Monday, August 11, 2008
Our little dog Biscuit provided some unexpected merriment yesterday. Wayne and I were examining a plant of patchouli, Pogostemon cablin: this is the plant which provides the scent many people associate with the smell of hippies. It’s a scent which evokes mixed reactions: Mrs. Wilder wrote "Valuable India shawls used to be distinguished by their odour [sic] of Patchouli and it is one of the commonest perfumes found in the bazaars, a most peculiar fragrance, vary disagreeable to some persons." Years ago I asked an Indian co-worker about patchouli: before I could finish my inquiry, I was being told that only “they” (i.e. not her “we”) use it; and “they” use it because “they” don’t bathe. One of these days I’ll ask one of “them” for their side of the story.
Wayne and I decided to make Biscuit a hippie dog, so I rubbed her with a patchouli leaf. I then showed her the leaf, and she took a keen interest in it. She tried to eat it in fact. And she became very frisky and playful. “Catnip for dogs” Wayne speculated.
I had never read anything about patchouli being toxic to humans or dogs, but I wasn’t about to let Biscuit eat it without knowing for sure about its effect on dogs. A Google search was in order: it didn’t take long to discover that there are plenty of canine grooming products out there which contain patchouli. I even ran across a blog posting asserting that dogs love patchouli. Who would have known?
So I rubbed some patchouli scent on one of her balls; off she went, suddenly energized and full of it.
Now begins the wait to see if she can find the plant on her own and crop it.