Fido and Me – Scratch and Sniff


"I guess I'm just as much an artist as any other dog around here,"
Fido said. "But I'm missing out."

We were rambling around, here and there. Sometimes I give Fido his choice, more or less, where we wander. It’s when I’m leashed to him instead of the other way around.

We were standing outside the Mammoth Gallery. Fido peered inside the window.

“Whatever happened to scratch and sniff?” he demanded.

“Gosh, Fido, I don’t know. I suppose you can still find scratch-and-sniff kinds of things. Did you check the Internet?”

He seemed nonplussed, and there didn’t seem much in getting around that. He’s the most nonplussiest hound I’ve ever known.

“What gives, old boy?” I said.

“I have artistic cravings, too, just like you. The music you play at home, particularly the classical, is just so dreamy, it’s almost like listening to announcers at a golf tournament on TV.”

“What do you like most about it?”

“The dynamic range,” Fido said. “Especially Mahler.”

“What’s that got to do with what you’re seeing at the Mammoth Gallery?”

“I am as blind as a mole, and it’s mostly a black-and-white world out there,” Fido said. “But I can see just enough to know a Padelsky from a Stimson, or a Clevenger from a Dittli, and I, being a canine, love the black-and-whites by Joel St. Marie.”

“Please go on,” I said, although I kind of figured where he was going with this.

“It’s just that … that … I don’t really get it.”

“It might be because you are a dog, and that’s nothing to sniff at.”

“Sniff? That’s exactly where I was going with this.”

“I figured.”

Fido seemed to have it all marked out, so to speak.

“When I see a Padelsky, what I really want is the scent of horses on a trail, a Dutch Oven in the ground, with biscuits and campfire coffee. When I see a Dittli, I want to know what the heck is in those mountains, way up there! Fresh lake water, cold as a banker’s heart!”

“Are you quite through?”

“Stimson’s great,” Fido said, “but I want to smell the grasses and rushes, and hear the fly line spin off his reel. And with Clevenger, I want to go to Mexico so bad I can almost taste the sun and shadows. I want to chase horses with St. Marie.”

“There are quite a few more artists around here,” I said.

“But it would be the same thing!  Maybe if you run into Londie or John, Jim, Joel or Vern, you can maybe hip them to the idea of a scratch and sniff version of their art. You know, for dogs.”

“I’m not so sure I’d want to ask any of them that particular question, really. I know a dog is not burdened with pride, but we humans are.”

“OK, then,” Fido said. “Maybe just write something down in the paper?”

With that, Fido raised his nose, put in a few hearty sniffs, and off we went to somewhere else.