It’s worthy of note how often, when people meet Gandy (or any puppy for that matter) they comment on the soft pink tummy and always, and usually in nostalgic tones, they’ll have something to say about “puppy breath.”
It is one of those distinctive aromas, that may carry us back to our childhood pets, back to a time when we spent many more hours at floor level, breathing the same air as our pets, and sharing bites of peanut butter sandwiches and licks of lollipops with our baby dogs. Puppy breath was our atmosphere.
We are notoriously poor at putting fragrances and tastes into English words. Perhaps other languages do a better job of it, and they should. Smells, especially, are so intimately tied to memory and emotion. We should be able to accurately describe what is different about the smell of a lemon compared to the smell of an orange. Can you? The best we can do is to know it when we smell it. And that, in far less olfactory detail than our dogs.
So what combination of known smells make up the scent we know as puppy breath?
My best shot would be to say it is 3 parts ground dark-roast coffee in the canister; one part distant wood smoke; one part warm milk; and one part, new leather shoes. And your best shot? (it may help if you hold your nose up to your monitor and sniff this babyÂ Chihuahua’sÂ breath.)
The smell is decidedly different from and far more pleasant that most adult dog breath (same goes for people puppies and adults) because as a new-born, it takes some while for the gut to become fully inhabited by the microorganisms of digestion and normal gut ecology–these being the same bacteria that cause the gases and byproducts of digestion and putrefaction. I’ve never known many adult dogs whose breath I would seek out. If they could only be taught to brush. Or at least gargle. But then, with their keen senses of smell, you know they wish the same for us. Especially first thing in the morning. Eh, Gandy?