Max loves it when we sit together in my faux-leather recliner and I regale him with stories of my misspent youth; I think he likes the parts about mastodons and cavemen.
Anyway, when I was a kid, the proper place for any young boy was outside. Indoor time was for doing chores or attending to schoolwork.
From time to time the notion of a restful and mischievous day at home would percolate in our juvenile minds but it was promptly squelched by my Grandmother’s strict command: “Go out and blow the stink off.”
The parental expectation was that the neighborhood boys would gather in the morning and head out for the entire day, unsupervised, and with their pockets stuffed full of some disgusting lunch, at best a thoroughly mashed PB&J sandwich and maybe a Reese’s peanut butter cup that had melted the day before.
In summer, the rule was we had to return by dinner time, at the first sight of a compound fracture or if avoiding law enforcement. Before entering the house we had to empty our pockets at the back door which was a wise precaution in order to avoid introducing small frogs, large bugs, and the now thoroughly inedible peanut butter cup into the house.
In winter, we were required to return at dark or sooner if the youngest among us demonstrated signs of frostbite, was totally hypothermic or if there was a significant amount of blood involved. The re-entry procedure involved shaking off the snow or ice or, more often, the copious amounts of mud coating our footwear.
I looked for the origin of the phrase “go out and blow the stink off” but wasn’t able to nail it down. Some attribute it to Montana author William Kittredge (1932-2020) but I think the phrase is far older than that. There are anecdotes on the ‘net about the phrase being popular in the 1930s. It also seems to have been in common use in the United Kingdom around the same time.
Regardless of derivation, I guess it’s baked in the DNA because Nana’s “endearing phrase” survived her and is an integral part of my vocabulary. Yes, it’s grammatically incorrect, thank you very much, and now go look up “pedant” in your Funk & Wagnall’s.
As usual, none of the foregoing has anything to do with today’s story. Except for the smelly part.
Today, we’re going to address the big question of “Does Your Dog Stink?”
If you share your life with a Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel or Labrador Retriever, you know about stink because “iheartpuppy.com” has named them the 3 stinkiest dogs.
It’s not due to poor hygiene on the doggos’ part; the allegation of dog odor is due mostly to these breeds’ penchant for ear infections, allergies and/or excessive drooling which the Alpha Japanese Female accuses me of doing when a particularly nice dark beer goes on sale.
But I digress.
“Wideopenpets.com” agrees with the Basset Hound and Cocker Spaniel ratings but asserts that a St. Bernard tops the heap when it comes to reeking canines. “Dogvills.com” agrees. Who are we to challenge these fonts of dog wisdom?
In addition to the aforementioned Holy Trinity of dog stinkeroos, the Top 10 olfactory offenders list includes Pugs, Shar-pei, Bloodhounds, Beagles, Bulldogs, Yorkies (surprise!), Boxers and, according to one heretical website, Malti-poos.
Do you agree with these nominations? Discuss among yourselves.
So, if we are throwing shade on these so-called armpit breeds, which are the least smelly dogs? Fair question, even if I did ask it of myself.
According to some websites, the three least stinky dog breeds are the Dalmatian, German Pinscher and Papillion. I can’t comment because I have never known any of these three although when we were kids, anytime “German Pinscher” was mentioned, somebody was sure to reach out and pinch his friend unmercifully while yelling, “Yah, Yah.”
Pethelpful.com says the best smelling dogs are Maltese, Bichon Frisé and Basenji. We asked for comments but the Basenji had nothing to say. Nonetheless, we like pethelpful.com for its shout-out to the Malts.
There is a website called “Mysmelly.com” (of course there is) which raises the bar on identifying good smelling pooches. Its Top 3 Best Smellers are: Alaskan Malamute, Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie and Chinese Crested.
I am going to have to take those recommendations on faith and, no, I didn’t have clue #1 what the hell an Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie might be. But the internet knows everything…
I guess what we can take from this less than extensive and in-depth research is that no one agrees completely on the subject of dog smell. Like obscenity, you know it when you see (sniff) it. That probably wasn’t the best analogy.
Fortunately, Max is a very nice smelling dog. As I’ve related before, when he is in need of a bath he smells like a Fritos corn chip and that’s as bad as it gets. Even when wet he doesn’t offend.
The exception to the fresh-as-a-Malt condition occurs a few hours after he’s had a dinner of Cesar Pot Roast with Spring Vegetables.
I don’t know what kind of roast they put in there but it reminds me of another of Nana’s favored sayings about we young ones: “You smell like something crawled up in you and died a week ago.”
Categories: The Dog From Rancho Cucaracha