Sometimes Milly thinks I'm the cruellest, meanest and most heartless owner-with-two-legs ever.
This is usually every fortnight, when I open the shed door and don't turn on the treadmill but walk in the other direction and come out with Sapphire's old pale blue baby bath.
When the bath is filled with a bucket of hot and a bucket of cold, I call out softly, "Milly....Milly."
To her credit, she obeys. S-l-o-w-l-y.
She sits directly in front of me and puts her most appealing, 'Please don't do this' face on.
Ignoring her, I reach down and undo her collar. Milly starts to tremble, so I kiss her ears, saying "It's only five minutes of your time and you love coming inside, don't you? You're all pongy now and you'd be sad if you weren't allowed in." The smell of cigarette smoke and a snort from the balcony next door suggests that a flat-dweller enjoying his coffee is also witnessing my canine cajoling.
I lift her inert body and lower her into the water, careful not to hurt her back legs. Her ears flatten, her tail droops and her expression is one of resignation.
She endures it, occasionally turning around to squint wetly at me with a sorrowful expression but she stays still.
It's only when I run both hands over her head, her ears and down her neck to squeeze out the last dregs of shampoo suds and water that she sees fit to give herself an almighty shake. Naturally, this is part of the routine, so my wardrobe is always shorts, thongs and an old towel lying nearby.
As I'm drying my legs, this is her sign to jump out, dash across the lawn and roll - "NO MILLY!" - in the lawn, coating herself in dead grass like a furry lamington before running back for another rubdown and a scolding.
The bathwater is emptied onto the lavender bushes and Milly sits on her bed drying in the sunshine, trying her hardest to stay sulky at me.
"No, you can't come inside just yet, you're still not dry." A pat along her damp coat and a chew bone goes a little way to securing her forgiveness and she even licks me.
An hour later she's finally inside and having a nap. Her smile returns.
Agony over for another fortnight.