15 Mar2015


Ginger is the Kid’s, then Teen’s, then Young Lady’s chocolate labrador. She is roughly 88 years old (12.5 dog years) and very much acting the resident doyenne of the household. With our daughter away for high school and now college, Ginger is mostly closer to her favored “yaya” who makes sure she is well-fed, given twice-daily strolls through the neighborhood, and of course, her weekly bath. The labrador is ecstatic when our daughter returns for holidays, but there’s no denying the yaya love. It’s a bond that I am afraid, is much stronger than that with daughter, mom or dad. We are definitely second, third and fourth choice in that order.


At her advanced age, she is a bit arthritic and upon her vets orders, must have warm rather than cold baths. So a batya of water from the faucet is mixed with boiled water to get just the right warm temperature.


A tabo or small vessel gently pours water on her and she is lathered with vet prescribed soap. She also sometimes steals some of my vitamin E for a shiny and brilliant coat of hair… :)


She certainly doesn’t seem happy about the bath, but neither does she resist it. She just sits and suffers her fate as it were. Maybe the camera made her a bit shy and modest.


Yaya gives her a much, much more thorough bath than I or the Teen ever did, and clearly she enjoys the gentle touch, down to between her toes. Seriously, there are advantages to living in the islands she narrates. She has never ever been left home alone in her 88 years, she likes the food, she has her own bed, a large lawn to poop on, and she knows how to get in and out of the house whenever she wants. Airconditioning is a serious perk and she hunts down rooms which are cool in the midst of searing summer heat. :)


So she puts up with the Sunday baths, because it means she will get a towel rub all over…


…hopefully in the warmth of the mid-morning sun…


…and all will be good. Now if only things were so simple for humans.



  1. Dragon says:

    MM, be careful what you wish for…

    Mar 15, 2015 | 6:26 pm


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  3. LizCuy says:

    This post just made me totally miss our Beagle, Roger! One month to go before (we) his family are again back in town with him. He has a Yaya to take care of him when we’re overseas, but I have to say, he still loves us so much more. He cries and whines whenever we arrive back in the Philippines, and is utterly despondent whenever we fly out again. He loves his warm baths, too!

    Mar 15, 2015 | 10:44 pm

  4. amy says:

    She’s a good and beautiful dog :) It takes a good nurse to take care of a senior dog. You need to find one before you’re senile, lol! I also have a senior dog, a red doberman who has both diabetes and thyroid problems. Her vet visits, pills, glucose test strips and insulin always cost us an arm and a leg. She once needed a tooth filling that cost us $400, but it was worth it, she was back to her happy self after the procedure. Your dog is so lucky she is part of your family. And we are so lucky to have them, so loving, loyal, sweet but protective, always honest because they never lie; the perfect best friend!

    Mar 15, 2015 | 11:00 pm

  5. Isa says:

    Dragon, best first comment ever!

    Mar 15, 2015 | 11:03 pm

  6. EbbaBlue says:

    I like this post. Makes me warm inside.

    Mar 16, 2015 | 12:42 am

  7. ami says:

    What a well behaved dog. We can only give our dogs a bath when they’re tied up otherwise they will run away and hide.

    Mar 16, 2015 | 12:19 pm

  8. Blaise says:

    As an avid reader of your blog for years now, I have become fond of your chocolate lab, she would appear in a few of yours posts. This post makes my heart tug a little, seeing her with white hair already in her snout and other parts of her body. We have a dog as well, a mixed breed of shih tzu and japanese spitz, and I can’t imagine her having white hair, getting old.

    Mar 16, 2015 | 1:54 pm

  9. Betchay says:

    In her 12.5 years, has Ginger ever given birth? Just curious.

    Mar 16, 2015 | 6:37 pm

  10. Patricia says:

    I love labradors! Sweet-looking dog. :)

    Mar 16, 2015 | 7:02 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Betchay, no, she never had puppies. We felt that despite her papers, we didn’t think she was a pure breed, and was definitely a runt of the litter, so we opted not to have her breed. But she is a very loving dog…

    Mar 16, 2015 | 8:04 pm

  12. natie says:

    I love The Dog ..

    Mar 16, 2015 | 9:50 pm

  13. kurzhaar says:

    Marketman, weekly baths? That is WAY too frequent for a dog in normal good health. Most healthy dogs do not need baths more than a couple of times a year unless they get into serious dirt or get skunked or similar. Usually a rinse with warm water is all that is needed. If you bathe a dog too frequently you remove the normal skin oils and upset the skin balance, and then end up in a nasty cycle where the dog smells “doggy” or develops skin issues, and so you give the dog yet another bath, and so on. This is something that’s sadly too common. Our dogs get warm tub baths once or twice a year, plus the occasional hose-down in the summer after a swim at the beach or lake. They get their ears cleaned weekly and their nails trimmed and their teeth cleaned every night with dog toothpaste. They don’t smell “doggy” at all, and have lovely glossy clean coats. People are always amazed when I tell them we rarely bathe the dogs, because of how clean and non-“doggy” the dogs are.

    Mar 17, 2015 | 12:14 pm

  14. january says:

    ginger on her senior years now would love more belly rub and massages, tell yaya to give her often :)

    Mar 18, 2015 | 5:14 pm

  15. millet says:

    aww…my sister has 15-year old poodle who is totally blind in both eyes and hard of hearing, and he gets the best babying from everyone. our own bichon frise’ Mini is 9 years old, and the first time the vet referred to her as a “senior dog”, i was totally in denial. i still am – she’ll always be our baby.

    Mar 18, 2015 | 6:24 pm

  16. NidaFe says:

    Lazy Saturday morning for me and this piece just made me smile. I too have a chocolate lab (Tito, almost 10) whom we love dearly. Plenty of slobbery kisses from him over the years makes me believe that the feeling is mutual. I’m sure if your lab could talk, she would tell you how very much she appreciates all the pampering!

    Mar 22, 2015 | 1:10 am

  17. curlytops says:

    Our Stark is the same way too. He doesn`t enjoy his baths but he doesn`t resist too. He just let us do what has to be done. But he looks forward to what comes after – his good dog biscuit treats. :-)

    Mar 22, 2015 | 6:59 pm

  18. bagito says:

    “Aww, Ginger baby girl…” (said in doggie lover gigil mode while kissing and hugging her and slightly squeezing her ears–dog lovers will get this). xo

    Mar 22, 2015 | 11:15 pm

  19. MP says:

    I am not particularly fond of dogs (having been bitten when I was a kid) but this post made me smile!

    Mar 26, 2015 | 1:21 am


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