Updates: Carport, Studio, and Cooper

Progress is being made on the carport, but I’ll admit that this stage of the project is way slower than I’d like. It didn’t help that we had a ton of rain on Sunday, so that delayed progress because the ground was way too wet.

But at least a bit of progress has been made now. I can actually see just how big the carport will be, so that’s exciting. It doesn’t look like much in a picture, but it’s 20′ x 24′, so it’s a pretty good size.

Several of you asked me about the tree last week, and I didn’t have an answer. But now I do, and unfortunately, it’s going to have to come down. We won’t necessarily have to take it down immediately. It’s not going to get in the way of the carport. But my concern is that when we build our addition where the sunroom currently is, this massive oak tree will have an area that’s about 10 feet wide, and will sit in a little “courtyard” area (much like the “courtyard” area at the front of the breakfast room) with the carport on one side and the family room on the other side.

Ten feet just isn’t enough for a massive tree like that, especially considering that this tree drops huge limbs on a fairly regular basis. And I’m talking about huge limbs– limbs that could do some real damage if they ever dropped on a roof. And the roots could cause some real damage to our concrete on the carport and/or the concrete footer that will be poured for the addition.

The fact is that this massive tree never should have been allowed to grow so close to the house. (This lot had no trees on it at all when the house was built, so the trees — even the two massive oak trees — are around 65 years old and started growing after the house was built.) I hate to lose such a massive oak tree, but there’s no way around it.

Anyway, I know nothing about pouring concrete, so I’m not really sure what’s going on here. I’ve only ever seen it done on HGTV, where it takes no more than five minutes from start to finish, so it’s quite disappointing to see how long they’re taking to do mine. 😀 Just kidding. Kind of. They’ve put up the forms, and dug deep trenches around the perimeter and through the middle.

When I asked what’s on the agenda for today, he said they had to “get rid of all of this dirt” and bring in the gravel. So I’m just waiting and watching.

Before they could even start on the prep work for the concrete, they had to bust out the original concrete steps that went to the storage room at the back of the garage. You can see where the steps were if you look under the bathroom window in the picture above. But then they also discovered that this gas line is live, and it sits about six inches inside where the concrete needs to be poured.

That’s the gas line that went to the old furnace, and for some reason I thought I had my plumber cut that line completely, so I thought it was dead. I was wrong. So now they’re going to have to move it, which will cause a bit of a delay. But every project has these little surprises, so you just have to factor them in from the start.

So with the carport in progress, my progress on the studio wiring has come to a complete stop. Right after we planned to move ahead with the carport right now, my plan was to finish the actual studio, and have it insulated and drywalled, but wait on the wiring, insulation and drywall in the mudroom and half bath until the carport (including the reframing of the mudroom and bathroom) was all finished. Then I could do the wiring, insulation and drywall in those areas.

But to be honest, I’m kind of afraid to move forward on anything. I’m so afraid that I’ll get the studio wiring done, get the insulation and drywall up, and the realize down the road, as I’m trying to finish up the bathroom and mudroom, that there’s some reason I need to get into the ceiling in the studio. So as much as I hate it, I think I’m just going to hold off on all of that until the carport is done, or at least far enough along that the reframing on the mudroom and bathroom is done. At least that’s the plan for now. I just can’t shake this feeling that I’ll regret jumping ahead on the studio and not waiting until it can all be done at the same time.

So I kind of feel like i’m in a holding pattern right now, which I hate. I don’t want to spend a lot of money doing other projects just in case there are any surprises on the carport that will cost more than we had anticipated.

Anyway, enough about all of that for now. Let’s talk about Cooper. So many of you have asked how he’s doing, so I thought I’d give y’all an update. And again, don’t let this innocent face fool you. 😀

He really has made a ton of progress in the two months that he’s been with us. I’ve been working on training him so that he behaves better indoors, and he’s getting there. He still gets super excited when someone else is here at the house, so we still have a way to go.

Cooper is definitely looking healthier now. If you remember, he was a bag of bones when we brought him home.

That poor pup had so much anxiety and nervous energy that he just paced all day long, every day. But now he’s at quite a healthy weight. It’s hard to get a picture of him, though, because he never stands still. This is as good as I could do.

He weighs at least 70 pounds now, and there are no more protruding ribs or hip bones. And I could be imagining it, but I’m pretty sure he’s grown since we got him. As in, not just gained weight, but has actually grown bigger. Taller. I know I’m short, but when he stands on his back legs, he can put his front paws on my shoulders and lick my face. I don’t remember him being that tall when we got him. And that, of course, makes me doubt that he’s four years old, which is what the Humane Society told us.

He’s no longer afraid of the back yard (i.e., the creaking noise of the big metal door on the neighbor’s workshop, or the neighbor’s dogs). That has made my life so much easier. Now when I open the door, he goes right out. And when he hears the creaking noise of the big metal door, he doesn’t whimper and whine and beg to be let in. Instead, he runs towards the neighbor’s yard and barks like crazy. The barking is a bit annoying, but I’d rather deal with that than deal with a dog who’s afraid of the back yard.

So his willingness to go outside now has resulted in there being no more accidents in the house, which I’m obviously thrilled about.

But there’s still one huge hurdle we have to jump. In the two months he’s been here, he’s only had one bath. And he’s filthy. It’s not because I’m unwilling or too busy, but it’s because this dog is deathly afraid of the bathtub. And I’m not even talking about him being afraid of water. He’s afraid of the bathtub.

I have tried everything I know to coax him into the bathtub and get him to relax, but nothing works. I’ve tried putting a piece of cheese in there. He wanted the cheese, but not enough to actually get in. He lay down by the bathtub and wouldn’t move.

I tried putting two of his favorite treats in there. That was enough incentive to make him at least put his feet on the side of the tub…

But that’s as far as he got. There’s something about his feet touching the bottom of the bathtub that scares him to death.

The one time I got him in there and gave him a bath was when I actually put his food in the tub and wouldn’t let him eat unless he got in. I kid you not, it took about two hours of coaxing and petting him and encouraging him, but he finally got in and ate. And while he was in there, I turned the water on. He freaked out, but I made him stay and I gave him a very quick bath. He still wouldn’t let me get water on his neck or head, though, but at least most of him got lathered up and washed.

But I tried again on Sunday, and he was having no part of it. And y’all, I just can’t spend two hours coaxing and bribing this dog to get into the tub every time he needs a bath. And it’s not a matter of him just being disobedient and preferring to play instead of getting bath. This is a matter of him being TERRIFIED of the bathtub, so forcing him will only make it worse. Plus, a terrified dog is a potentially dangerous dog. But I couldn’t force him even if I wanted to, because when he’s fighting against me, he’s way too big and heavy for me to lift anyway.

So I honestly don’t know what to do. Someone suggested that I use the hose outside. The problem is that we only have one hose bibb, and I don’t have a good place to wash him anywhere in the vicinity of that hose bibb since we don’t have grass and everything just turns to mud. That would kind of defeat the purpose.

I’m hoping that some of you have dealt with this and will have some great advice for me. Living with a filthy dog who never gets a bath is really not an option, but that has been our only option for the last two months. If you have a solution, please pass it along!!



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  1. I tried bathing our lab in our shower once and it was a horrible experience for all involved, lol. We will use the hose outside in a pinch, but we send him to the groomers for his bath once every few months. Worth every single penny.

  2. They make dry shampoos for dogs. Just like with people, it’s not as good as a real bath, but it’d at least keep you from living with a smelly dog until you get him over his fear.

    Neither of my dogs like the tub either because it feels slick and unstable. I found one of those rubbery shower mats that I use for their baths and it’s helped them tremendously. It took several baths for them to realize they had traction and stability and get over their fear, but they got there.

    1. Yes, this would be my suggestion. Get a rubber mat, practice with treats (like hot dogs!) and him sitting on it and then when he LOVES that, move it to the tub and see what happens. Otherwise, I have to tell you, a groomer will do the job for not a lot of money and it is totally worth it. Get a private one, I wouldn’t trust places like Pet Smart, etc.

    1. My dog was 90 lbs. too big to get into the tub and too cold in the winter to bath with the hose. We have a dog bathing place where you can walk your dog in and wash them with warm water that is not a hard blast. There are driers if you want . It has hooks so you can clip a leash. They will also do the job for you for a larger fee. I also have a neighbor who has a service that comes to the house.

  3. I wonder if he would accept being bathed in a kiddy pool in his yard? he may even have fun
    1splashing around in it.

    1. That is a GREAT idea!!! How about peanut butter smeared in the tub wall? My daughter does that because it’s the only way her dog will get in the tub.

      1. I was going to suggest both of those. Try a kiddie pool first and see if he can tolerate just splashing in the water, progressing to bathing him in it. Work up to inside with peanut butter on the wall of the shower/tub. Also put a mat down in the tub. They don’t like not having sure footing. I just use an old towel but he may need something that stays put better. You may have to recruit help the first few times. If his feet get muddy have a bucket or an old litter box with water in it by the door going inside to rinse off.

    2. We have done this method (a big empty storage tub works, too) with a black lab we had to watch for a few months. The main issue will be the COLD hose water. You may want a separate bucket of warm water for rinsing instead of using the hose directly. The benefit of doing it outside is that the mess isn’t in your bathroom! 🙂

      Good luck with getting him clean! Hopefully this method is more successful than the tub.

      1. Totally agree! You can combat the cold water problem by doing this on a warm day, filling the tub early and letting it warm a bit in the sun. If he’s fearful at first, start with about an inch of water and just put it out there for him to explore or drink from (or throw a ball in to let him get it out). A neighbor’s dog was scared of this at first, so they bought a “toddler pool.” I don’t even think a toddler could have stretched out in it. The dog was just sort of able to put half herself in at a time, and step on the soft sides to get in, so she never felt confined by it. She was happy to upgrade to a proper size kiddie pool!

    3. My dog is terrified of the tub as well! That’s where she was tied up when she was being used as a breeder. Now she won’t even go in the bathroom at all.

      We use a kiddie pool outside and she’s never once gotten scared of it. You can pick them up at Family Dollar or Dollar General for $5-$10 bucks so it’s not a big deal when they get torn up. Good luck!

    4. Excellent idea! Get some cheap hoses and drag them to a grassy spot.

      It is so wonderful how Kristi and Matt have nurtured this pup. Hope you can get him clean!

    5. Excellent idea!! A kiddy pool…might just alleviate his fear of the tub. Placed in a grassy area…filled with warm water…might just do the trick. My groomer does only one dog at a time…as my dog is very timid of a lot of big dogs and noisy areas. When we were visiting Florida..they had mobile dog grooming vans that come right to your driveway! Wish we had those here!

  4. Also, for the cold weather when we can’t wash our dog outside, I bought a deodorizing waterless spray called Furminator deoderizing waterless spray. ( amazon.com ). I attach a leash to something sturdy in the house, hook it onto our dog, spray on the Fulminator, rub it in good, and then towel it off. It’s not nearly as good as a regular bath, but it does take the odor away and leave a pleasant smell, at least for a while

  5. Our small schnauzer has lots of anxieties and hates the bathtub. But he loves a kiddie pool in the backyard. Just some ideas here but maybe leave a pool out for him to play in (the molded kind and not a blow-up pool) for a few days? If he’s afraid of the pool, maybe put his ball or floating toys in it? Or play fetch and throw the ball in the pool so he has to go in to get it? That would probably get him used to being in water. Then try bathing him with the hose in the pool. Or just fill the pool with some shampoo and hope his going in and out gets him somewhat clean? Is it too late to think about adding a dog bath to your mudroom?

      1. I was going to suggest that too. Till that time, it sounds like a puppy (kiddy) pool may work best. We keep the puppy pool out all summer so she can get in it after chasing the ball. Put it on your back slab, as dogs don’t seem to like walking or laying in the pool on an uneven surface. Also, I’ve noticed my dog’s collar usually smells before she does.

  6. I have a golden doodle and an Irish setter, and neither will get in a tub so I use the walk-in shower. The nozzle is on a long hose, which works great for getting at the dogs’ feet and belly. In the summer they often get their baths outdoors. We have a large plastic “tub” that is only about a foot high and which they will step into. I sometimes haul that outside for their baths. It’s kind of a pain to dump the water out after the bath though.

  7. We have an english bulldog and thankfully he gets into the bathtub on his own. However, I believe the only reason he likes the bathtub is because he knows that he will get the Kong Zoom Groom tool used on him in there. See the link below. At times when he’s hesitant to get in, I show him the tool and then he gets in. I then use this de-shedding tool on his dry hair first for awhile to get out loose hair. Then I turn on the water and put shampoo on him and use the tool again while lathering up the shampoo to wash him. I’m convinced that this thing feels like a massage to him and it works wonders for de-shedding! Maybe if Cooper likes this also and associates it with getting it used on him at bathtime, then it could help you? Just an idea for you!


  8. Poor guy…if only you could make him understand. I agree on trying a kiddie pool outside or trying a dog washing station in town. I don’t know if Waco has a place to take your dog to wash them, but if they do, that might work. Our dog park has dog washing stations, so you might want to check if your local dog park has something like that.

    1. I was going to suggest the same. One of our independent pet stores has dog washing stations. Surely somewhere in Waco there’s one because our town is smaller than Waco.

  9. Longer hose and or a kiddie pool. Put a large tarp underneath to keep mud away from him. If he is terrified of the tub you will have to find another location. Also you can get them bathed at the groomers, but he might be scared there too.

  10. What about fake grass, astro turf, on the area near the one hose that you have outside. Maybe make a cute little doggie wash pad for him with his own green carpet from the doggie bath to the back or front door to keep his paws clean too.

  11. I bathe my dog outside with the hose on the small walkway we have. What about a kiddie pool with a nonslip bath mat? OR…a mobile groomer that makes housecalls? !

    1. A mobile groomer would be a dream! I’ve searched and searched and can’t find one in Waco. Someone needs to start one here! I bet they’d stay incredibly busy with no lack of business.

      1. We shower our dogs as they hate the bath. Just something to consider when you do the laundry. Our local pet refuge (pound) offers a bathing service and it’s like a walk in shower. Also it’s the cheapest one around. If yours doesn’t offer anything like this, they should know of any local services that you can go to or will come to you.

  12. Here in Australia, we have lots of people operating mobile hydrobaths …. you just call them up and they arrive with their unit towed behind their car. The units are moulded so that dogs can easily step into them …. and on with the wash. Do they have them where you are?

    1. I’ve heard of them, but there’s not one in my city. Some clever Wacoan need to start one, though! I’d bet they’d have more business than they could handle!

  13. Don’t get rid of the dirt! You will need it to fill the hole when the massive oak tree is removed. If you have enough dirt, you can use it to create a berm.

  14. Ours is too big for bathtub and Cooper is getting there. We either wash him outside or take him to a groomer. The groomer has been the best option and it’s actually affordable. I have a 110 lb white shepherd.

  15. Have you heard of bib extenders? I’d get one of these with a long hose to the carport or patio. There’s also pins about DIY outdoor showers that you could adapt to make a similar bib extender/outdoor dog wash exactly to your needs.


    Keep in mind, If you installed a permanent extension out to the carport, you’d have to worry about the above ground portions freezing. A temporary extension allows you to drain the connecting hose to winterize for the winter, and avoid frozen pipes (and test out locations for any future hose bibs).

    1. I’ve never heard of those. I’ll check it out! Thanks! Having a hose bib by the carport (once it’s done) would be great. I could bathe Cooper there and not have to worry about mud.

    2. Also heads up if Cooper doesn’t like specific noises. A step might require a compactor of some sort. The machine for that makes a lot of scary noise for doggos. The part creating the pad base can take a while because the base everything goes on should have the right compaction and graded a certain way (reduces it settling afterwards).

  16. Some of the Petcos have bathing areas that you rent. They have stainless tubs that the dogs walk a little ramp up into. It’s really nice and not very expensive.

  17. Kristi, Our first Shepherd hated a bath too and hated the tub. In the summertime we would attach his leash to a tree and bathe him using the hose. It worked well because he couldn’t run away. In the winter months we had to use a groomer.

    It is really a shame you have to cut down that beautiful tree, but I understand why. I would suggest planting another one in a better location for the shade alone. I am sure that tree offers a great bit of shade.

    Your car port looks like a great area! It looks like a wonderful patio right now and actually in the future it would be a terrific place to have a party or gathering if your cars were parked someplace else for the event.

  18. My little 20 lb. dog hates bathing also. When I try to put her in the laundry tub, she can spread all four legs nearly horizontal and grabs the side of the tub. Since she has other monthly issues that needs to be addressed (you don’t wanna know!), i just pay to have all medical issues dealt with followed by a bath and nail trim. It was the only way and worth every penny!

  19. Heya!

    I’d try and go in the bathroom daily with some treats or maybe feed him in there a couple of times a week so it becomes less of a scary place and then once he’s ok with that you can gear him up for getting in tub. Also sometimes in my experience it’s because they don’t like how they slip/the sound of their paws on the bottom of the tub so I’ve used a towel in the bottom before which seems to help. Good luck!

  20. A groomer will also clip his nails and do other “basic hygiene” Worth the trip into town! Dogtopia by Target does a great job! But in a pinch, use a kiddie pool outside with a tarp under it. Good luck!

  21. We bathed our collie outside on the patio because he loved to shake all the water off when we were done, so outside was best. If the water temperature was too chilly we would run a hose from indoors so that we could control the temp. He was afraid of the tub also. Best of luck with Cooper-

  22. When we got our dog, he was super scared of the bath. And I learned quickly that I have to wear jeans to bathe him or he will scratch the heck out of my legs. I learned to put a towel down on the bottom because he was afraid of the slick surface. I have to trick him into going into the bathroom and then close the door behind us. Thank goodness mine is only 25 pounds because I have to physically pick him up and put him in. I also have to sit with my legs in the tub to be close to him and also prevent him from jumping out. I never plug the drain, just let the water run and take a cup and pour it over him, quickly shampoo, and use the cup again to rinse. Most times he ends up with his front paws on my lap the entire time but he endures it now. It takes about 5 minutes with me being soaked in the end but it worth it. He always gets a ton of praise and some treats after so he has learned to just deal with it even though he still completely hates it. I did have good luck outside with the hose but the problem has always been getting him back into the house without getting dirty. Worst case is a dog washing place. We have a ton of mobile ones here that will come out to your house to wash them in their grooming van. Could be an option. Good luck

  23. Kristi, we have often run a hose from a bath, laundry or kitchen faucet to outside to wash a dog. Most recently it was from a shower, remove the head and it’s threaded. There are usually parts that help you accomplish this, you may need to pick something up from Home Depot. Then you can even use warm water!

  24. If you have a lake or pond or a creek close that you can take him to on a walk and see what he does in open water. Start by getting him to walk on the edges, then play fetch and slowly get him in the water there. That will help get him clean.

  25. *Check your FB’s community pages for groomers they recommend. They will likely be more affordable than PetSmart or Petco and not have nearly as long as a wait list. My very anxious Boston Terrier LOVES going to our local groomer now. Also, up here in the DFW area, they have many mobile grooming units that will come to you, I’m sure they have some in Waco as well.
    *Talk to your vet!!! Likely s/he will be able to prescribe something for your sweet pups’ anxiety when/if you do decide to take him somewhere to get groomed, or when you do bathe him. Good luck!

  26. I use my brand new walk in shower that replaced my tub. My lab was scared of the tub and way too heavy for me to lift into the tub. But she’ll go in to the shower, albeit reluctantly, but she will and doesn’t mind the spray and water. But doggy bath/shower in mud room or studio might be a great thing to consider as some mentioned.

    Totally off topic but I want that couch Cooper is standing in front of!! I suspect it’s a 2nd hand couch but if it’s NOT, please tell me where it was purchased. Or if you decide you won’t be using, please please let me know, I’d buy and come pick it up (I live about 90 minutes away). Oh my I love the rolled arms, etc.

  27. We send our dog to the groomer’s once a month. It’s some of the best money we spend! We use a local place now but we have gone to several of the pet stores in a pinch.

  28. I’d say a tarp or kiddie pool is your best bet. Although he may not like the slippery bottom of the kiddie pool either. I would tether the leash to the hose bib in the driveway, straddle my huge black lab to hold him in still and scrub away😂. I ended up as wet as him but it got the job done.

  29. I bathe my lab in the shower. We have a shower door that closes so he can’t escape – or he would. 🙂 But now he sees me getting things ready and he just follows me into the shower – not happily, but he knows he must. In the past we had a dog that we bathed outside in a kiddie pool. Wonder if that would work for you. Of course, the problem will still be getting him dry and keeping him out of the mud. We leash ours as soon as he is done and take him for a long walk. I’m sure you will figure it out. You are a great dog mama to be so patient. 🙂

  30. Yes I have some suggestions for Cooper. Both of my big dogs hated baths. And I did not want to give them baths in the house. We had a cheap plastic kiddie pool which I would fill with the hose in the morning and let it heat up during the day. Then I would give them a bath in the kiddie pool. I kept a bucket filled with warm water too. Is your backyard concrete patio still there? You could put a kiddie pool out there. Obviously, it was a battle to get the dogs to stay still. They did NOT want to go in the pool and they did NOT want to get wet. I think almost all dogs hate baths. My son helped me manhandle the dogs and then they would get treats when done. Plus they would dry off outside in the hot sun. In cool weather, they did not get a bath or they were professionally bathed at the groomer, which was expensive. I think a good brushing gets a lot of the dirt out. (I think there is a comb called a furby or something like that, I have one.)

  31. Buy a cheap plastic kiddie pool (petsmart sells them for like $5) and get a hose as long as you can get(the expandable ones work great – may need to connect a few together to get it longer). Put the pool in an ideal location where you can dump the excess water out afterwards easily. Wash him in the kiddie pool with the hose. You can partially fill the pool up with water or not – depends on whether he’s scared of it. My german shepherd liked to stand in the kiddie pool to cool down so I would partially fill it up. Soap him up, scrub him, then rinse him off with the hose while he stands in the pool. Afterwards, I would drag the pool to the edge of the patio and dump the water to the grass. If the pool is too big or has too much water that may be hard to drag around. Also, if you use a natural dog soap – like oatmeal based or something, you can reuse the water for shrubs or landscaping. Just fill up a water can on repeated trips.

  32. I gotta say, I liked the pic with Peeve and Cooper. Peeve looks very comfortable with Cooper, she looks content.

  33. We have a rescued lab who is so afraid of water he walks around puddles. We use our shower with the hand held shore head/nozzle with the bathroom door closed. Its never easy. So, he doesn’t get bathed that often. Our rottie loves to get a bath, I think warm water has to be easier for a scared dog than cold water.

  34. A lot of car washes here in the DFW area have a doggie wash area included. So there would be no mud issue, but you may want to have some toys to play around with outside to allow for drying time. Maybe Waco has some too : ) A doggie wash trip would be good too, because with some rescues, it’s good to show them that when they go in the car, they get treats, toys and now they will always get to go home : )

  35. A lot of car washes here in the DFW area have a doggie wash area included. So there would be no mud issue, but you may want to have some toys to play around with outside to allow for drying time. Maybe Waco has some too : ) A doggie wash trip would be good too, because with some rescues, it’s good to show them that when they go in the car, they get treats, toys and now they will always get to go home : )

  36. No bathing advice but I want you to know what a beautiful dog Cooper has grown into. The difference from when you brought him home is remarkable. You are doing a great job with him. It takes abused or neglected animals awhile to adjust and it appears he is well on his way. Thanks for the update.

  37. I take my Chihuahua, Paco to his vet for a “spa day” with the groomers since he’s skittish over the bathtub & having his nails trimmed. When I bring him home, he’s mad at me & will sit with his back to me & give me the “cold shoulder” for a little while…it’s hilarious! Then he’s over it & all is well. Best $25 ever spent!

  38. I don’t have a dog so I’m on another subject. If you don’t use the gas line anymore why not have it disconnected at the meter instead of moving it. The gas company might do this for you. Lots of dollars saved.

  39. You should see if your area has any self-serve dog wash places! Where I grew up was one, they had stalls you could take the dog in and hose them down!

  40. Kristi, contact Becky Bell-hays Edwards. She has a Facebook page. She does grooming in her home but also does mobile grooming.

  41. I have tried a bath mat, towel on the bottom, peanut butter on the wall and they have all helped. I now take them to a self-service dog wash place and it is much better. They are inexpensive and provide everything you need. It has hooks to attach collars to.
    My friend tried a colored bath mat so her dog could see it was a different surface. She started feeding him in the tub so that he got used to it without getting a bath. He easily goes right in for bath time.

  42. Maybe the tub feels weird or slippery to his feet?

    We once had a dog who hated the bathtub we used to wash her in. We ourselves never used that particular tub. One day when we had house guests, I used the tub, and it turned out to be freakishly slippery.

    I purchase a really good non slip mat for the next doggy bath and she actually took a long look at it before hopping in the tub and wagging her approval.

  43. Maybe the tub feels weird or slippery to his feet?

    We once had a dog who hated the bathtub we used to wash her in. We ourselves never used that particular tub. One day when we had house guests, I used the tub, and it turned out to be freakishly slippery.

    I purchased a really good non slip mat for the next doggy bath and she actually took a long look at it before hopping in the tub and wagging her approval.

  44. Not far from us is a car wash, laundromat, and dog wash. It’s a do-it-yourself doggy washing station. I hope you have one of those in your area as that’s a great alternative to the tub and gets the dog up higher so you can bathe him without bending or squatting.

  45. Our ( late) rescue Boomer was the same way-he was petrified of the bathtub!
    We had him groomed, it was so worth the money and time.

    Our new dude, Astro, goes to doggie day care and we have him groomed there as well-its pne less thing for him to freak out about with us.

    Love your Cooper! He’s a darling boy.

  46. I’m having a “mixing” hose bib installed so I can have warm water for outside bathing. My Irish Wolfhound is 200 pounds and wants NO part of the tub but, he’s fine outside on my wood deck. A spray gun hose attachment with a gentle spray setting also helps. Get some pills from the Vet. I need them for our “small” 125 pound rescue mutt when I comb out his heavy undercoat. I suggest making a wooden pallet which you can move to different spots in the yard.
    PS Groomers aren’t allowed to PROPERLY express anal glands because it involves putting a finger INTO the dog. Have it done at the Vet, no appointment needed, $10 every 3-4 months depending on the individual dog. “Scooting” their butt (always on your carpeting) and licking “back there” are both signs the glands need to be cleared. It’s always a challenge with a rescue because you haven’t any idea of what they’ve been through. Cooper is looking SO good now. Bless you.

  47. My cocker spaniel is deathly afraid of the tub and refuses to go in it. This dog was abused, so I try for only positive situations in his life with me. If you could get a shower tray for your mudroom or utility area and a hose for washing and rinsing that is long enough that the water isn’t falling on him from above, that might work. I don’t have that ability where I’m living now, so I got a setup that hooks to the utility sink in the basement and use that in the winter. In the summer I fill a kiddie pool and let it warm in the sun on the asphalt drive during the day. Then bathe in the afternoon when it’s warmer. I got a hose attachment that has lots of various forms to the spray so he gets a gentle flow of water against him, nothing abrupt. As long as I keep him on a long training lead during the outdoor process he’s ok. Not happy, but able to deal with it. A few Zuke’s chicken treats in my pockets to reward him as we go along. It was a process, but we are both happier with how things are going. Good luck!

  48. Our sweet Sasha was a rescue and was TERRIFIED of the hose/running water. It turned out they used a power hose spray at the Animal Shelter to hose out the pens….while the dogs were in it! We found a very patient groomer who would give her a bath and she learned to tolerate it, if they didn’t let the water run while washing her. Maybe Cooper had the same type experience.

  49. Any chance you have mobile dog groomers in your area? They are awesome! (sorry if someone said this earlier!). Our old VERY BIG dog was also afraid of our tub and going to the groomer. She loved the mobile groomer. They pull up in their truck, hook up to your hose that fills their water heater so the water is warm and bath them in the truck with the sides up if it’s warm. The dogs get to feel like they are outside and you get to watch them the whole time if you want to make sure it’s going well. Might be worth checking in to!

  50. My dog was deathly afraid of the bathtub too. She’d happily stick her head in and lick at the water while I was taking a shower, but as soon I tried to put her in there, she’d freak out. One time she actually punctured a hole in the edge of the tub trying to stay out of it!
    I used to bathe her with the hose. We had a laundry tub in the garage, I’d hook the hose up to the faucet so I could get warmer water. Maybe you have a faucet somewhere near a window or door you could run the hose from?

  51. How about setting-up a little platform (maybe 4×4 made of a couple of sleepers and some inexpensive decking or leftover boards) to do the outdoor bathing? Maybe he’d be less afraid of a wood floor than the tub and it’d keep you both up out of the mud. If that works, maybe you could eventually plumb in an “outdoor doggy shower” area with cold and hot water and a sprayer.

    Another thought is to find a chain pet store and see if they can get him bathed a couple of times. I think their tubs/sinks tend to be stainless steel and he might not be as afraid. If he can get the idea that there’s nothing to be scared about, you could then try your home tub.

    Another thought is to add a tub mat to the bottom of the tub. Maybe it’s just the white glossy finish he’s freaked-out by?

  52. I have 3 dogs that hate the tub as well. I smear peanut butter on the wall so they lick the peanut butter while they get quickly washed. This is the best thing I have tried so far. They love the peanut butter more than the tub so it works well enough. Now the hair dryer is a different story. I run towels in the dryer while hubby washes dogs so they have warm towels when they come out because the hairdresser sends them flying out of the bathroom and shaking all over the house

  53. My dog hates the sound of running water. I fill up the tub and use a large cup to pour the water over her. I started to slowly alow the water to drip a bit and now after a while she will willingly hop in and let me turn on the water. I think the water flowing can be a bit scary at first

  54. get a big kids pool and put it outside this summer. it may help him get used to the idea of jumping in and by the fall he may be ready for an inside tub.

  55. I take mine to the groomer because he’s used to it but I’ve taken him in the shower stall with me (glass door) it was comical. I put a towel down for footing and cleaned thoroughly after. LOL

    THIS intrigues me. I’ve seen the commercials and if I had a large dog I would totally do this….so goofy looking but not expensive to try. Woof Washer 360 – that coupled with the kiddie pool and some towels for footing. Here’s the link- not sure if it will work here… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NA0S1Q5/ref=asc_df_B01NA0S1Q55484123/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B01NA0S1Q5&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167152134657&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11355828317422563886&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033474&hvtargid=pla-311380143965

    So glad he’s settling in. He DOES look bigger!

  56. Agree about the kiddie pool. We start with just a few inches of water, so they get to splash gently if they want, but it’s not too deep to freak them out. Let them investigate it on their own speed. (just to play in.) As they got to realize the pool was fun, we increased the depth of the water. We found that all of our dogs were more afraid of the running water than anything. If we had to bathe them in the bathtub, we first filled it with the water, then waited a bit (so they were more calm) and then got them in the tub. We have a new-ish pup now, and put the pool out just so she can play. We add a tiny bit of shampoo, so at least she smells better when she’s done playing, and we don’t actually scrub her. She thinks it’s her own plaything!

    I would get the tree down soon, you don’t want it to damage the new carpark! And plant a new one way further out!

  57. So back to your quandary about working on the studio: What about getting finished with some of those little jobs that are waiting? Could you be working on – maybe finishing – your living room draperies? Wouldn’t it be great to have your breakfast room back again? Is the handwork on the music room stencil completed? Think how good it will feel to get those “little” jobs off the list. You can think about the studio, etc. while you are working.

  58. My dog is a rescue dog too. He doesn’t like tubs, kiddy pools, or the hose. I wash him by filling up a large bucket with water, scooping out the water with a pitcher, and pouring it over him. It takes a little longer, but it works.

  59. Just a quick suggestion for giving Coper a bath – a towel on the floor of the bathtub. Sometimes the porcelain makes them feel a bit out of control physically. put an old towel in there for him to sit on so he won’t slide around. and perhaps a hand held shower wand. its not as scary as running water.
    Wishing you all the best with your cute pooch! And of course your lovely house and projects!

  60. My dogs were afraid of the bathtub as well, so I bought the double utility sink from Home Depot and it comes with pull out faucet. When they are up high no issue, And I put this next to washer and dryer so, I use it to clean paintbrushes it has been dual purpose it has made life easier. I would think you could make some steps where he could walk up and get in.

  61. Maybe add towels or something ‘non slip’ in the tub to give him some grip. Otherwise, build a walk in doggie shower in your unfinished room! It’s not done yet!

  62. I had a dog like him. I just took MY shower with him it worked! I have 2 little dogs now & they actually hop in with me. Its easier than fighting with them trying to wash them in the sink. Try it on time! When they see you in there too(Iknow being naked with them sounds weird) but it will work! Good Luck!

  63. My rescue pup despises soap. In the summer we can get him kinda clean with the hose because he “hunts” the water and is too excited to notice we are lathering him up. And forget about the bathtub. But, in the winter we can’t wash him outside so we use pet wipes and just scrub him down with a few while he lounges on the couch. They are pretty effective and good for those in between times.

  64. maybe get an appropriately sized kiddy pool that you pull and put by the hose bib? Put Cooper on a leash first tho, maybe! It might help to desensitize him if you leave in the backyard, maybe start with no water, then a tiny bit?….. good luck.

  65. My little poodle hated baths. And she did not like the enclosed feeling of the bathtub. Funnily enough I found putting her in the laundry tub worked better. She was closer to my face level and she liked that. Though she never did wind up enjoying baths. I don’t know if Cooper would fit in the laundry tub but it may be worth checking it out.

    Good luck. He’s looking so much healthier now. You’ve done a wonderful job with him.

  66. Could it be that he can’t stand the slippery floor? Maybe get one of those mats with the suction cups so he won’t feel he’s losing his balance?

  67. Maybe time to build your own pet bath? There are some really cool ideas (and some very silly ones) out there on the internet.

  68. Using essential oils (the ones that are safe for dogs) is a great calmer. There’s one called peace and calming by Young living.

  69. I’m not sure if he would be terrified of this also but my local Pet Valu has dog washing stations. They have elevated tubs, they provide the shampoo, an apron, and have a blowdryer. It’s only $10 and the tub is more open so maybe he would be less afraid?

    Or you could build a pvc pipe outdoor dog shower? [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-Tcg9TReyk]

  70. I’m sure other people have mentioned it, but for a dog that scared there is only one answer………The Groomer. They are experienced in dealing with scared dogs (I too have a skittish dog who is not fond of other people but does fabulous at the groomers). Not only will he get a good washing, they can also make sure his nails are at a good length, do his anal glands, make sure his ears look good and all kinds of preventive care to keep him in tip top shape. Some groomers (like mine) don’t even put them in a cage and let them roam together in a certain area which helps keep them socialized. If you don’t want go that route all the time, I have seen some pop up dog washing stations by some of our local do it yourself car washes (now of course I’m in Utah but I would check to see if your area has something like that.)

    Now on a funny note….. If I say to my pup Miss Lucy “you need or want a bath” she will go run and hide (just saying those phrases will even get her to stop barking when she is going crazy). Now if I say to her….”oh you got dirty feet, we need to get in the tub” she will run and jump right in to the tub. I even have a bad video job of just that. https://youtu.be/GeR3sxdwlYk Who would think that just a few different phrases for the same thing would have 2 different outcomes. 🙂

  71. Kristi, having Cooper professionally bathed, either at a groomer’s or a mobile pet bathing outfit, or even at a Petco, would probably be better because they are pros at dog bathing, and can often have an assistant help out with a skittish dog of Cooper’s size. I would add this though: don’t drop him off and leave him there, stay with him. Maybe even you’d be able to help out to calm him down.

    I do hesitate to recommend a Petco or a PetSmart these days because of all the bad news about them harming animals, but if they are your only option, and you stay *right there* and observe or help the entire time, things should be OK. I’d recommend that after his bath, he receive either Frontline or Advantage or whatever you give him for fleas/ticks. I once took my cat when she was still very young to a PetCo for grooming (this was long before all the bad reports) and they did a good job with her, she wasn’t freaked out or anything when I went to pick her up (this was also before I insisted on staying WITH my pets during grooming or vet visits – we live and learn!). However, when I asked them to do a flea dip on her, they must’ve interpreted that to mean “please dip my very young cat in a huge vat of fleas, please” because she was absolutely INFESTED with fleas after her trip to PetCo! She had no fleas at all when I took her in, but it was spring time and I wanted the flea dip on her as a preventative measure.

    After that, I took her to the vets for grooming, where they’d bath and brush her, clip her nails, and express her anal glands. She never picked up fleas there. As she got older, I opted to actually read her tin which said “self-cleaning” on it, so I continued to brush her and clip her nails myself, but just let her do her own grooming. The great thing about cats, indoor cats at least, is they never smell bad, at least mine didn’t. I could put my other, tiny cat right up under my nose, take a deep whiff, and she always smelled like candy for some reason, probably because she was just so darned sweet!

    Good luck getting your boy bathed!

  72. Kristi, if I remember right, I think your clothes washer is out in the sunroom. Disconnect the hoses to the washer. You can get a hose thing that joins your washer’s hot and cold water taps – kind of the opposite of a splitter – then hook a long hose to that, turn on both taps to get the temp that would be comfortable – if you think Cooper would tolerate a hose bath. Then you could have warm water for him. I think the kiddie pools are a good idea too, but you will probably need a rubber mat in them, too. My Shih Tzu does not like his baths but I have an old deep clawfoot tub and the sides are too high for him to get out. 🙂 He trembles the entire time, but stands still and I talk to him in very soothing tones. Over in no time.

  73. Cooper seem to be playful but very cautious of the unknown. He got over his fear of the garage door. You may be able to get him to love water. Try playfully spraying your hose.. He may try to play with the stream. It may takes a few times. You can also try a sprinkler that goes back & forth. Try to get him to run through it. Our dogs would ask to be sprayed down in the hot summer to cool down. Baths were never a problem. They enjoyed be rubbed & scratched.

  74. First photo of Cooper: tail down, unhappy dog. This new photo of Cooper: tail up, much happier dog! Yay!

    Everyone said everything about bathing dogs.

    I’ll just say I wouldn’t want to do it in such a nice bathroom.

    Good luck!

  75. I always put beach towels in the bottom of the bathtub to give puppy something nonslip to stand on. Also, though I haven’t attempted this, I’ve seen people having good luck with using peanut butter, applied to the side of the tub or wall, to give the pup something to do while being bathed. Licking the peanut butter seems to help keep the attention on the treat rather than the scary bath.

  76. You have a dog wash near you? I take my two dogs to one. Big basin. You clip collar to short chain and then there is a shower extension. Even an oatmeal conditioner. 10 minutes for $5. I’d keep the first bath short and reward well.

    Otherwise, hire dog trainer to hold dog while you bathe and comfort. Two people needed if dog fights a bath

  77. Our mystery mutt pup hates the tub as well and used to shake violently if I tried to put her in it. I agree with all the current suggestions, dog groomer, dog bath at a remote site, outside hose/kiddie pool but I haven’t seen this suggestion and this has worked out the best for us in warmer weather and also helped her relax a bit around water. I fill 2 buckets with warm water. One bucket is for cleaning and the other is for rinsing. I gather all my supplies – gentle puppy shampoo, washcloths, small cup, drying towels, collar to get wet and leash to get wet and of course treats. Once the collar and leash are on I use the one washcloth to start wetting and cleaning in one shot slowly working my way around her body. The leash is on so that I can keep her close to me. Either attach to a porch post or even just sit on it. Once sudsy, I take the other rinse bucket with a clean washcloth/small cup and begin rinsing. I do small sections of rinsing, not giant dumps of water. When done, I dry her with the towels change her collar to a dry one. She gets praised throughout and treats after the sudsing, rinsing and drying. It’s not perfect but it has allowed us to clean her and helped her lose some of her anxiousness around water. She is now 5 years old and I can take her to the dog bath where she will stand to be washed, albeit reluctantly, but she does it. And in the warmer weather, I still do it this way. She still does not like her paws submerged in water but that’s ok. Good luck!

  78. You should put a bath mat in the bottom of the tub so it’s no slippery! Some dogs feel more comfortable when their feet are on something soft.

  79. I could third, fourth, and fifth many of the ideas here. Getting him used to the bathroom (perhaps feeding him in there for awhile), putting a rubber mat down on the tub floor so he can get traction, putting peanut butter on the walls, so he spends his time licking it off. I would do all that without ever turning on the water. Once he gets used to going in and out of the tub you can put peanut butter on the wall and start with a pitcher of water (no running water). Once he is used to that you can try turning on the water.

    We just moved to Waco (China Spring) and I found these mobile pet groomers – Dogspaw Mobile Grooming, 968 Parkview Circle, Hewitt, TX (254) 855-2755 and Debbie’s Dial a Groom Mobile Pet Grooming, County Road 3575
    China Spring, TX (254) 233-2687. We haven’t used them yet, so I don’t know if they are any good. Yelp and Care.com are both good places to look.

  80. Cooper looks so healthy and happy! I haven’t read all of the suggestions above, but could part of his hesitation be due to the bottom of the tub? Maybe it’s a little slippery to him? We have large labs and our last house had a slippery tub. We tried a rubber mat on the bottom, but I found that the dog hair wraps around the suction cups on the bottom and is a complete pain to completely rinse off. Another idea is to lay an old towel down on the bottom. I feel your pain. Our girls needed to be bathed more often than we actually do, but it’s such a hassle sometimes! Good luck!

  81. Ha Ha!!! All you people in cooler parts of the country (and perhaps it’s not QUITE as warm in Waco as it is in Phoenix, but) don’t realize that in the summer when you turn on the hose (or the cold water INSIDE the house for that matter) you don’t really get COLD water or even COOL water.
    That being said, I can SO relate to a dog that doesn’t like having a bath. I never occurred to me that the shiny slippery bathtub might have something to do with it, but it sure makes sense now! Our dog was under 30 pounds, but even that was hard to manage when he was scared/did NOT want to be in that tub I can’t even BEGIN to contemplate a 90 lb dog! My dd has Lab, and I know in past has taken her dog in the shower. It’s just afterwards when they shake the water all over the house that it gets “hairy” – pun intended, lol.