I can’t help but hold anyone who discusses their own personal hygiene at some level of disdain. I mean, this is what the term ‘TMI’ was made for. Who wants to know your bathroom (or kennel) regimen? And yet, here I am about to discuss a most important matter which will put the “gee” in hygiene.
Every night before I sack out, either Mom or Dad brushes my teeth. Alright, I’ll wait until you stop smirking, laughing, or contorting your face in looks of disgust or incredulity. Done? OK, let me continue.
This is one of a very limited number of issues where I must agree with my companions. They shared with me that dogs’ teeth should be brushed or treated for plaque and tartar for the same reasons that humans’ teeth are so attended on a daily basis: bacteria can cause problems far beyond the mouth, affecting general health and cutting life spans. Dogs’ lives are short enough without being further abridged by the likes of microscopic bad guys attacking teeth and gums. Of course, Mom and Dad gleaned all this from the vet and other sources..they haven’t had an original thought since 1962.
Naturally, my teeth brushing routine did not get off to a rousing start some 9 years ago. On that first, inauspicious occasion, Dad put gobs of toothpaste on my toothbrush and proceeded to brush my sensitive mouth like he was scrubbing floor mats in a car. Then, he said “Spit.” Say what? He was obviously oblivious to the fact that dogs can no more perform the act of spitting then they can the soliloquy from Macbeth. I thought he knew this, and was saying “Sit.” So, I stood up and sat down again to show the moron that I had been sitting all along, and the command was unnecessary. Then he poured some water in my mouth from a bottle. I guess he was expecting me to swish it around, gargle to the tune “Hey Jude”, and projectile-spit it into the sink which was 10-feet away. Instead, I gagged, emitting a wet, pasty goo onto his shoes. To his credit, it only took six more nights of this same ridiculous scene until he modified his approach. Now he places a tiny amount of toothpaste on the brush, places the brush handle in a vice at the level of my head, and allows me to brush my own teeth by sticking the brush in my mouth and moving my head around like some bobble-head doll. Brilliant.
But the point is that I, having survived Dad’s approach to oral care, am now a poster dog for dental hygiene. But wait. It looks like he’s not yet satisfied. It’s bedtime, and he’s approaching me with what looks like dental floss in his hand. This should be fascinating.