November 10, 2009


My Grandmother and Grandfather read my blog every day. I am deeply touched by their dedication and I really appreciate when they correct my grammar, spelling, and punctuation (among other things). But today Grandma emailed me about yesterday’s blog to point out that I never said that Gretchen “stunk” but rather that she “smelled.”

Dear Grandma…to a dog, nothing stinks.  Our noses are so much more advance than humans that we’ve moved beyond making judgments about what we smell. In doing so, we’ve opened our conciseness. We’ve moved beyond the need to disregard what was once labeled bad and have learned to embrace the complexity and vibrancy of every scent in the world. While it’s true that to other humans Gretchen probably stinks, to me she just smells like a wet, sweaty human (yes, you humans have very complex and unique scents). I do not like or dislike her smell though I know that if I were in a huge crowd, I could find her in a matter of minutes simply because her scent is locked into my brain.ollie/saber

You and Grandpa have unique smells, too. Your scent is like your history all wrapped up in the ball of your skin. It’s not only you that has a distinct smell, but the place where you live, the street that you live on, the neighborhood you live in, and on and on each offer me clues to the map of you, the map of going to your house.  When we drive to see you, I gather in all of those scents and my brain goes into overdrive — this scent lets me know we are on a path away from home and this scent tells me that we might be headed west and this scent tells me that we are in a neighborhood I recognize. And when we turn into your specific neighborhood, I put all those puzzle pieces together and my brain say, “Sit up! This is the way to your Grandparents!” and that’s when I get very excited.

I could go on and on about this, but I think you get the idea. While you might think Gretchen, your youngest child, stinks. I think she smells and frankly, that smell is home.

Now, onto our day, which again was filled with the smell of wet human =-)

I stayed home with Momma Ann today as she has taken time off this week. I like staying home with Momma Ann because she sleeps in. I like sleeping in too.  Oh, and just for the record, she smells, too! Anyway, Gretchen went off to school and then returned with Ollie bouncing at the end of his leash. Gretchen suited up for what proved to be a wet day, though not as wet as previous days. It was more sprinkles today than downpours, but still, we got wet.

Ollie, therefore, donned my old red raincoat.  He liked that. Why, I’ll never know. Oh, and that coat, it smells too. In fact, I know when it’s in the vicinity because I can smell and when I do, I run the other way! Ollie doesn’t. He just sits calmly and then waits while Gretchen velcros him in.

We walked through the park and over to Saber’s house though Ollie thought for sure we were headed to Gemma’s house and was slightly disappointed when we turned the other way. All three of us headed over to the tennis courts because it was just too muddy and soggy to play anywhere else. Ollie likes to practice levitation while Saber and I like to play fetch!




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After a good romp, Saber and I walked Ollie home and then Saber walked me back to Ann and my breakfast. Gretchen took Saber back to his house with the promise that we’d be back later. Then she walked up to Rosie’s house. Rosie was excited to see her, though not so thrilled about going out into the drizzle. Lucky for them, the drizzle stopped and their walk was pretty much dry. Whew!



After Rosie went home, Gretchen swung by Gemma’s house and despite the rain and the raincoat, Gemma was raring to go. They walked over to our house to pick me up and then we headed down through the park back to those tennis courts to play.



Now, I must confess that playing fetch with Gemma is very different than playing with Saber or Monty or even Ollie. She stalks me. She blocks my path. When I try to go for the ball, she lunges and nips at me. I don’t like it much. Today, Gretchen captured the event. The first photo is of my ball in the distance (the orange orb), Gemma in between me and my ball, and then me first wondering what I should do and then second saying to Gretchen, “See how she is?”


To distract Gemma, Gretchen tries to get her to play fetch, but it takes some doing. I appreciate her efforts, but still, it would be nice if Gemma wouldn’t get between me and my ball.



After we played, we went for a walk up over the hill and back down through the park. That’s when it started to rain a little harder. So we rushed Gemma home, toweled her off and then headed over to get Saber for one last time.

When we first arrive, Saber is very sleepy. He stretches and yawns and slowly emerges from his kennel. Then he gets a whiff of me. Gretchen has me wait outside, but Saber can smell me even from inside his house. That’s when he starts to get excited. His big tail sways back and forth, he clomps around like a horse impatient as Gretchen tries to put on his harness, and then tries really hard not to bust through the screen door to get to me. It’s kind of cute.

Since we’d played at the tennis courts earlier that day, we decided to just go for a walk, so up and over the hill we went with a stop at the park overlooking the I90 bridge. For a 5 month old, Saber is really good at the STAY command. I am too, of course, but I’m a lot older and I get to practice it all the time!


After our photo shoot, we headed up over the hill and Saber got really excited again when he smelled the doggie water dish at the overlook park. He gulped down water wagging his tail the whole time and I got to take a drink out of the drinking fountain. That water is the best! We headed back down the hill to Saber’s house and he obediently kenneled up waiting for her peanut butter treat. I waited outside and then wagged my tail when I smelled Gretchen coming.

It was good day. I didn’t have to wear my raincoat not even once. Hey, now that I think about it, Grandma, there is one thing that stinks…that Red Raincoat!

Until Tomorrow,


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