Miss Smelly Welly

I have a name for Maddi, our girly Pyrenean Mountain Dog. It is ‘Smelly Welly’. I know that dogs can smell bad at times, but Maddi takes the prize.

When we had our first Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Monty, he was always put in the hold of our 4×4. He would begin the journey by standing up on all fours and barking his head off at all and sundry to announce his presence and lordship over what he considered his domain as Pyreneans are wont to do. After some time, he would lie down and stay down as we travelled; but we always knew whenever he got up into a sitting or standing position because the most pungent smell of dog would fill the air.

Monty might have his own particular odour, but Maddi takes the biscuit! She is pretty but often smelly; hence her appellation of ‘Smelly Welly’. (To tell you the truth, I suppose that her nickname could quite easily apply to the other dogs as well.) However, I think Maddi is particularly odorous because she is a girl: her arthritic hips do not allow her to quite squat properly when she goes to the loo and the result is that her urine gets onto her coat, thereby turning her into a walking stink bomb at times. Poor Maddi!

All dogs have their own particular smells, although humans think that they all smell the same ie ‘doggy’. Having said that, I would concur with this sentiment with respect to our dogs’ odeur de chien. The latter is particularly strong when they rise from a sitting or lying position in the car. The strange thing is that when we have the car windows wound down so that air can circulate in the car, the smell of dog becomes stronger, and whiffs of it waft to the front of the car rather than staying at the back where the dogs are confined.

Our beautiful Maddi.

Well, Miss Smelly Welly has a lovely soft coat which very softness makes it easily tangled even after combing. After working hard on one flank so that Maddi’s coat actually looks tidy for a change, all she needs to do is to lie on that side as I work on the other before she looks like a ragamuffin again. Thus Maddi’s look seems to go hand in hand with her smell: untidy hair, ‘pinch your nose and hold your breath’ aroma!

Of course Maddi does not always stink, as members of the family unkindly term her tendency to smell like over ripe cheese. However, more often than not, even after a bath, she does have a strong odour, which I think must be particular to her. I always wash my hands after patting the dogs, but find that it is sometimes difficult to rid my hands of Maddi’s smell with just one soapy wash.

I do think that Maddi’s smell is due to the oils her coat produces as well. It just seems to be a stronger smelling coating than that on Zack’s coat. Frankly, Zack looks positively tidy when compared with Maddi, so maybe Maddi is smelly also because her coat is longer and softer and traps dirt more easily. The family is used to Maddi of course and we accept her as she is, ripeness and all. However, I wonder if there is a way in which I could keep her coat just so, so that she would become sweeter smelling more of the time. Hmmmm . . . .

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