I love the smell of dogs. There, I said it, and I mean it.
Am I alone in this? I hadn’t thought before that something I was badly missing after the passing of my big fluffy dog would be her smell. Her thick Husky Shepherd triple coated fur smell. She had smelled like my beloved childhood stuffed bear who I took naps with and whose plastic nose I chewed. I still have that now fifty year old panda bear.
Today, coming home from my morning with the oldsters at Muttville, I silently kept noticing the smell of the dogs on me. I could see their hairs on my black yoga pants but I also got little whiffs of scent every time I shifted in my bus seat. And I loved it!
I realize now that a big reason I favor the larger dogs at Muttville is their ability to return me to the emotional state of pure joy that I had felt with my dog. I can blot out all other people and conversations, even other dogs, when I’m engaged with a big dog. Whether we’re playing tug-of-war or having a deep cuddle session, I am transported.
I wonder if people get the same lift from the smell of baking bread or a flower that I get from the smell of a dog?
What I am reminded of today is that smell, their furry doggy smell, is a big part of our connection. It certainly is a powerful influence on my mood. I am lifted into their world by it. And that is where I thrive.
Being around them not only makes me feel good but it also reminds me that life is still good. I can ignore the outside world for a little while, and let their dogginess recharge my batteries — remembering that life doesn’t have to be complicated, that there is goodness around us.
It’s ironic that the dogs I played with and pet today weren’t even that fluffy compared to my beloved dog. They were physically closer to my now slightly balding old bear. The dogs may have been scruffy and a bit stinky to most people, but their desire for affection overpowered any hesitation. Softly stroking a dog on the bridge of their snout until their eyes close, with a bonus of either a little sigh or a contented smacking of the lips, sends my oxytocin levels through the roof!
So, now that I’m home, when will I wash these good smells off? I will wait as long as I can, which means until my husband says something. Hey, I love these smells that much and the memory of each dog who shared them with me.
I wonder if the dogs can tell how much they do for me? I think I will ask them next week.
~ Sharon Castellanos