When it comes to hygiene and grooming, the relationship between a dog and its human caregiver is not unlike that of child and mother. Mums (and dads) take great interest in the body odour of their kids. Kids are popped into tubs as funkiness sets in. Parents absently spit onto tissues and clean off gooey messes on the fly. They pick at, clean off, wipe down, wash and rinse the various creepy, smelly substances that append themselves to their loving tots. They change diapers or examine their kid’s poop in the toilet bowl, not with revulsion, but with the inquiring mind of a scientist. Ditto the dog owner with their pooch.
Recently, someone at church casually mentioned that Opal “has a little bit of a smell”. I dismissed it with. “She smells like a dog”. I went home and ruminated on this comment. I love Opal’s smell, but I’m her mum. That pretty much makes me incapable of objectivity. It wasn’t always like that. The very first time I ‘picked up’ after Opal at CGDB, I nearly hurled. The first time I experienced her distinct ‘wet dog’ odor after we had been out in the rain at the training centre, I really began to wonder how I would survive life with a dog when we got home to Nova Scotia where it rains A LOT. I once worried about my clothes having dog hair or goober (saliva) on them. Now, I seem oblivious to any of it. On the contrary, like any mum, I inhale her smell and it makes me smile. However, I am not impervious to rational public opinion. I called up my sweetie immediately after the church lady’s comment and demanded the truth. “Does Opal smell funky?”, I asked. LA. spoke to me as cautiously as a hostage negotiator would. “Umm, well darling, she does have a little stronger smell than usual these days”. I was shocked…and worried. It’s November. I hadn’t anticipated a bath ’till spring.
The happy news is that the forecast high for tomorrow is 14 C. With a lot of planning, I have arranged for a ride home from Metro Dog Wash, so that Opal (who is terrified of dryers), can get home without getting a chill after her bath. Metro Dog Wash is the best little business in town. You take your pooch to their storefront location on Cunard street, and for a modest fee, use one of their numerous waist-level sinks (dog walks up a couple of steps) to wash your own dog. If you have an old, arthritic dog, you can use the walk-in tub at floor level. There is a device to tether the dog so that there is no Great Escape from the sink. You use their shampoos and conditioners. There is an endless supply of temperature-controlled water coming from the hand-held hoses and sprayers. They provide rubber aprons for the washers, and Zoom Grooms to use on the washees. Then, when your fido is all clean and rinsed, you can use as many towels as you want to dry him off. There are dryers for dogs who are braver than Opal. You leave with a clean dog, minus the mess you would have at home. Metro Dog Wash offers grooming services and sells lots of dog gear too. Best of all, they offer a 50% discount off of their bathing fee for service dogs. I highly recommend it. (Visit via link on blogroll) If all goes according to plan, Opal will smell lovely to me AND my church friends next Sunday.