My dog has this weird smell to him, something like soggy towels and stale crackers. But I love it. His smell is the sort of thing that brings you to a specific time and place, like walking out of the neighborhood Home Depot and seeing his little brown head peeking just above the car window. Or his half-open eyes when I wake him up too early and he’s still somewhat asleep, dreaming of peanut butter treats and fresh grass. His smell reminds me of how he chases paper plates around the kitchen floor, one paw attempting to hold the plate still as he licks the last crumbs of eggs or chicken or buttered popcorn. His smell reminds me of the way he presses his wet, cold nose into me when we’re curled up next to each other watching One Tree Hill. Or how he’ll occasionally look up at me during his walk, just to make sure I’m right behind him. Life is full of these smells. It’s not always the pretty ones we remember, but the ones that make us feel something. The ones that remind us of our connections to people, animals, things. Reminding us that life is still beautiful, even if it doesn’t always smell that great.