The Sense Of A Dog – Smell and Touch

The first week after Kona passed, each morning started with tears as I sniffed his bed hoping to capture his smell. He was one of those dogs that smelled good, when he didn’t roll in something stinky – which he loved to do.

We loved to part the fur on his back or blaze and stick our nose as close as possible to the skin, or sniff his ears. I read that Tom Ford had tried to reproduce the scent of his dog’s ears in his perfume line. Other times we would try to smell corn chips in his paws, he gave us a look which I swear read “What the hell is wrong with you?”

My husband would groom him with his hands, running his fingers through the fur, touching him, looking for burrs, sap and anything else that can get embedded in a dogs coat. Sniffing him was a big part of this routine also. Kona’s fur was so luxurious, soft and silky, and for a 10 year old only had a few grey hairs. People would always comment on how shiny and healthy it looked.


This was contrasted with how solid he felt, his chest was large and barrel shaped, his shoulders so strong – the way they articulated when he walked earned him the nickname of Kona Bear. He and I had a weekend routine, he would go down early, do his business, have his breakfast, then come back up and jump up into bed with me. Then position himself perpendicular to me so I would get his backside against my stomach or back. He would shift several times and before I knew it, he had the entire bed and I was relegated to the edge. Other times when he was in the mood, he would lie parallel so I could drape my arm over his shoulder, reach under his front leg and rub his blaze and neck. My nose would be buried in the back of his head, between his folded back ears. It was pure bliss…

Now, as the days go by, the silence crushing, we try to ‘just keep swimming‘. At night I kneel at his bed and again sniff the area where his head would hang over the edge hoping to reanimate my sleeping bear.