Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dog Oil

Browsing just now in Holland & Barretts, I was startled to see little tubs on sale that proudly bore the legend Dog Oil. Have I, I asked myself, strayed into a Korean delicatessen? No, it was H&B all right, and Dog Oil, it seems, is such a well know and well loved (and entirely dog-free) product that it even has a website with Frequently Asked Questions. It sounds lovely (and I bet Big Chip Dale knows of this product)... But that's not all - there is also this far from lovely, but very funny story by Ambrose Bierce. Now there was a fine comic writer, albeit of the blackest hue. If you don't know it, get your hands on The Devil's Dictionary and keep it by your side through life. You won't be sorry.


  1. I'm back, Nige, but I'm putting you on notice: no more of that pro-Jamie Oliver propaganda.

    Since you mention it, I do happen to know a lot about dog oil, but, unfortunately, not this dog oil. Dog oil with no dog is not a dog oil I would want to call dog oil. Dog oil must contain the oil of dog. Accept no dog-free dog oils, no low-dog oils, no dog-substitute dog oils. The only excuse I can see for this not being dog oil is that it could be some quasi-dog oil with which you’re meant to oil your dog. In which case I'm all for it and all for calling it dog oil. There are few things more satisfying in life than a newly shaved dog, well oiled. As I'm sure you agree, Nige, you old dog oiler.

  2. Susan B., not-clued-in American,October 24, 2007 2:02 pm

    What does this dog oil smell like? I can't quite grasp its allure.

    Y'know, this blog is getting more strictly British by the post. I find I don't have a thing to say about UK politics or TV shows. Are you going to get back to general topics, or is this a time to massage your national interests (with dog oil)?

  3. I know of no other person who browses in Holland and Barretts. It must be nice to have a lot of time on your hands...

    Q: does it contain animal products?

    A: no, it's made from rape oil and petroleum jelly.

    Q: petroleum jelly, as derived from petroleum oil?

    A: yes.

    Q: that's fossilized fish, isn't it?

    A: ah.

  4. Susan I shall seek more general themes - more Nature Notes perhaps, though the nights are drawing in. I did have a most enjoyable walk on Monday when the sun was more-or-less out, but it was rather lacking in incident. Just autumn, my favourite season... I did spot a deer running through the trees - bit of a Robin Hood moment, on the fringe of London suburbia.

  5. Welcome back Chip - and now you know where to get your dog oil.

  6. I think Susan may need to look for pet (or dog) liniment rather than oil. It sounds pretty similar and for a similar purpose. Alternatively there is dog oil painting, according to Google, though I'm not sure what this may involve. If all else fails you could try one website's suggestion of Eau de Kennel "Lavender Love", which sounds enough to provoke an international incident.

  7. Good Lord yes - Eau de Kennel. I might add that to my personal grooming routine. A gentleman should smell slightly of dog, don't you think (plus booze and baccy of course)

  8. Depends, Nige. No man should smell of Shitzu but I do recommend greyhound.

  9. Susan B., fond o' shaggy dogs,October 24, 2007 5:07 pm

    No one should smell like my labrador: As she ages, she's starting to reek. And if she swims (which she, at age 9, still loves to do), then she's really foul. And it's not the water, but some sort of DOG OIL her body is giving off. Bathing her doesn't really get rid of it, so my house now smells like a dog, to husband's disgust (he's the cat guy).

    Just read a great anecdote about Ralph Ellison ("Invisible Man") and his expensive purebred black lab. He got this dog from a breeder recommended by John Cheever. At the time, Ralph was living with Saul Bellow in Bellow's old mansion in Tivoli, NY, on the Hudson (Ralph a visiting professor at a university nearby). The dog, "Tuckatarby of Tivoli" was a typically bratty puppy and liked to poop on the Persian rugs and tear up the garden. Bellow got extremely mad but Ralph refused to discipline the dog because, as he told Cheever, this was no mongrel but a "chien de race."

    Rampersad notes in his biography of Ellison: "Cheever...perhaps noted the irony of a black man complaining to a WASP that their friend, a Jew, did not appreciate purity of blood -- in a dog."

    And that's my dog story for the day; anon, mignons---

  10. i smell like a dog. Like a dobermann, to be exact. When i get caught out in the rain, i emit powerful and pleasing pheremones.

  11. That's why you should never have allowed them to castrate you, Elberry. It can play havoc with your chemicals.

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  13. Dog oil sounds intersing, I wonder if it has any healing properties? could be useful if anyone ever gets a Dog bite and want it to heal faster.