Bathing Crystal the Shih Tzu

Sunday is bath time for all the pets in the house. We have three dogs – Crystal, Pampu, and Pampi, and one Siamese cat – Amber. I take care of grooming for my shih tzu Crystal, while my dad and brothers look after the other pets.

Crystal has been with us for more than a year now, but I have only been giving her baths for a couple of months. My first pet dog, Andi, was usually bathed by my father or brought to the groomer. With my DIY grooming sessions with Crystal, I hit two, make that three birds with one stone. I save 500php every session, I get to bond with her, and I see for myself if there are blood-sucking creatures feasting on her. We just bring her to a professional groomer (I recommend Pet Span) in Tiendesitas once a month, or when she needs to have her nails clipped and her hair cut.

The thing is, Crystal is not so enthused about taking a bath. The moment she sees me preparing her grooming paraphernalia, she runs and hides under the table. I call out her name and tell her, “You can run, but can’t hide, baby.” I gently pull her out of her hiding place and assure her that she will be fine (yes, I talk to her).

Shih tzu under the table, crystal under the table, hiding shih tzu
No, I don’t want to take a bath, k?

Crystal’s bath time will not be complete without these essentials: Play Pets shampoo, Bearing powder, Flea Away pet cologne, a hair dryer, and a brush.

Play pets shampoo, bearing dry shampoo, flea away pet cologne. dog brush, hair dryer

Once inside the bathroom, Crystal seems to freeze on the spot. That makes it easier for me to wash her, lather Play Pets shampoo all over her body, and scrub areas especially her legs, paws, and face. The area around the eyes is given special attention as well, as advised by her veterinarian. Bathing usually takes 10-15 minutes, and I myself look like I have just taken a bath as we step out of the bathroom. Every three minutes or so, she shakes water off herself, and I get a free shower. I dry her off using a chamois (the ultra absorbent yellow cloth used in washing cars) and put her on a table.

The hard part is the blow-drying. It’s way more difficult to hold her down this time because she doesn’t enjoy being confronted with a hair dryer. I guess the loud blasting sound coming from it doesn’t help either. She struggles, ducks, and moves around furiously. I’m thankful that she doesn’t jump off the table, but it really takes a lot of patience to start blow-drying every part of her body. One part that she really hates is when I blast hot air on her face (who likes that anyway?). I try to pause every minute so she won’t get too irritated. But as she dries off, she starts relaxing again.

Shih tzu, fresh out of the bathroom shih tzu, shih tzu bath
Fresh out of the bathroom and waiting for the hair dryer.
shih tzu, blow dried shih tzu, grooming shih tzu, shih tzu grooming
No. Stop. Grrr.

This whole process of blow-drying usually takes 30-40 minutes, depending on the number of tantrums she throws and my patience and mood that day. When she is completely dry, I sprinkle Bearing powder on her body, spray Flea Away cologne on her spine to ward off those unwanted creatures, and voila! She smells and looks oh-so-fresh-and-clean-and-cuddly again.

shih tzu, newly bathed shih tzu, crystal the shih tzu, shih tzu bath
Fresh and clean baby doggie.

Having a shih tzu is not that easy. Crystal requires frequent grooming to keep her healthy and happy, but the joy of seeing her clean and playful again after bathing lifts up my mood big time. I also get to practice my mommy skills and control my temper despite her being stubborn at times. Not that I want to have kids of my own right now, because as of the moment, I am content with these Sunday grooming sessions with my baby.

Shih Tzu facts:

  • Shih Tzu have a short snout, large eyes and slight underbite.
  • They have a flowing double coat, and they have hair like humans, not fur, which does not shed.
  • They are also known as the “Lion Dog” or “Chrysanthemum Dog.”
  • The Shih Tzu was a house pet during the Ming Dynasty in China, but there are claims that it originated in Tibet.
  • They used to be guard dogs in the Imperial Palace in old days.
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