In preparation for leaving to go on tour and the house sitter staying with the corgis and cat while we’re away I decided it was time for some Spring Cleaning, corgi style. That meant bathing all 3 of the dogs and deep cleaning their bowls, toys, beds and collars. It took me a good part of the day to get through all of my chores but a great sense of accomplishment at the end of it all.
Step 1, wash and dry 3 corgis. It was a sunny and warm day so I performed the task outside. I utilized the ironically named “shower” feature of the hose nozzle for getting everyone wet and rinsed off. The patio table served as my grooming table. The orange umbrella cast a warm glow on everyone as they posed for their “after” pictures and kept us all shaded during the post bath grooming. Corgis shed year round with extremely heavy periods during spring and autumn, bathing them helps get a lot of their winter undercoat out and cuts down on the corgi hair tumbleweeds in the house.
My big guy Harry was really good, although when I got the hose out he was really hopeful it was for playing and not for bathing. His favorite part was snuggling under the towel as I dried him off. He may be the big guy but he’s really just a big baby.
My middle child Poppy LOVES the water. We joke that she thinks she’s a lab, she swims whenever she can but is not fond of getting wet from the hose. After the shampoo was rinsed off she had a lot of fun rolling around on the hot tile patio. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of her shenanigans but I was glad she decided to roll on the tile and not get dirty by rolling in the grass. She loved getting brushed after she was dry and the treat she earned when it was all over.
Lola wanted nothing to do with any of these activities. I bathed her last and as you can see from the pic on the upper left, she wouldn’t even turn and look at me as I brought her onto the grass to get her wet; she was trying her best to bolt into the house. She has what we affectionately call “old lady coat”, her hair comes out in huge clumps that make parts of her look like a sheep needing to be sheared. I think she has about 10 million more hairs on her body than the other 2 dogs combined. Grooming her takes forever and she detests every second of it. Poor girl, but after a long while it was finally over (or I actually gave up because her shedding is never ending and I filled up an entire plastic produce bag with hair) and she raced into the house for her treat and a nap.
After all of this washing and drying of very hairy dogs I had a big pile of towels to wash. As I waited for the wet corgi towels to go through the wash cycle I moved on to my next step.
Step 2, deep clean the food bowls. I usually rinse the bowls out after the dogs’ breakfast and supper but a layer of what can best be described as “ick” still stubbornly builds up. The bowls are stainless steel so I used a combination of soaking in a concoction of warm water, Bar Keepers Friend and dish soap and some scrubbing with an old toothbrush the bowls were soon back to their original luster.
As you can see from the picture, Poppy was anxiously waiting to see if the bowls would be filled immediately upon completion of cleaning (unfortunately for her they weren’t).
Step 3, clean the rubber dog toys. Corgis are power chewers, they tear apart and gut stuffed dog toys in minutes and soon the house (and later their poop) is filled with stuffing. Due to this super destruction I keep mostly hard rubber toys for the pups. Additionally as a game/activity for the dogs I like to fill a couple of the toys with treats and hide them around the house for them to use their noses to find. These toys are endlessly carried in and out of the house and often left carelessly outside for days. Between grass, dirt and food remnants the toys get pretty dirty so a cleaning for them was due also. A mixture of one cup of white vinegar and very hot water in the largest glass bowl I have provided a nice bath for the toys to soak in for awhile.
She might be the old girl, but Lola is ready to play with her clean toys…or possibly she’s hoping that all of the toys are filled with treats for her.
The towels were ready to go into the dryer so it was on to step 4.
Step 4, operation clean beds. I will admit, I sort of hoard dog beds. I buy inexpensive ones at a discount store and like having them around various rooms of the house, providing a comfortable spot for everyone. Some of the beds have removable covers so those were taken off and put into the washer under the close supervision of Poppy.
I vacuumed the other beds and left them out in the sun to air out.
The cat inspected (photobombed actually) the final products. Once I placed them back around the house she settled herself in one for a long nap, so I think she approved.
Step 5, clean collars. The corgi’s beautiful handmade collars from Quillin Tack also got a little TLC courtesy of Murphy’s Oil soap and neatsfoot oil. I love these collars because with just a little bit of care (and removal when the dogs are swimming) they will last a lifetime.
So that was my day of Spring Cleaning, corgi style. Just like Spring Cleaning the house, it is a relief and feels very refreshing to have these tasks complete. As an added bonus, when we arrive back from our concert tour there will be a bit less of a doggy odor about the house.
Do you have any annual cleaning routines or rituals specifically for your pets?