My new puppy stinks. And I love this stinky smell of him. Truly. I love dog smell. I’ve loved the smell of all my dogs. Every stinky one of them.
I swear my Weimaraner, Gabby had the sweetest puppy breath for her entire 14 years of life. The rest of my family will insist this is not the case. But I know what I know. And her breath was sweet. The sweetest. It was. Really.
So, this puppy, he stinks. And I like it. The whole stinky mess of him. My husband likes the puppy smell part, the other stinky parts of this pup, not so much.
So, we give him baths. Because to my husband the not-so-great stink outweighs the puppy parts. So, baths it is. Which my puppy really likes. Poodles are water dogs in case you did not know.
That foo foo poodle cut that die hard poodle owners love and most everyone else thinks is ridiculous, that came about to help them float so they could jump into the water to retrieve the ducks shot down from the sky.
In late 16th- and early 17th-century Central Europe, particularly in the region that’s now Germany, Poodles were bred for use as water retrievers. The word poodle is derived from the German pudel, short for pudelhund, which means “water dog.” Pudeln in German means “splash,” and is also the root of the English word “puddle.” * (How cool is all this info!)
So, Poodles, in that era, had these unusual (foo foo) clips out of occupational necessity: an unshorn Poodle’s thick coat could weigh it down in the water. With the bottom half of its body shaved, the animal was more buoyant and could swim more freely. The long mane and hair around the chest were left intact to keep the Poodle’s vital organs warm in the cold water, and owners also kept the hair around the joints to protect them from cold and injury and to help prevent rheumatism. Shaving the hair around the face left the Poodle’s mouth and eyes free so it could fulfill its retrieving responsibilities and tying the hair on a Poodle’s head into a “top knot” also kept hair out of its eyes. Owners eventually tied these knots with brightly colored ribbons to help them identify their dogs from afar. *
Who knew, right?
Ok, enough history, but now you know so when you see a fancy poodle walking down the street, no shaming, they have a job to do even if there is no lake for miles around.
So back to my dog.
Way before my Moose dog we had Ruckus, our first poodle. He was a Standard Poodle. He was a massive, 100lbs of Standard stinkiness. Especially around his mouth because of all that hair and the food and the water and the dirt and God knows what else he put in his mouth (actually I know what else he put in his mouth because he used to eat socks and underwear and baby diapers and diaper cream… so...) and so his mouth was stinky. More stinky than all the short haired pups that followed.
And now we have Moose, a Poodle again, with that hairy Poodle face so that when he drinks water his face is wet, and when he eats his food, his face has food, and when he digs in the dirt and gnaws on his bone and…well you get the picture.
My stinky puppy, I don’t mind this. I kinda like it. Ok… I like it a lot.
*Slate News and Politics 02.2004, The Genesis of the Poodle Hairdo
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.