October 08, 2008

Rollin', rollin', rollin. What did those doggies roll in?

I took Nanuq and his best buddy, Kodiak, for a run last night.

Near the end of our run, as we trotted along the dark trails, I noticed a peculiar smell. "It's got the muskiness of high bush cranberries, but that's not what it is," I thought to myself, "There's more to it than that. It's stronger. It almost smells like a rotting bison carcass."

Although the bison herds near Haines Junction will likely expand their way into Whitehorse over the next decade, I was reasonably certain that they haven't arrived yet.

Everywhere we ran, I caught wind of the foul smell, sometimes strong and sometimes weak.

"It must be blowing in from the south somewhere," I reasoned.

My reasoning failed me.

When I got home and the stench got more powerful inside the house, I looked at Nanuq. He had some sort of clear, wet, gooey substance smeared from the side of his face to the side of his stomach.

He looked at me. He was smiling.

I grumbled and told him to get into the shower, where he had a good, long, scrub and rinse.

I muttered to myself about why dogs feel the need to roll in feces and rotting carcasses and rub mysterious, clear, gooey, musky substances on themselves. Then, I paused to consider things from Nanuq's point of view.

We monkeys smear smelly, musky products on ourselves all the time. Sometimes, these products are made out of rotting carcasses (lipstick and other cosmetics) and maybe feces (I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised), and they're almost always gooey. How are we any different from the dogs? For all I know, the smells of soap, shampoo, deodorant, perfume and cologne could be repulsive to a canine. They have exceptionally strong noses. More often than not, I find the scents that humans put on themselves repulsive. I have to hold my breath when I run through the perfume section that bars the entrance to the big Shoppers Drug Mart at the Qwanlin Mall. I've gotten headaches from the people who insist on bathing in pheromone juice that so obviously does not enhance their own natural scent that it makes me wonder if they're olfactorally challenged.

In the end, I decided that, until we humans change our nasally offensive ways, it's not something I can get mad at Nanuq about. Who knows, maybe it's a lot of fun to roll in mysterious, clear, gooey, musky substances. I'll never know until I try.

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