Excerpted from Tova's diary by Leon Adato
A momentous occasion indeed: The run has been completed, and I don't mean that I've taken up jogging. 32' by 8', with a view of both the front and back yards. Tova can truly be the queen of all she surveys.

I came home and found the job finished (and not even a bill left in the mailbox - hahahahaha!), and decided that Tova should "christen" it that very moment. Out of the crate, on with the leash, whoosh! out the door, and into the run. It was then and only then that I realized a couple of very important items:

1. It was raining
2. It had been raining for 2 days
3. No grass had grown in this particular spot
4. The run had no stones put in, either.

Ignorant of the truth of this situation, I decided that she deserved a good romp, so I left her for a few minutes while I attended to other household chores.

When I returned, I found someone had swapped my white pyrenees for a black, brown, and white Bernese Mountain dog. "Where is Tova?" I asked. Confusion dripped along with layers of mud off this new animal's face.

Something had to be done. Debbie wasn't due home for another hour, so I had time to screw up 3 or 4 more times. True to my nature, I found the most expedient method: give the dog a shower.

Leaving the Tova-impersonator in the run (when I return, I bet it will be a black lab!) I grabbed some towels, rags, etc. Then I cleared the area from the garage (first floor) to the shower (upstairs master bathroom) of anything that might look remotely chase-able to a wet, muddy dog.

Shucking off my cloths in favor of old swimming trunks (this dog is still in the biting phase, and I'm not taking any chances!), I went out into the garage (I found it was much colder outside without a coat) opened the door, and greeted the mud-monster. I picked her up. I realized I won't be able to do that particular maneuver much longer! And inside and up the stairs I went.

Everything was OK in my mind until we hit the first piece of carpet. Then I realized that there is no effective way to squeegee a dog, nor had I even tried. So there may have been a humungous mud-glob just waiting to fall any second. So there I went, withering under the weight of my pet, praying to any god who will listen "please don't drip! please don't drip!" Tova, perhaps realizing the precariousness of her position and her chances of surviving another day if she touched the floor, did her best not to drip. We got to, and into the shower. Turned on the water.

I would like to state here and now that Pyrenees are glorious creatures. They look regal in almost any situation. Except wet. And I think the dog knows it, too. A forlorn look swept across Tova's face as her hair melted against her skin, leaving her looking like an enormous albino chihuahua with a bad case of celulite.

I made a mental note to get one of those sprayer nozzles that hook up to the spigot. This note was bumped up the list of current priorities when I attempted to lift Tova and hold her on her back under the shower spray in order to get all the belly-mud off.

I discovered that wet dog hair is nearly impossible to get off your hands, and that you should _never_ touch your face with it.(ptew! ptew!!)

I discovered my dog still doesn't understand the command "shake", nor is there an effective way to show her. Despite my every effort to emulate the action, I've determined that it must feel to the dog very different than it looks, because she only looked up at me with that same forlorn expression, I'm sure thinking "Oh great. They'll start him on prozac any second. Then he'll never remember to feed me."

I found that it _is_ possible to squeegee your soaking wet clean dog, but only once. Ever. The claw marks will heal, I'm sure.

After a shower of this magnitude, what could be better than a good brushing? I didn't ask Tova this, of course, because the answer would have been too long and contain many words I know I haven't taught her yet.

I discovered it _is_ possible to use the slicka brush too much. The hair will regrow, I'm sure.

We are all a bit wiser now. There are 4 tons of 53 gravel in my driveway, waiting to be wheelbarrowed into the run. We are looking at getting warm water in the garage, and one of those shower spigot thingies. Tova knows that the brushing will go easier and nobody gets hurt if everyone remains calm.

Debbie knows not to leave me home alone with the dog.

Leon Adato
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