I recently took my ten-year-old Poodle to my parents’ house for Christmas. Thanks to old age, he has liver problems, stinky breath, and dermatitis. As you can imagine, Gerard smells. Horrifically.
No matter how much I bathe him before we visit–or try odor-reducing remedies–my mother continuously complains about the stink. She actually went so far as to wash his bedding and demand I give him a bath last time I was there.
So as not to offend her, I fear I’m going to have to board the dog for future visits, which is annoying as it is expensive. With his failing liver and old age, I suspect he hasn’t got a lot of time left. I really don’t want to leave him with a boarder. What should I do?
Poodle Unfairly Targeted, Relative Insensitive to Dilemma
Aunt Labby’s response:
I don’t blame you, P.U.T.R.I.D., for wanting to take advantage of every moment you have with Gerard. His breath sucks the color from your cheeks and his farts are killing houseplants, but hey – your mom lived with your little brother all those years, right?
So tell her what you told me: Gerard is a member of your family. Now that he’s in failing health, you want to make the most of the time you have together. Then suggest a compromise. You’ll do everything you can to reduce the odor: get him professionally groomed, stock up on doggie breath mints, look into vanilla-scented snuggies, etc., prior to his visit. As for her part, let her know it would mean a great deal to you if she could tolerate a little Poodle pong for a day or two.
If your mother balks, mention she hasn’t been smelling so hot herself lately. And what’s that number for Shady Pines Home for the Elderly?
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