Stank Breath

Max, like many dogs, has stank breath. And most of the time it’s real bad.  Especially on nights when I dry him off from the rain and he yawns big right in my face as I inhale.  Whew.

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I even had to buy him some special treats that are supposed to help with bad breath. Jury’s still out on those, but regardless I am tempted to get some sort of air freshener installed in his mouth.

But even in those moments when he is right up in my face huffing his nasty breath all in my nose, I see that it is unfair to classify him only by his stank breath.  I look into his eyes and see his innocence and realize that stank breath is not something he can control (though he could pick up fewer special surprises on our walks…).

Moreover, I watch him play and enjoy life and keep me company and realize that there is so much more to him than the stank breath.  His joy and beauty and love are what really define the kind of dog he is.

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So, despite the stank breath, I love him anyway. And he has taught me that we can and should love the stank breath people in our lives.  Those who are different from us or who annoy us or who literally also have stank breath (I suddenly vividly recall a barber from my childhood who not only had terrible breath, but apparently poor eyesight also, causing him to get as close to my face as he could while cutting my hair).

It may be harder to get to know them and get close to them, but they are beautiful and wonderful too.  And there’s so much more to them than that one uncomfortable quirk.

And I bet more often than not, I (and you) are that stank breath person. Sometimes you just can’t help it – you were born a certain way or something happened to you. You can eat a whole case of tic tacs and sometimes you still got stank breath.  But that doesn’t impact your value or personality, so why should it have any negative effect in others.

We are all stank breath people in one way or another. And we are all so much more than that too.

(a song for every season)

Thank you Max, for teaching me to love the stank breath people, including myself.

But for what it’s worth, Max, you might want to look over these tips.

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