Life with Dogs / 08

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Tip # 08: An easy solution for dirty paws:  A paw pan.

Once while doing research in the Bahamas, I lived at this lab on the sandy island of Abaco for a month. Every day I would eat a tomato sandwich for lunch on the beach and every evening after work I would paddle out to watch the sunset while a labrador named Harold waited for me on shore. When it was time to come back into the lab, there was a wash pan filled with water just off the back deck that you were to step in to wash the sand off your bare feet before coming inside. This kept sand and dirt off the lab floor.

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At home here, the dogs track all kinds of things into our place – sand from the beach, dirt from hikes, and worst of all – mud from the dog park. This winter was rough on the California coast in terms of the rainfall we got from the El Nino this year. It seemed like every time the dogs would go out and play they would come back with mud-caked paws. I had been taking them straight to the bath tub to wash up, but after half a dozen baths, I remembered back to that wash pan on the deck of the lab in the Bahamas and thought hey — we need one of those.

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So, I bought one. I call it the paw pan, though it’s useful for a variety of different things (hand washing delicate items, washing dishes when camping, a helmet for falling debris from an earthquake…you name it…DREAM BIG). Now when the dogs come in, I just fill it up half-way, dip their paws in, and towel them off. Not only does it save time, it also avoids the dreaded “Ah nuts” look Jack flashes me every time he hears the bath running. Have you seen his “Ah nuts” sad face? Good, you don’t want to. It’ll melt you into a pile of goop. Don’t be goop! Use a paw pan!

And, an aside:

Here’s Harold the Bahamas dog who followed me around. He was a wild one who roamed the beach. His collar read “Do not feed”, written in big block letters with a black sharpie marker. If you leaned in to pet him he would walk away, so we sat on the beach a lot together…always around 4 feet apart. One night me and two others were in the lab late and let Harold in. Later that night he defended us when we got robbed. We were all glad he was there to guard us (although they did make off with 2 boat engines). Dogs are the best.

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(For some reason it isn’t letting me link to where I bought our “paw pan”…but, if you search on Amazon there are lots of options).