Anyone who has a pet knows that bathtime can be a rather tricky affair. But after discovering this photo story deep in the LIFE archives, giving a thorough scrub to my oversized pup now seems like a breeze, in fact, I’m rather looking forward to it! I found these photographs without any accompanying information other than the photographer’s name, Robert W Kelley. The name was familiar to me and I remembered that Mr. Kelley had another photograph that’s quite popular on the Tumblr circuit, entitled, “Pet Kangaroo, 1959, New York“, capturing a kangaroo hopping his way down the stairs of a NYC townhouse. I can only guess this is the same kangaroo and therefore assume that this mad bathing scene did in fact take place in a private New York home, sometime in the late 1950s. As much as it might look like one, my guess is this was no petting zoo, but just a typical day in the life of a rather eccentric animal-loving American family…
Mother and daughter get started on their full-sized Llama and his ‘mini-me’ lamb.
A monkey on the shoulder is possibly helping squeeze out the shampoo?
Are you just going to sit there and laugh or are you going to help us?!
(I think we’ll leave you to it…)
Okay Skippy, your turn…
Noooooo! I won’t go!
But everyone has to endure bathtime, from the biggest members of the pack to the smallest, whether they like it or not…
Skippy has other ideas however…
Ooh! Watch the pelvic area dear.
I think you missed a spot!
The cats watch from the roof in disapproval of the chaotic scene below them.
Com’ere Skippy, we’re not done with you yet!
Monkey keeps a safe distance from the very uncivilized behaviour of Skippy.
Meanwhile the dogs are paying no attention at all, having been rather taken by Mr. Kelley’s photography assistant!
Ahem! Lilly the Llama would like some TLC now!
Of course no one looks as chic as Lilly the Llama in her towel turban!
But if you think you’re coming in the house while you’re all still wet, you’re very much mistaken kids!
Find the full photostory from the LIFE archives here. Any further information/ tips on this story are most welcome!