If you read the headline of this column, I think you’ll know where I'm going with this. I absolutely dread baths! What purpose do they serve? I’m just going to get dirty and stinky again in a matter of days.

I'm a dog and I'm supposed to smell like a dog. Or even better, smell like that dead animal scent and deer poop that I rolled in this morning. It’s pure heaven to roll in the grass, soaking up every last morsel of decay smell that I can! The more pungent the better so when I go somewhere afterwards, humans and dogs alike stand back in amazement. They can't help but smell the rancid smell coming from me (even with a face muzzle on) and may even remark "Oh wow, there goes Benny!" My human doesn't quite see it that way. She complains that we live in a small house and so my "ripeness" permeates everything and stinks up the place. Every time she says that, she always follows it up with "OK Benny, time for a bath." I know the word bath very well by now, but usually pretend I don't, or that I didn’t hear her. The utterance of that word makes me run cheerfully to the door, trying to trick her into letting me out. That way she'll have a devil of a time getting me back inside and hopefully will forget her original idea a bath.

In the end, my human usually prevails and I end up in the bathtub getting hosed down. What makes it even more traumatic and insulting is that she always uses some all-natural, organic, coconut-oil shampoo. For a big, boy pup like me, that is the absolute worst!! Dogs are not supposed to smell like coconuts. After I get lathered up with the stuff, I smell like a sweet boat drink for about three days. Then she wraps me in a blue polka dot towel to dry me off and that just adds to the horror!

While I am complaining, I might as well cover the other dreaded thing that she does to me. The veterinarian convinced her that dental disease is a problem for many dogs and she can prevent that by brushing my teeth. The evil vet even gave her some special chicken flavored toothpaste. This toothpaste tricks you with its initial taste of chicken, but that fades quickly. Then you’re stuck with a mouthful of paste and all you can do is be cooperative and hope the brushing gets done quickly. While she told me that it prevents tarter buildup, doesn’t she know that we dogs don’t give a darn about tarter? That’s for humans to worry about. Further, I can guarantee you that my wolf brothers in the woods never have their teeth brushed to prevent tarter, and they seem OK. But here I am, smelling like a coconut and getting my teeth brushed. Whatever is a dog to do?

I wanted to share these laments with you since while I love my human so very much, even our relationship has it’s challenges. But the sweet bath scent goes away, I forget about the tooth brushing and I never hold a grudge. I love my human with all my heart and know that she only wants the best for me. I think that’s always a good thing to remember. If your human wants the best for you, even if it’s challenging sometimes, it’s best to keep on loving them throughout it all. Even if they bring coconuts!

With love,

Benny H.