In a more fastidious household, all of this rolling might result in an uptick in baths. Alas, I can hardly remember to wash my own hair let alone two shaggy, bath-resistant dogs. Plus, I don't sleep with my dogs, so I can cut them some smell slack. Still, every day, I give them the sniff test. Muzzy always smells like nutmeg—it's a dark, spicy, actually rather pleasant scent. Roma, no matter what I do, always smells like an old sponge—even after baths, so why bother. Our friend Sarah says that she knows that it's time to give Tony-boy a bath when his head smells like enchiladas. Red or green?
I have a host of excuses for not washing the dogs. Our yard is a dust bowl when the weather is dry and a mud pit when it rains. What is the point of washing the dogs if they are going to lie down in dirt while they dry? I know that I could spend money and take them to a groomer or to a local do-it-yourself dog wash that folks have raved about, but, as you know, I'm from New Jersey. I don't pay money to wash my car or my dogs. I have a hose and a bucket and soap. I just need the incentive--a smell so overpowering I can't ignore it. Skunk. That's one I'll respond to. Please don't give my dogs any ideas.
The rose in the photo is my one shining gardening moment this year. Last spring, I transplanted one of my heirloom rose plants (a gift from a Dog Parker who moved to Seattle) from a spot where it was feeling puny to a sunnier location. By May, I realized that I had made a big mistake. I watered that poor plant two or three times a day with stale dog-bowl water in an effort to keep it alive through the hottest, driest summer in fifty years. In September, I was certain that the thing had died. Then, the other day, I noticed one crimson, velvety rosebud hanging from the plant. I snipped it off and brought it inside. It is a flagrantly pungent flower. I move the little vase around with me all day long—from my desk to the dinner table to my bedside table. Dog smell, what dog smell? All I smell is roses.