Far be it for me to reprimand you dog owners out there, but rumor has it most dogs in America do not smell like blueberries.

Don’t deny it! You know who you are. All I can say is shame on you and I don’t want to hear your flimsy excuses.

My wife, Marianne – a caring dog owner – routinely ensures our two dogs, Priscilla and Napoleon, smell like blueberries. She forks out an extra ten dollars apiece to the groomers to slather their faces with some type of blueberry concoction. I know this, because the groomer called the house the other day while our dogs were there and discussed it with me. That is, until Marianne snatched the phone out of my hand.

I should point out that taking a dog to a groomer is sort of a new thing to me. I’ve owned dogs all my life and I always felt your average dog does a pretty good job of giving himself a bath. The old tongue-on-fur technique dogs have been using since there have been dogs seems to work just fine. It is all the spa they need.

The only time I ever actually bathed a dog is on the occasion, and there have been a few, when my dog came across the wrong end of a skunk. Literally. If you’ve never known the joy of trying to rid your dog of skunk, take my word for it, you will do everything short of shaving the fur completely off their bodies to get rid of that smell.

Speaking of shaving a dog, it never occurred to me to give my dog a haircut, either. Until Priscilla and Napoleon came along, I never owned a dog that needed one. They were all short haired dogs. Even if it had been necessary to cut the hair away from their eyes, I don’t think I would pay someone to do it. I’d fork out the cost of a pair of scissors and snip, snip – I was blind but now I see.

When it comes to dog grooming, Marianne has other thoughts on the matter. She hauls Napoleon and Prissy to the groomer every few weeks. They come back bathed, trimmed, manicured and each sporting a fantastic smile. Word has it the groomers even do something to clean their rear ends. Marianne told me some of the details. If even a fraction of what she tells me is true, I’ll never complain about my job again.

It isn’t enough that they just groom the dogs at the groomers and leave it at that. They decorate them, too. At the place she takes them now they put little bows in their hair. The first time it happened, I asked the groomer, “You know Napoleon is a male, don’t you?”

“Yes,” said the Groomer, “But he’s so cute.

“Fine by me,” I told her. “But when he needs counseling, you’ll get the bill.”

When the groomer called the house that day, she introduced herself and said, “I forgot to mention when you were here that we are running a ten-dollar special on our Blueberry Spa Facial and we didn’t know if you want it or not?”

I considered this.

“Are there any other fruits we can choose from?” I asked her.

There was a brief pause on the end of the line, then “No, sir. It’s just blueberry.”

“Are you sure? I was thinking of something more in the way of the more upper-level fruits like strawberry or kiwi,” I told her. Then something else occurred to me. “What about vegetables?” I asked. “Do you have anything, say, in a zucchini or asparagus, maybe?”

Another pause.

“No, sir,” she said. “Just blueberry.”

I had more questions, but having figured out who I was talking to, my wife took the phone from me.

Her answer to the groomer was “Yes”, to the Blueberry Spa Facial question, which is completely understandable. Of course, we want a Blueberry Spa Facial for our dogs at the ridiculously low, low price of ten dollars each. What kind of dog owners would we be if we allowed our dogs to run around neighborhood without their faces smelling like blueberries? Can you imagine their embarrassment when they encountered neighbor dogs, their faces resplendent in the healthy glow of blueberry cleanliness and our dogs only smelling of oatmeal? Oh, did I forget to mention they were also getting an oatmeal scrub?

I never knew there was so much food-based dog grooming going on in the world. What’s more surprising is it all seems to be fruit and vegetable based. Dogs being dogs, I would have thought grooming would be more about meat. A horse meat roll, where the dog is allowed to roll around on top of a slab of three day old horsemeat seems to me would be the dog’s preference over anything involving blueberries or oatmeal, but what do I know?

I know this: When our dogs got home from the groomer I immediately picked up Prissy and smelled her face. It smelled like, well… dog face, by which I mean dog. Clean dog, but dog. Not a hint of blueberry.

 Same thing with Napoleon.

 They didn’t smell like oatmeal, either.

 Makes you kind of wonder what you are paying for at the dog groomers.

 I know something else: The day he got back from the groomers, I saw Napoleon rolling around on a long dead bird the cat dragged into the backyard.

 I wonder if they have that scent at the dog groomer.