No matter how many baths I gave him or how hard I tried to keep in out of the mud, this week the stubborn Shih Tzu Leonard was bound and determined to stink.

My little buddy loves tromping  through the mud whenever it rains and really likes getting outside when the temperatures begin warming up. And when he comes back inside filthy, he always wants to lay on my lap.

The first time he came in smelling like urine, I thought it was because he was peeing on himself — or another dog was responsible — because he often gets in their way when I put them all out. But later, I spotted Leonard rolling on the ground that was damp with the melting snow. We’ve got a pretty big back yard, but between three dogs and a long winter, there hasn’t been a spot that hasn’t been peed on.

The second time I had to give a bath, I thought maybe it was because he didn’t like the shampoo I was using. I usually bathe him with my son’s shampoo — because it makes his long hair soft and silky and very cuddly — but it also has a pretty strong scent of mint and rosemary. I tried bathing him with dish soap, but the milder scent didn’t stop him rolling around on the ground.

I stopped letting him sit on lap after the third time and told him: “If you really want to stink, you can lay on the ground!” 

I gave him another bath, but before the week was over, he was stinky again. I made the little stinker ride on the passenger’s seat instead of my lap on the out to the farm.

I think he might have gotten his fill of being stinky on the farm. I let him roll around in mud I knew wasn’t just mud and pretended not to notice he was eating calf poop or casing the cows as they go through the cow lot.  He’s rolled in the dirt of the shop, been in the barn to snack on afterbirth from cows caving there and helped the other dogs finish off the hide of God knows what it was before the dogs got a hold of it.

By the time we we were about ready to go home, he was about as grubby as I’ve ever seen him — not quite covered in mud from head to toe, but just about. 

He got another bath, and this time he’s stayed clean. But that might just be because the ground has finally dried out.