MY QUESTIONABLE SENSITIVITY TO DOGS
Now, with my wife’s dog around, and the dog-in-law rotating in an out of our lives on a regular basis,
I’ve developed an appreciation for the creatures. And, with the exception of the dog-in-law, the smell
of a dog doesn’t really bother me all that much. (Though why the dog-in-law chooses to camp out
directly under my nose when I’m eating lunch, I will never understand.) There was a time however
when I could smell the presence of a dog through 2” plate steel. I didn’t go around crowing about
this remarkable talent however, I kept it to myself. I guess if I could have figured out how, I might
have made a fortune.
One day, while Bob Easley and I took a break from doing the carpentry work that no union guy
would ever even have considered doing, we climbed into his truck to go get something to eat—if it
was lunchtime—or something to drink, if it was quittin’ time, and I observed, “Your truck stinks like
And Bob said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I don’t know how else to put it, Bob. Your truck smells like a goddamned dog has been living
And he said, “There has never been a dog in this truck, EVER.” He looked at me in that knowing
manner that people who are about to be proven wrong but do not yet recognize it so often employ.
And I said, “Bob, listen, I know the smell of dog when I smell it, and believe me, this truck stinks of
And Bob said to me, “There has NEVER been a DOG in this… WAIT A MINUTE…”
I like that part.
So, let’s review.
One afternoon, Bob ‘n’ me climbed into Bob’s truck and I detected the previous presence of dog. I
mentioned the fact to Bob, who said something smugly like, “No dog has EVER been in this truck.”
And I said, “Bob, I know the smell of dog when I smell it.”
Then Bob said to me, “There has NEVER been a DOG in this… WAIT A MINUTE…”
I like that part a lot. That’s pretty much a story right there.
But, I know my wife’ll want more and I love her dearly, so:
Then Bob Easley told me how, when he had pulled into his driveway a few days earlier, the neighbor’
s poodle had jumped into the truck while he was off-loading some tools.
Apparently the smelly little beast had only been in there for a few brief seconds before the owner
yanked him out by the pink rhinestone collar, but that was enough for me.
Bob was apologetic of course, and spent some time lauding my remarkable ability to detect the smell
of dog, but it still cost him a beer.
This was, perhaps, my greatest accomplishment while on this planet. Well, that and the time I
swindled my trusting wife out of $20 by conning her into betting on something she, from her position,
could not possibly have seen coming.
I bet her that a French carpenter would not place the drawer pulls on a cabinet he'd built within a
year of its completion.
An Excerpt from AMERICAN RACONTEUR