Here's to Mud in Your Dog

: Tracy Beckerman on

Every spring, the April showers not only bring May flowers but turn my backyard into a muddy swamp. During this period, we are forced to keep a laundry basket of rags by the back door so we can intercept the dog on his way back in the house, wrestle him to the ground, and sandblast his paws before he does a muddy cha-cha through the family room. If we are lucky, this ritual will only last until we hit summer and everything dries out. If we are unlucky, it can go all the way until winter when the ground freezes.

Sadly, this year the April showers kept right on showering into May, which means I have had to wipe the dog's four paws roughly six times a day for going on 75 days.

And those are just the times I've actually caught him.

Which brings us to the muddy cha-cha in the kitchen.

"Tell me again why I insisted on getting another dog," I asked my husband as I surveyed the expansive display of dirty pawprints all across the floor and rug.

"You said it would bring more love into the house," he echoed my words back to me.


"Yeah, well, I'm not really feelin' the love right now," I responded, giving my muddy dog the hairy eyeball.

Much as I usually adored the dog, I was growing weary of adding daily paw-wiping, floor-mopping and towel-washing to my job description. So after two dogs and a cumulative 12 years of this routine, I finally decided I needed to smarten up.

Yeah, I'm nothing if not a quick learner.

I got out one of my old rectangular windowsill flowerpots and filled it with water. Then I put it out next to the back door. The next time the dog did his mud dance outside, I stopped him on the way in and dunked each paw in the flowerpot. Then I dried his paws on the way in the door. Of course, it added an extra step to the demudifying process, but it made for a lot fewer disgusting rags to wash.


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