Saturday, May 9, 2015

Puppy Smell

The cocka-poo we adopted when I was in middle school, I used to call Mufferstinker. Sidney was my Stinky Tuscadero (though someone once told me, when she was like eight, that she smelled like a puppy; and it was true, most of her life). I always used to tell her, "I like your stink" because - I did.

Penelope came inside from a morning playing in her yard. She smells like sunshine. The soft metallic scent of her blood, warm from playing, and her breath. The grass.

Through winter, Pen really has little odor. Carolina Dogs are very clean, and she doesn't have the sebaceous musk Siddy always had.

For those of us who love our dogs for themselves, who need the heartbeat near us, who appreciate they're animals, who appreciate the excuse to remember we are animals ourselves ... puppy funk isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a warm, seasonal scent right now: summer is coming! It's homey, in a way. It's part of her, part of being a dog-lover; I know there are some who consider it unpleasant or a sign of dirtiness (my *home* does not smell like dog; even her bed isn't a stinky spot).

For me, puppy-stink is one of the silly, secret privileges of the baby girl I am blessed to care for.

I like her stink, too. She gots good stink.

(For his part, Gossamer smells like honey bread baking. It's amazing.)

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