“Are you free for coffee tomorrow?” I asked a friend over the phone.
“No, sorry,” she replied. “I have to take Tyra for a wash, cut, and blowout.”
If I hadn’t known this person very well, I would have assumed she was talking about her daughter or mother.
But she was not.
She was talking about her dog.
I had forgotten that Tyra had a standing appointment at the poodle parlor every four weeks to get groomed. She had her own stylist who understood all the nuances of Tyra’s coat, which, I was informed, was made of hair, not fur, and therefore required a specialized level of dog beautification. I found this exceptionally amusing since I don’t even have a standing appointment at the salon for myself, much less my dog.
Typically, I don’t even realize my dog needs to be groomed until he starts to smell so bad we wonder if there is something rotting in the fridge, and even then, I’ll just spray him with air freshener for a couple of days until we can’t stand it anymore.
My thought is, if wolves don’t take bubble baths in the wild, why should my dog?
Of course, this philosophy only lasts as long as it takes for the smell of my dog to get so strong it starts to cause the paint to peel from the walls. And while this isn’t a problem for the dog, it is for me, our family, and our walls. My dog definitely prefers smelling like garbage than lavender. Pretty much the minute he comes home from the groomers, he will dash outside to find the nastiest pile of muck to roll in to obliterate the smell of perfumed pooch. And if by luck he happens to find something dead outside to rub against, he will be in stinky dog heaven.
Tyra, the well-primped poodle, is apparently no different. Although she puts up with her once monthly grooming, as soon as she gets home she will do her best to undo the work of her style team and return herself to a more natural doggie state. While she may play the part of a pampered pooch, at heart she is a dog of the earth, and routinely has the earth in her coat to prove it.
Meanwhile, back at Smelly Dog Central, my dog Monty was clearly beginning to ripen and I realized the time had come to de-stinkify him before the Board of Health condemned his dog bed, and quite possibly, our house.
Since Tyra’s owner seemed so happy with the level of service she was getting from her doggie salon, I decided to try them out and let them work their magic on Monty.
However as soon as we arrived, I realized that the place might not be a good fit for my dog.
“Would you like a rose, eucalyptus, or lemon-scented spa bath for Monty?” they inquired as I signed Monty in.
I glanced down at my dog. He had his head between his legs and was busy giving himself a bath where the sun don’t shine.
I rolled my eyes.
“Actually…” I wondered. “Do you have anything that smells like dirt?”