Brave Baxter and Cautious Kirby have a complete role reversal when it comes to acts of hygiene. Kirby embraces the opportunity to be combed, bathed and tooth-brushed. He actually comes running and requires little or no coaxing to stick with it -- just the closeness to one of the alpha dogs seems enough for him to almost seem like he's enjoying the process.
Baxter, on the other hand, trembles at the mere mention of the word "bath." I'm not exaggerating. In fact, if one of us goes anywhere in proximity to the bathroom and says "Baxter," he'll run for his bed and lay there, visibly trembling, until he's dragged away by the collar.
This morning Baxter's dog breath seemed particularly pungent, so we decided it was time to brush the big guy's teeth. As my husband loaded up the special dog toothbrush with special dog toothpaste, he literally had to fight Kirby off.
Baxter hid under my desk, shaking like a leaf.
I finally wedged my leg behind him and managed to push him out into the open, where my husband sat, waiting with the toothbrush. It was an ordeal. I'm not sure Baxter's breath smells any better -- he hasn't even tried panting at me since the brushing... Hey, maybe we're onto something else here!