The first thing to ask yourself when bathing a small dog is "Why am I doing this?". If the answer is "to keep the dog happy", forget it. Dogs are mangy animals who couldn't care less about taking a bath. Small dogs who live in the wild (the infamous man-eating poodle, for example) frequently go for years, if not centuries, without bathing. The only reason to bathe your small dog is if you want to be happy. After a few weeks of romping in the backyard, dogs are even less pleasant companions than talk-show hosts.
The second thing you need to do is decide whether to bathe the dog indoors or outdoors. If you bathe the dog outdoors, your clothes will get wet, your face will get wet, your hair will get wet, and you will smell like dog soap for several weeks. If you bathe your dog indoors, you will also get water into your walls and floors, causing a special kind of mildew to form. This mildew can then only be removed by a special tool, fortunately found at most hardware stores: a blowtorch.
The third order of business is deciding what soap to use. Dog soaps come in several varities and brands, all of which smell exactly the same (like cheap perfume), and all of which are, for some peculiar reason, lime green. Your best bet is to buy non-irritating, flea-control soap. Flea-control soap will not prevent your dog from getting fleas, but they will be more controlled: for example, they will jump through hoops on command. The non-irritating quality is for your benefit, as well. Dogs have very strong eyes and would not mind in the least if you were to bathe them in pure hydrochloric acid. However, since dogs wiggle and shake while being washed, some soap will get into your eyes, which are undoubtedly more sensitive.
Assuming that you have now gathered a hose, some dog soap, a towel, and several trained medical personnel, you are now ready for the dog. If the dog you are trying to wash is your own, you should find him wandering about your house somewhere, most likely causing irreversible damage of some sort. If the dog you are trying to wash belongs to someone else, you will probably need to commit a number of minor felonies to obtain the dog. The absolute worst way to find the dog is to call him by name. Dogs are not as stupid as they look, and realize they are being called for a bath. The best way is to pretend you are having an outdoor barbeque and are glad that, for once, the dog isn't around to beg for scraps. This will bring the dog out almost immediately.
Now, you are ready to wash the dog. First, spray the dog gently with the hose. The dog will instantly try to shake itself dry, and now both you and the dog will be uncomfortably damp. Next, start lathering the dog with the soap. Work with a slow, firm grip; otherwise, the dog will run into the house and cover your furniture with dog soap. If this does happen, simply move to a new house far, far away. If you work too quickly, the dog will become annoyed, and demonstrate to you why dogs are called "canines". In order to make the soap penetrate properly, you must work against the grain of the dog's fur. If this is done too harshly, the dog will shed for the next few days. Since modern science is still unable to separate dog hair from carpet, this situation is highly undesireable. It is also best to cover the entire dog with soap and then rinse him off; if you lather and rinse piecemeal, you make it more difficult for the dog, who may then require therapy.
Assuming you have managed to finish these steps unscathed, you will now need to dry the dog. Resist the temptation to simply let go of the dog, who will then run into the house and get water into absolutely everything. Years from now, you will find random items in your house and wonder "how did this get wet?". Instead, dry the dog off with a towel, and let him remain outside for 30 minutes to an hour.
And, there you've done it. Your dog now has the unnaturally clean scent of dishwasher detergent, and looks several shades whiter than before. Ten minutes later, he'll start rolling around in some mud, but, for that short time, you had a clean dog.
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