Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is that smell mandatory?

Dakota with a faceful of snow

We have been in our current home for 5 years. One of the reasons we chose to sign on the dotted line was its large back yard. Large at least comparatively, our starter home had a much narrower and shallower space for the natives to be restless in. When he first set foot in what was to become our new back yard, Nat termed it a "dog yard". At that time, the idea of joining the masses and adding a dog to the family really appealed to me. Probably because I'd never had a dog.

A few months after we moved in, I attended an annual woman's cookie exchange with a group of my lady friends. Lo and behold, one of the women present had rescued a real, live pound puppy in her home state of South Dakota, and needed to find a home for her because she already had two dogs and couldn't keep another (pesky community laws!). I brought Dakota home to meet the family, and everyone agreed that she should be ours. If she wasn't already responding to the name her rescuer gave her, I might have called her Cookie, because that was all I expected to bring home from that little party.

Of course, that was before I knew her by her smell. Based on that knowledge, I might call her Fishy Stinkbomb! She's a sweet, patient and good-tempered girl. She has been known to let children stand on her for minutes at a time or grab fistfuls of soft rust-colored hair without complaining. Clara was not yet two when she came to live with us, so she has a devoted love for her and dotes on her with treats and combings and a special game I'm sure Kota looks forward to with relish where she is put on leash and taken throughout the house.

But the smell! We bathe her so often it's ridiculous, but it only takes a day it seems for her to get that horrible smell that makes us shoo her away so she doesn't pollute the air. I really don't know what to do about it, except I have a vague notion there are some glands that are supposed to be squeezed on a regular basis in the hind quarters somewhere?!&%?! A girl once alluded to such a process at the PetSmart groom room, but I promptly tried to erase the memory completely.

Please tell me, all you who have lived with a dog at one time in your life, is that smell mandatory?!


Diane Yoder said...

Well, since Dad always had to have a dog around the house, we had three dogs in my life, and none of them ever smelled, but here's a couple suggestions. Mom used to hate flea powder, so she used to feed Cupid (our cocker spaniel) those brewer's yeast and garlic tabs. They freshen dog breath, and keep away fleas at the same time. I also would shy away from squeezing doggy bottoms, so I don't blame you there--you shouldn't ever have to do that. We never had to do that with any of our dogs. I think the thing to do is to change the dog's diet. Some commercial dog foods can really make a dog reek. Also, other things that make a dog smell are allergies, infected anal glands (which need to be evacuated by the vet, no squeezing doggy bottoms!)ear infections, fleas, mites, or lice (in your case, let's hope the dog has none of those things). Mom used to supplement the dogs' diet with dog vitamins, especially those with a lot of fatty acids, which can reduce doggy smell.

I'd try to change the dog's diet first, there are a lot of really good organic dog foods you can buy reasonably at PetSmart. Good luck!

Northeast Iowa Mom said...

Thanks for visiting my blog - glad to find yours!

Ummm, yes, I'm sorry to say, Diane and your groomer are probably right. You can have a groomer or your vet teach you how to evacuate those glands. It's horrible, I won't kid you. I have to do it to one of our cats every 3 weeks or so. It is The Worst Smell I have ever smelled. But once it's done, the change is almost miraculous.

Ah, the joys of owning pets. I thought litter-box changing was bad!

Lisa Faye said...

OK, Thanks very much for the advice, ladies. I have made a vet appointment for Kota, and I will ask to be shown how to... evacuate. Ugh! I feel nauseous right now. But I am ready for her to smell better, and certainly want her to be completely healthy.