Laundry with Dogs
A Green-Clean Solution

Satire by
Robert Wilfred Franson


April 2010


We have been developing an ecologically-friendly procedure for cleaning the family laundry.


The procedure is straightforward, easy to learn and to implement. We always enjoy handling household fix-it or other small challenges with material-at-hand: bits of lumber and our drawers of nails and screws, and so on. Laundry with Dogs requires several components:

  1. One or more dogs.
  2. A fish pond.
  3. A sunny lawn.

Laundrodogs taking a break Dog, or dogs, can be of any size or breed. The fish pond need not be large or formal. It is best if your laundrodogs are large enough, or the pond shallow enough, that the dogs can keep their footing on the bottom of the pond. Otherwise they will have to swim and do some thrashing about.

Smaller fish (goldfish, mosquito fish) are better than larger (koi, trout) because the smaller fish are less likely to become entangled in the laundry, or to accidentally swallow socks or handkerchiefs.

Note that if you don't have the above you still can make it work with some ingenuity and help from your neighbors. Laundry with Dogs is for everyone: rural, suburban, or urban.

If needed, you may:

  1. Borrow a dog.
  2. Create a puddle in any low depression in your yard, curbside gutter, or street pothole.
  3. Borrow fish if you can, although they are not absolutely essential.
  4. Use any flat pavement for drying: sidewalk is better than street.

Once the clothing, sheets, and so on have been tossed into the fish pond, the dogs are called to churn the laundry by running back and forth, grabbing and tossing items, and so on. Dogs consider this play, so they will enjoy it.

If your dogs have been trained previously to stay out of the pond and not trample the goldfish — as ours were, using dire consequences — you will have to reverse the prior training. As with people, slackening or abandoning an ex-requirement usually doesn't take long.


For drying your clothes and other laundry, the dogs again are set to work. Our dogs routinely pick chunks of wood off a woodpile, rocks off a rockpile, and scatter them on lawn and walkways. And a dropped piece of clothing is fascinating to any dog. So training them to drag laundry out of the pond and scatter it around the lawn isn't an altogether new challenge.

As with any outdoor drying location, sunshine is important. A clothesline, while providing a spot of old-fashioned ambience, is visual clutter and not as green as using your lawn. Draping over bushes is acceptable. Again, feel free to use your ingenuity.

Leave the wet clothing on the lawn until dry. Some items you may wish to straighten and smooth yourself, because dogs have trouble grasping the value of smooth drying.

The ideal days are those with sunshine and warm, dry air. Laundry with Dogs can be done in wintery seasons with snow on the ground, but the launderer must be prepared to break ice on the pond, and to rub the dogs' feet when they get cold. Snow-dried laundry tends to be stiff.

When everything is dry, the dogs can be signaled to bring the laundry items one at a time to your basket. Reward them with a small treat for each item retrieved.

Green-Clean advantages

You can see that there are a lot of pluses with the Laundry with Dogs procedure:

  • No machinery: only natural resources and labor.
  • Off the grid: you don't need any utility company's expensive energy to run machinery.
  • Oxygenation: invigorating the algae in your pond freshens the atmosphere.
  • Water conservation: pond water is great liquid fertilizer for lawns.
  • Natural aromatherapy: your clothes will so smell of Nature that all your friends — indeed, everyone who passes you on the sidewalk or mall — will sense immediately that you are Green-Clean.
  • Natural dyes: pond algae will tint your cloth items a subtle, tasteful green.
  • Healthy play and exercise for your dogs.
  • Your dogs will smell Green-Clean too; they'll love it.
  • A training and bonding opportunity for you and your dogs.
  • Stimulation and variety for your goldfish.
Share our slogans
  • Be Clean with Green!
  • Ponds, Not Utilities!
  • Happy Dogs, Green-Clean Laundry!


© 2010 Robert Wilfred Franson

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