Friday, September 04, 2009

My dog smells like a dog

I grew up with dogs around all the time, but when I moved away from my mom's house, we were mostly renting, and then we didn't have a dog when we owned because of having an older cat and not wanting to upset her with a dog. So there's been a gap of over twenty years in my dog ownership. During that time, I forgot how much dogs smell like dogs.

There's a very distinctive and very universal smell that dogs have, and while a freshly-washed dog won't smell as much like it, it's still there. It's not quite like anything else, it's unique to the dogginess of a dog. But all dogs have it in common. It's not a bad smell, though when it gets too strong it can be unpleasant in its strength. And when I smelled it for the first time in many years, it was instantly recognizable. Even so, it's sort of a surprise each time when I smell it again and am immediately reminded, oh yes, dogs have a very specific smell.

However, Socks doesn't really get that "wet dog" smell when she's wet, perhaps because she never stays wet; her fur sheds water quite well and a few shakes and she's nearly dry. Which is good: "dog" isn't a bad smell, but "wet dog" can be.

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