Babe has an ear problem. It’s nothing serious, all my mastiffs have had this at one time or another. They have flappy, floppy ears, you see, and not enough air gets up in those folds so gunky things have a tendency to grow and accumulate. Left uncleaned, the ear gunk irritates the ears, resulting in a dog that shakes her head constantly and stinks.
Yesterday morning my hubby was trying to pray with me before heading out. Babe stood beside me at the kitchen counter, and I found it hard to focus on prayer with waves of dog stink washing over me. This is pungent stuff!
So I promptly got my spray bottle of mixed vinegar and water, the perfect doggie ear cleaner. Charley doesn’t like the spray bottle, but he’s learned the after-spray ear rub is worth the aggravation. Babe, however, hasn’t learned that, and after one squirt she was off like a rocket. I spent the rest of the morning trying to corner her in the kitchen, and every time I put my hand out to touch her ear, she ducked and even showed her teeth. She didn’t snarl, but she let me know she had TEETH and she wasn’t happy.
So . . . the spray bottle isn’t going to work with Babe. (Who says we train dogs? They train us, truly.) So then I found one of those squishy turkey baster things you can use to clean human ears. I filled it with vinegar and water and called Babe over for a belly rub. While she was lying at my side, I squirted a little vinegar and water into her ear and proceeded to massage it in–as long as she’d lie still, which wasn’t long.
By nighttime I was rewarding her for letting me touch her ears with a towel–if she’d let me do it, I’d give her a treat. That worked for a while, but now she flinches and ducks if I just move to touch her head. She looks at me like she’s lost all trust in me.
Right now I think I’m going to leave her ears alone for a couple of days. I’d hope she’ll forget, but I know better. Dogs have long memories.
So I have a feeling I have my work cut out for me when it comes to Babe’s ears. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.