Tuesday, May 31, 2016

How to wash a dog (large stuffed animal version)

Many years ago, I found a large, stuffed dog by the side of the road, set out next to some garbage cans.  I won't make analogies to abandoned pets, but I did bring the animal home, and my sons immediately co-opted the dog as a wrestling buddy.

Over the years, Big Dog has moved into N-son's bedroom, and like any real live dog, Big Dog eventually got smelly and needed cleaning.  This stuffed mutt is so large that it would unbalance and break our washing machine if we tried to stick it in there.  So instead, I had N-son take the dog outside for a bath.  This was fantastic fun for N-son.

First, fill the tub up halfway.  Don't worry that the big tub isn't quite as big as Big Dog.  Add laundry detergent.

Next, mush Big Dog into the tub, spraying the dog as needed to soak it all the way through.  As the dog gets wet, it compacts even better.  Do not try this with live dogs!  Doesn't work!

Also, don't jump up and down on a live dog!  But Big Dog seemed to get cleaner and less smelly with a bit of large muscle work. This is a happy chore for a teenage boy, and Big Dog doesn't mind one bit.

See?? Big Dog is happy to be curled up in the tub.  I totally love this picture.

And afterwards, rinse Big Dog and then leave Big Dog out on a fence panel/pallet to dry for a couple of days, turning the dog over every once in a while to air out.

Here's Big Dog with a 5-gallon bucket, just to show size.

So clean!  So fluffy!  And not stinky any more.


What does this have to do with being a Miser Mom?  My husband, when he started worrying about the smelliness of Big Dog, suggested we get rid of the beast, since cleaning it in our washer just wasn't feasible.  Earlier, he'd suggested the same thing about a heavy cloth floor mat.  Both of these were fairly easy to clean outdoors in a giant tub, sunshine, and fresh air.

And for kids, hand washing (or even foot washing!) their stuffed animals during the summer might be another fun activity to keep kids busy and productive, as well as entertained.  


  1. Children's feet are so "useful" for stomping. My mother used to lower my little brothers into a barrel to stomp cabbage for fermenting. I washed big wool rugs outside with soapy water, broom for scrubbing, hose for rinsing, dried on porch railing.

    1. Sounds like all you're missing is the grapes for the wine!