Children 'clean up' for start of summer

Sunday, June 15, 2003

It all started with the question, "Why is the dog wet?"

Sometimes you don't want to know the answer.

On the first afternoon of their summer vacation, 11-year-old Becca and her good friend, Allie, decided to play with the hose in our backyard.

Our pet Sheltie, Cassie, wanted to play too. According to Becca, the dog rolled around and got all wet and muddy.

Becca and Allie decided that Cassie needed a bath. So the girls put her in the bathtub. "She kept jumping in and jumping out," Becca recalled.

Finally, Becca and Allie had enough. They decided to wash her in the bathroom sink.

She's a small dog, but not that small. "We put soap on her and the water was really nasty," Becca said.

Cassie licked the mirror and jumped out of the sink. "Then Allie and I threw her in the bathtub, turned on the shower and shut the shower door," Becca said.

The girls left her in the shower for a few minutes. Then, they used all the towels in the master bathroom in an attempt to dry off the dog.

That wasn't enough. So they used the hair dryer.

Cassie ran all over our bedroom. "She was unrolling toilet paper," Becca told me.

Then she jumped into the clean clothes basket, spilling clothes everywhere.

"We were chasing her around with the hair dryer," Becca recalled.

The whole affair left us with a mountain of dirty towels to wash.

Becca says she learned an important lesson from all this. "Don't try to wash the dog," she said.

And that was just the first day of summer vacation.

Fortunately, we have a teen-ager to watch Becca and Allie for the rest of the summer. She wasn't there that first afternoon.

We figure a little supervision might help keep life's little tragedies to a minimum.

Of course, you have to give the girls credit. They took initiative to get the dog washed. That was thoughtful.

As for Cassie, no amount of supervision probably would keep her in line.

Still, I'm thankful that Cassie and the girls got this out of their system.

Maybe that way there won't be any little disasters on Father's Day.

It's the one day in the year when dads look forward to a little rest and relaxation.

Of course, we often don't get it.

Our kids have their own schedule to keep and that doesn't usually involve rest time for mom and dad.

That's OK.

Today marks my 11th Father's Day, although I really think the holiday is a misnomer.

Every day is Father's Day when you're a dad.

It's the toughest job we never studied for.

When it comes to being a dad, there's no teacher like experience.

We quickly learn how to be tackling dummies and make up bedtime stories like the Froggie Prince.

Dads can handle the tough stuff, even the cleanup from a messy dog bath.

It's those smiles and hugs that tug at our hearts.

They're all the greeting cards we'll ever need.

Mark Bliss is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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