That is too unsanitary. The hot tub is the answer to everything. The dogs love it and even don’t mind being patted down to get dry with a good towel rub. It is like a massage for them. They love the love and attention. As rescue animals, they certainly haven’t been getting much of it lately.