Why does my dog rub his body all over the carpet?

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I spent this weekend hanging out with Stuart, an elderly Westie who is definitely in the running for being my favorite dog (in the white category, subheading elderly, subheading terrier).

Like so many older bachelors, Stuart is full of idiosyncrasies:  In his building, he gives an old man “woof ” hello to everyone who passes by him; he only likes to walk on the left side of the stairs, by the wall; and he loves loves loves to rub himself on any scrap of carpet that he can find. There is no carpeting in his apartment, so he binges on the stuff as soon as he hits the well-swathed floors of his building’s hallway and foyer. He was particularly interested in indulging right after his bath.

Humans wear clothing most of the time and scents some of the time. Dogs wear scents most of the time, and clothing some of the time. When Stuart rubs himself on the carpet, he is basically dousing himself with eau de hallway. This is a blend that contains traces of all the other dogs in the building, hints of the underside of human shoes, and notes of carpet shampoo. When I gave him a  bath, I basically stripped him of all these scents, which he’d undoubtedly been collecting; a panoply of smells he’d carefully curated. Kind of like if someone raided your closet after a shopping spree at Beacon’s Closet. Stuart wasn’t just trying to dry of: He was desperately trying to recreate his wardrobe.

Did he smell better after all that carpet rubbing/rolling? Well, not to me…

But I like my codgers old and smelly.



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