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The Smell of a Dog’s Paws

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Mason and I got home from Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday, and we’re leaving for Dallas, Texas tomorrow. I’m cheering for Ron Capps to win the NHRA Funny Car Championship because he’s old school, funny, and been within spitting distance of the title too many times now. It’s his turn.

Working in drag racing isn’t a bad way to make a living, and even though all of my animals are loved and cared for while we’re on the road, being away isn’t easy; particularly since I’ve experienced life among a pack full-time for the past two years. At times, I feel more dog than human.

When I’m away from my animals, I miss a lot of things, like their loyalty, silence, and enthusiasm at everything from a tennis ball to a chestnut dropping from a tree. They remind me to see the small moments, the simple things. But when I’m sleeping without my dogs,  I crave the smell of their paws most of all.

At the Farnival, depending on the season, we sleep with five dogs, cocooned together as though in a den, on one king-size mattress, so tightly packed that it’s hard to distinguish human body heat from canine.

Nightly, I hold whichever dog’s paw is closest to my face and stick my nose in the rubbery pads, breathing the scent in and out as I fall asleep. Dog’s feet smell nothing like our swampy human toes. Paws smell as fresh and rich as dirt right after a summer thunderstorm.

Try it. Stick your face in your dog’s feet and inhale. You’ll never want to be without it again. Trust me.

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