Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

My dog has many smells

My dog smells like many different things from moment to moment.

When we play with the hose or sprinkler, he smells like the quintessential wet dog. It’s a similar smell after a bath, but less dirty smelling.

After a run or a bike ride, he smells like heat and sweat and fur.

At night, when he’s snuggled up sleeping in my bed, he emits horrific room-clearing smells.

But my favorite is something I call the happy smell.

He greets me at back door when I get home from work. His tail wags so hard that he knocks things off the fridge. Once, his butt wiggled so hard that he fell over sideways. I kiss Jane, give him a quick scratch on the head, and walk into the hallway to put down my bags.

He follows me into the hallway and then, when I crouch down to drop my stuff, the face-licking begins. He’s all over me and he exudes this smell that I can only describe as pure happiness.

I don’t know how it works but it’s so calming and soothing, kind of like the new-baby smell. Whatever chemical he’s putting out goes straight to the happy-center in my brain.

No matter what’s happening, he’s always excited I’m home.