Ms. Fluff got a bath and blow-dry today. She was soooo filthy. To the casual glance, she still looked okay, but if you took a second look, those whites were cream-colored. If you touched her, you really knew, because of the residue on your fingers. Yick.
I borrowed a dog blow dryer for the big bath because I knew there was a whole lot of undercoat that would be coming out with the dirt, and even more that would be loose but unable to work itself out during the actual bath. Xena loaned me the dryer and gave me some hints on how to get the dog dry and the dead hair out with less tangling. Most dog dryers of this type don't have heat -- they just blast the water out with a lot of air. Essentially they're vaccuum cleaners turned to "push" instead of "pull."
We did the bath in the tub and the drying on the front stoop. You don't want to blow dry in the house because the hair goes everywhere. I really don't know how much was blown out because it just went with the wind. The stoop gave Fluff an idea of where she was going to be, and she was okay with that. Not much fussing or trying to dart off into the front yard to roll. She was a little surprised that I chose not to let go of her neck fur when she decided she wanted to hoot and holler at the neighbors for coming home. Fortunately for Fluff, only 3 steps lie between stoop and driveway, so she landed okay when she launched and I didn't let go.
She looks, smells, and feels much cleaner. In really good news, I had no allergy symptoms during her bath and dry! Last time I bathed her, I had to use an inhaler and didn't even try to blow her dry. Digestive enzymes and other supplements seem to be helping my body cope with its overall load of allergens.