he trouble all started innocently enough. It was early one day when I was out for my a.m. constitutional and I caught a new and unusual scent in my neighborhood. Now as you know, we terriers are the sworn enemies of all mammals of the order Rodentia—namely rats, rabbits, raccoons and the like. Adhering to the code of the terriers as I do, when a chap gets wind of one of the above in his bailiwick, well, it’s his sworn duty to track it down. Well, track it I did for more than a mile, but never actually succeeded in running him to ground. When I embarked on my quest, I wasn’t even sure what my quarry was, but later information confirmed that it was none other than the fabled North American polecat, or skunk to you Yanks.
It was upon my return to the domicile that I share with two rather obliging humans that I came to find that all was not well in paradise. Racing joyfully upstairs, I found my wake-up kisses loudly rebuffed by the somnolent lady of the house. I believe her exact words were, “Bertie! What have you been up to?”
Now generally speaking, the big eyes and the wounded-innocent act are enough to make her regret these uncalled-for fits of pique, but not this time. Before you know it, there was that ugly four-letter word: B-A-T-H.
Bertie’s List of Most Lick-able Lotions
Essential Elements Joie de Lavande Body Lotion—Ladies love lavender and so do I.
Mālie Kauai’s Pikake Body Cream—Like the label says, exotic and intoxicating.
Thunder Ridge Emu Oil—Irresistible—once I start, I can’t stop. And it’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Jurlique’s Rose Hand Cream—Lovely, lovely, lovely.
Plantogen’s Body Moisturizer with Shea Butter and Manuka Honey--Light and refreshing on a summer day.
Pure Fiji’s Coconut Infusion Body Butter—I’ll run up the stairs for this one!
Naturally, I pointed out that my standing appointment at Planet Poodle was just a few weeks away, but you know what it’s like arguing with a woman—you can hit her with logic left, right, and sideways and then you have to go along with her caprices just the same.
When it comes to baths, I do enjoy going out in the backyard for a vigorous encounter with the outdoor shower (or garden hose as they sometimes call it). But here we were all crowding into the little porcelain pen they call a bathtub. No sport in that whatsoever.
Well, I’ll spare you all the un-pleasantries that ensued, undignified as they are for yours truly to recount, but suffice it to say that they do take that “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” business a little too seriously.
The one bright spot in this whole cleansing ordeal was the topping new shampoo from Cloud Star called Buddy Wash, scented with Lavender and Mint. Thanks to Frontline, we don’t need those take-no-prisoners flea shampoos of old, but did you know that lavender is actually a natural insect repellent, working as well on fleas as it does on sweater-eating moths. This Lavender and Mint combination is super-fresh and nice, without being too unspeakably fruity for the self-respecting chap-about-town to be caught smelled in. I once tried a rather pricey grooming product with an orange-mango flavor—you’d have said something like, “Wet dog drinking a Planter’s Punch.”
Anyway, to make this a ‘spa experience’ they tried this new thingummy called a Bamboo Body Brush with Shampoo Applicator from Bamboo. It’s got these red rubber nubbies that are supposed to gently massage the skin while shampooing right down to the quick. I’m not sure if it worked, but I must say, I found it quite toothsome later on that afternoon.
Following up with the Buddy Rinse Lavender and Mint conditioner certainly did make the always-unpleasant combing out quite a bit less stressful. And anything that adds to domestic harmony, like not having these knotty issues putting you at odds, is always a good bet. Just take a look at the ingredients in this Buddy Rinse stuff, and you’ll see it’s nothing but the goods—aloe vera, essence of lavender, essence of mint, rose hip oil, kukui nut oil, jojoba oil, and vitamins, vitamins, vitamins—to be precise, A, B5, C, E. But of course it’s the scent that gets you hooked. It reminds me of the many happy moments I’ve spent licking Essential Elements’ Joie de Lavande Body Lotion off my typist’s legs while she transcribed my notes. Licking lavender lotion off ladies’ legs! Try saying that five times fast!
I should tell you a bit about the good folks at Cloud Star. Do you how know they started their company? It was this very sporting couple from California who took in a part German shepherd gal named Samantha, who turned out to be allergic to all sorts of stuff in store-bought foods and treats. Well, did they just sit there and watch the dog suffer with innumerable gastric difficulties? No, by Jove, they did not. They started baking their very own dog biscuits, using only all-natural ingredients—no artificial colors or flavors, and no salt, sugar, corn, soy, dairy, or egg. They donated some of these treats to a bake sale at a local shelter, and before you could say “See Spot Run,” dogs all over town were clamoring for more. That was back in 1999, and by now they’re a couple of million in the black—all thanks to their dog Samantha. Not a bit like when Freddie Threepwood started peddling Donaldson’s Dog-Joy across the countryside, what?*
*Editor’s Note: Read Full Moon by P.G. Wodehouse. If you’ve already read it but so long ago that you don’t remember Donaldson’s Dog-Joy, it’s time to read it again.
Cloud Star: www.cloudstar.com or 800-361-9079.
Bamboo Pet Products: www.bamboopet.com.