Why is the dog always so smelly?

Hello, hello, how are you doing?

It feels like aaaaages since I’ve written a catch-up chat blog post and I’ve really missed it!  Having said that, I have thoroughly enjoyed the posts of the last month or so – not so small daughter’s trip to Japan, the WYS Nutcracker yarn launch and last week’s post about embracing my inner toddler – but it’ll be nice to show you some other photos today.

Thank you so much for your comments on all my recent posts.  I have replied to lots of them but they don’t always appear in chronological order in my system so my apologies if I’ve not replied to you.  I can read them all as they come in so I don’t miss any, but for some reason, WordPress gets a bit shy about letting me reply (I have to remove myself from my own spam filter on a regular basis!) 🙂


But back to today’s post and an eternal question in our house – why is the dog always so smelly?  I think my husband was worried that he had some terrible Smelly Dog disease but it’s not rocket science …

A black dog in a muddy pond. There is a trail of black mud in the water where he's walking A black dog in a pond. The dog looks like he's grinning A black dog picking his way through the mud around the edge of a pond

This is every day, every walk.  Every day!  If there’s a puddle, no matter how small, he’s in there, lying down in it and wallowing like a hippo.  He doesn’t like to be out of his depth so he’ll only go into water where he can walk around, but there’s a surprising number of pools and puddles on the walks that we tend to do – and even when you think there’s no water around, you can be sure that he’ll find some.

“Can’t you give him a bath?” asks my husband.  Every day?  Well, aside from the fact that it wouldn’t be good for his coat, I don’t have time to wrestle a large and reluctant dog into the shower every day (for a dog that likes to wallow in any available water, he’s remarkably reticent about getting into clean water) and then have to clean the bathroom, myself and half the house as he hurtles through to the garden to dry off – which apparently seems to involve rolling in the flower beds which seems to defeat the object of getting clean in the first place!

So no, we have a hosepipe by the back door, old towels on hand and the dog always exudes a gentle whiff of Eau de Puddle.  Of course, I could take him on walks where there are no puddles at all, but he’s decided that he doesn’t like walking on pavements any more (he’s 12 now so I can only presume they hurt his feet in some way) and it makes him happy to be in the water (look at that grin in the second photo!) so it feels mean to take that away from him.  And so it is what it is – we’ve got a happy dog with his very own “fragrance” and I wouldn’t haven’t him any other way.  Hooray for scented candles – but if you’ve got any good ideas, I’d love to hear them! 🙂

And look what the dog and I saw – I had to look twice as I wasn’t quite sure what it was that I could see right up the footpath (I’ve zoomed in a bit on this photo so hopefully you can see more easily) …

A swan next to a footpath

It’s a swan!  Just standing by the footpath, not too far from the canal where they usually are, but this one looks like it’s heading off to the shops for a few supplies!  I think you’d get a bit of a shock if you came round that bend in the path and weren’t expecting to see it 🙂

We saw more swans further along – the dog wasn’t on his lead as I hadn’t expected them to be there so I was a bit worried that he was going to launch in and introduce himself.  The dog is out of shot on the left and I don’t think he’d even noticed the swans as he was busy minesweeping for bread left for the ducks, but Mr (or Mrs) Swan had certainly clocked him and there was lots of wing flapping and hissing.  The dog didn’t flinch and trotted off in disgust as there were no tasty pickings left for him.

Two swans in a clearing next to a canal with a number of large cygnets with brown feathers

This is the group of swans and cygnets from the other side of the canal.  They’re so big now!

A view across a canal to two swans in a clearing next to the canal with a number of large cygnets with brown feathers

In other family news, not so small daughter has gone to a reunion weekend with her Team Japan group and it’s amazing to think that it’s nearly two months since they set off to the airport to fly to Tokyo.  She is still talking about the trip – in fact, she was back at the Brownie pack where she helps out with photos and stories this week, and I like to think that one day, one of those very little girls will be inspired to travel because of a story she heard from not so small daughter.  There have been some more comments on her posts and she’s been very pleased to know that you enjoyed them, thank you!

I’ve been working in the garden (very much on and off because of weather and other commitments) and my veg-boxes-turned-flower-border is slowly taking shape.  I think that because we’re heading towards the end of the season, I’m not feeling any great urgency to get it finished but I do need to get my plants in before the weather turns colder.

A large wooden frame for a flower border being built in a garden

This might not look much further than the last time I showed you and I have made some progress since, but it’s taken me a while to get the frame sorted and reasonably straight (it looks decidedly wonky in that photo!) – I decided I wanted to keep a frame so that the soil would stay contained and not track all over the paths when we move the bins.  I’ve also been digging out masses of couch grass and bindweed roots that are still probably going to plague me forever in this border but at least there are a few bucketfuls less of the roots to grow now.  I’ve got lots of plants in pots ready to go in, and bulbs that I ordered have started to arrive too so I definitely need to get a move on.

I’ve been stalled by not being able to decide whether I need to order some more topsoil to build the level up – but it will get dropped off by a local farmer by the tonne (1000kg) and that’s a lot of barrowing although it’s the cheapest way to get the soil by a long way – or whether I might just get away with a few big bags of compost from the DIY superstore down the road.  I really need to get out there this weekend and make a decision one way or another, or it’s going to stay like this forever and this is not what I had in mind as a beautiful flower border!

I don’t really want to think about it getting closer to autumn although I can’t deny that’s getting colder in the mornings – and it seems like an excellent time to be wearing new socks!


A pair of hand knitted socks in stripes of brown, yellow, green and red modelled on feet against a tiled floor

These are the Emergency Socks that I’ve been carrying around with me for a while, and now they’re on my feet!  The pattern is my Basic 4ply Socks and the yarn is Autumn Leaves, one of the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply Winwick Mum colours, and I feel like I’ve finished them just in time!

Look what I found whilst I was out in the woods the other day …

Christine is holding four shiny brown conkers in the palm of her hand

As much as I’m resisting it, I think that autumn is on its way!

I’ve got a new Emergency Sock on the needles now (an Emergency Sock is one that you have in a bag ready to go whenever you think you might have to wait somewhere; easy knitting to keep your hands and mind occupied.  Mine usually lives in the car!) and if you think you’ve seen this yarn before, you have!

Not so long ago, it was a sock for my husband – he’s already got a pair in this yarn that he loves, and I thought I’d get on and make him a second pair from the leftovers, and try out the Fish Lips Kiss heel whilst I was at it.

A partly knitted sock in rainbow and blue stripes lying on a wooden coffee table next to an orange mug

Unfortunately, it turns out that there wasn’t enough yarn for two pairs in his size and I’d saved the rest of the ball for a pair of socks for me – but I didn’t remember until I ran out of yarn!  I’ve been keeping this sort of information written down in a notebook so I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to check it before I cast on, but I didn’t.  Anyway, it’s now becoming a pair of socks for me instead and I’m very pleased about that!

It feels like good timing as September always feels like a new year to me, and a much better time for me to make resolutions than in January when they all go to pot in about three weeks.  This year, I am determined to get to grips with the amount of stuff that’s going on – I think realising that I’d not checked my notebook about the socks because I was too busy/couldn’t find it fast enough/had completely forgotten about it has made me think that I need a better system for everything that’s going on, and writing to-do lists in my planner is not going to cut it any more.

Remembering that the definition of insanity is supposedly doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, I have avoided spending not so small daughter’s first week back at sixth form college writing a huge list of jobs and spending hours with coloured pencils and my planner as I have a lovely time colouring in but don’t actually do anything about the list of jobs. Actually, that’s not strictly true as I do get on with the list of jobs but because it feels like the list is continually growing faster than I can deal with it, it all gets overwhelming quite quickly.

I thought that this “new year”, I’d do something completely different – and I’ve started with “Emails to Zero”.  Oh my life, there are so many emails in my inbox, in folders, in the sent folders, even in trash as I try to keep on top of four email addresses, two jobs, emails for me, emails from college or Rangers for not so small daughter, emails offering me vouchers and discounts … I regularly unsubscribe from email I don’t want (and if you need to unsubscribe from mine, it’s fine, I’d rather not be causing clutter stress!) and still it comes in.  Or it did.  There are lots of videos on emails to zero, or inbox zero or whatever someone chooses to call it – I’m using the one from the STEP program from Learn Do Become as I wanted more than just a YouTube video – and I’ve done it!

A computer screen showing an empty email inbox

I think the last time I saw that screen was when I first set up my email!  I can’t tell you how good that feels, and it’s been surprisingly easy to keep it like that in the couple of days since I did it too (I’m hoping it stays this easy!).

The only thing that I would say if you’re tempted to try something like this is NEVER EVER delete the settings between your email client and another web server if it’s a POP link and you don’t want to see every single email in that particular inbox disappear, never to be seen again (and even if you get an email from your web host telling you that you need to change the settings).  And you can ask me how I know that one – and it was a bit of a shock!  They were my day job emails; thank goodness I had a back up because of some recent server maintenance, and after I’d got over the shock and realised that everything was OK and I didn’t need any of the old emails that gone, it was quite liberating – but it’s absolutely not the way that I would recommend getting to email zero! 🙂

Of course, just clearing out the inbox isn’t going to magically sort out the to-do list and I’m going to be moving onto those next, but it’s exciting to feel that I’m doing something that is a bit different and may just help – and I’m excited about the possibilities of the “new year” too – I’ve got so many ideas after a summer where I managed to have a good rest despite everything else that we had going on.

Right then, I’ll leave you to the rest of your weekend – big daughter is on her way over from the yoga class she’s been teaching to have brunch with us before she zooms off to her next thing and I have to go and pick up not so small daughter from the Scout camp where she’s been this weekend.  It never stops, does it?! :



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38 Responses

  1. Steph says:

    what a lovely blog. you are inspiration to use all. Especially on a wet Sunday morning. Happy Knitting. xxx

  2. Lindsay says:

    What a happy dog! Luckily mine avoids water as much as she can although a nice fox poo always tempts her to roll in it 🤢
    Autumn is definitely here, I too saw confers on the bridleway this morning and a lot of fallen leaves. Plenty of blackberries too but rather small because of the lack of rain I guess. Sloes are less prolific this year although we found some decent ones on one of the dog walks around the next village so must go back soon to pick them.
    Not a lot of knitting going on here, my oomph is flagging!

    • winwickmum says:

      All the blackberries have gone here, I think people have been picking them for jam! I did notice the elderberries were ripening, though, and I do quite fancy making elderberry wine this year – I’ll have to see if there are any left! 🙂 xx

  3. Helen says:

    I can’t help but think that 12 year old dogs should be allowed to enjoy puddles as much as they like. He does look so happy. I follow an Instagram account on two Welsh terriers, Otis and Arlo, watching Arlo swim in wet mud is joyful 🥰🤣

    • winwickmum says:

      You know, I think you’re right! I’ve just looked up the Otis and Arlo account, they are very cute (and there was mud wallowing too!). I like Andrew Cotter’s account with Olive and Mabel too 🙂 xx

  4. Hather says:

    great blog, think I might have to do that emails to zero job – my two main email addresses are over loaded (one extremely over loaded😱)
    re smelly dogs, there is a spray for dogs, like a deodorant spray, my friends have one with lavendar fragrance, I’ll ask them what brand it is.

    • winwickmum says:

      It’s certainly been a cathartic experience – I’ve managed to keep the email box empty all week really easily, and all of my emails come into the same inbox now so I’m not missing anything. It’s definitely worth checking out the process! I’ll investigate the spray, thank you! 🙂 xx

  5. Lynn says:

    Your Autumn leaves socks look super, love the colours. Thank you for the pictures of your happy dog, great that you let him be himself

  6. Liz says:

    Hi Christine, I love reading your blog, after this weeks’ I’m glad we have a cat not a smelly dog! And I agree about emails, so hard to weed out the unnecessary and just deal with the wanted! I’m on my own this weekend as hubby has gone to look after 6yr old grandson while his parents and big sister go to Radio2 party in the park in Leicester, so I have way too many things I want to get done and know I’m going to run out of time – finish our Austrian holiday album, finish some sewing, tidy the garden, get gingerbread socks going – took them to Jersey last week to do but the mood wasn’t right, bake ready for friends coming in the week, and catch up with emails….. hey ho that’s retired life for you,

    • winwickmum says:

      I hope you enjoyed the time to yourself, and your hubby and grandson enjoyed the Radio 2 day too – it sounded great! I know lots of retired people who wonder how they ever had time to work! 🙂 xx

  7. Tineke says:

    You got a waterdog. I don’t know if I am allowed to talk about the next dog but don’t go for a waterdog. I had a Lab and Golden, both made for water. Living next to a river didn’t help too. I burned essence every day XD My Persian Gentlemen don’t love water, but they do fall into my ponds every now and then. The urge to hunt is strong in cats. Even if they exist of floof. An empty email is such a relief. And to-do lists are the death of me. I never get them finished, but we humans love a good list, eh?

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, I try not to think about the next dog 🙂 You’re right, though, maybe not a water dog next time – although I am definitely a Lab owner now so that would be hard! I am still resisting the lengthy to-do list … 🙂 xx

  8. Heather Douglas says:

    Regarding your new ‘beds’ in your garden have you thought of the no dig method? Cover the whole bed with cardboard, water it and then add your topsoil or compost. The cardboard smothers the weeds, compost down and makes life so much easier. I did it in my veg beds 3 yrs ago, it’s great. Just a thought. Love reading your blog and the fab pics too 👍

    • winwickmum says:

      I’ve been collecting cardboard to do that, although the bindweed and couch grass have both grown through weedproof membrane so I think I’ll be doing it more to add compost to the soil! 🙂 xx

  9. Fiona says:

    Smelly dogs or cats might be caused by illness. In the past my dog was partial to fox poo and dead fish, both long lasting and pungent. Chasing seagulls and a ball thrown in the sea is deodorising. We also found that cheap body shop perfumes worked, known in our house as tarts boudoir perfume!

  10. Susan Rayner says:

    Your black labrador is such a happy looking chap. Poignant for me as my sister has just had to have her black labrador put to sleep as she had an incurable brain tumour (she lived a year longer than thought post diagnosis) – she still has a Fox Red – but we miss Bella. There are many worse things on my sister’s farm for the dogs to roll in than puddles – be grateful it is just water.
    This is my favourite time of year – love the autumn leaves socks and the conkers.
    I also love that because of all the years of new school years this time of year feels fresh and lovely. I have been decluttering like mad – feels so good. Getting ready to get the jeans, boots and jumpers out.
    We have had new fences so a lot of major gardening has been done – fingers crossed everything we have planted will survive.
    I am sure your flower bed will thrive – and good work getting out all those horrid weed roots.
    A lovely blog and thank you for bringing so much happiness into a soggy weekend (rain at last!).

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, I’m so sorry to hear about your sister’s dog. They leave such a big hole behind them, don’t they? It’s very definitely autumn now, even in the week since I wrote the post so I expect your jeans and boots are out now! 🙂 xx

  11. Staci Speer says:

    Love the story about your dog! I have one of those who chooses his preferred walking path as well and there is no fighting it. 🙂
    I’m going to unsubscribe for now but have not gone far. Still in the social media groups and still inspired to try knitting socks (one day).

  12. Maxine Togneri says:

    Another great blog Christine

  13. Audrey says:

    love reading your blogs lovely to see Swans too .I think most people have smelly dogs who have them and your right you can’t bathe them everyday. I would love to try the Fish lips kiss heel sounds interesting

  14. Karen says:

    Another delightful blog! What are those red balls you are holding? Some sort of crab apple? I am spending this week getting my summer knitting finished up (eye roll).

    • winwickmum says:

      They’re conkers, they’re the seed of the horse chestnut tree and they come in spiky cases – usually they’ve split open so the conkers are on the ground to pick up. Children used to collect them and thread them on strings to play a game which involving hitting two conkers together to see which split first (sometimes as dangerous as it sounds 🙂 ) but less so now that there’s other digital entertainment! The squirrels love them to eat – I often find them buried in the grass as a hidden snack 🙂 xx

  15. Meryle says:

    Thank you from New Zealand for this lovely post. I enjoy all of your stories. I love your dog and your socks. We are coming into spring here and I have garden plans as well. Keep my fingers crossed for getting it done.

  16. SARAH MURRAY says:

    Great catch up post, a lovely read. I wonder why dogs prefer to be dirty and smell. Can’t think of an evolutionary reason lol. You are right, it never stops. If it did we would be lost I guess! Sarah xxx

  17. Sarah Green says:

    my dog is exactly the same and loves dead things and fox poo to roll in too. my vet said tomato ketchup gets rid of the smell. I haven’t tried it because I think we would then just be covered in ketchup too! but might be worth a try 🤔

  18. Ruth says:

    Thanks Christine – always enjoy your news – sadly I am not up to much at the moment as I have a ghastly virus 🦠 (not Covid) that will just not go away!!! – so nothing much getting done here – Dogs!! – that is Labradors for you !! – they love balls and water!!! x

  19. ChrisG says:

    Lovely blog to start my Sunday! I have already decided not to rush about today and allow some downtime and my email inbox is a source of concern as I start my retirement and need to not miss important info whilst really not wanting to trawl through junk I have repeatedly unsubscribed from, so I’ll definitely check out that info! How cathartic to have a fresh empty inbox 😄 maybe that will get me re-started on my sock knitting 🤞🏻

    • winwickmum says:

      I can’t tell you how good it has been to get the email down to zero – and how easy it has been to keep it there too! I’d definitely recommend looking into it 🙂 xx

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