Towel Dry

Dear Goddamned Beagle,

I’m not gonna lie – you get pretty rank.  It’s mostly not your fault. In the interest of learning more about your kind, I Googled, “Why do beagles stink?” and found a wealth of nonsensical advice and pseudo-science that made your wafting, at times eye-wateringly strong miasma far more interesting than I’d given it credit for.

I was assuming run-of-the-mill hound stank.

According to the interwebs, it’s much more than that! According to one site, “As different canine breeds were being perfected, each were developed for a purpose…

The Beagle breed’s development was based on hunting rabbits.  Long ago, the focus was on tracking hare and deer, however as time progressed, Beagle were used mainly for rabbit. For the most part, during its development and refinement, Beagles hunted in packs.

The ability to work together in a pack depended on many qualities, one of which was each pack member’s keen ability to be extremely aware of where each member was located throughout the field or forest and additionally, the mood of each dog – the excitement of the chase or the satisfaction of closing in on its prey. It is believed that throughout the many generations of perfecting hound dogs, a stronger than average level of chemical emitters was a byproduct of that development.”

If I’m reading this right, you’re not stinky, you’re emotive. Also, you’ve been perfected.

While this might not be your doing, your insistence on wrapping yourself in blankets cooks and intensifies your waft. I can’t count the times I’ve forgotten this. Engrossed in work, sitting next to you on the couch, I’ve leaned over for a kiss, distracted, and nearly fallen unconscious from the roaring stench as I lift the blanket.

For a decade and a half I slept with two Swiss Mountain dogs, and I didn’t wash my bedding anywhere near as often as I do now with one, twenty pound beagle.

The one really good side to all of this is that you fit in the kitchen sink for baths. Thought you’re not a huge fan of baths, you do get plenty of treats while you get them (though according to the expert site that’s unnecessary, as “If your Beagle has a dislike of baths, remember that the more a dog is exposed to something, the more tolerable it will become!”).

So with some regularity I put you in the sink and you snack while I contaminate the city’s waste water treatment plants. Once you’re rinsed I rub you down, but that’s never enough for you. The key part to each bath time is your floor dry routine, in which you mop up every possible piece of dust, food scrap and street dirt you can with your newly-cleaned coat. I throw down the damp towels on the floor hoping you’ll use those for absorption, and you do your ritual kick-dry.

That’s exactly what you did this afternoon.

It’s OK, Beagle. This house still smells a whole lot better. I won’t even have to hold my breath when I uncover us tomorrow morning.

Love,

Your Person

 

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