Owning a dog rules. Your dog will snuggle with you for 19 hours straight as you binge watch an entire season of Law & Order: SVU. Your dog is like a portable vacuum; it will eat every piece of food you drop on the floor, meaning you never have to pick up another crumb. Having a dog also makes your social media game tighter; pics of my dog get more likes than pics of my hideous face. It takes owning a dog to realise there's nothing more rewarding in our miserable lives than teaching your dog a useless trick like giving you the nWo "too sweet."
Owning a dog is also miserable. The thing that no one on the entire dog internet will tell you pre-puppy purchase is that dogs are fucking gross. Before they're potty trained, they will piss on any surface they can, to the point where we no longer have any rugs since my dog Arthur soaked all of ours. They will also think nothing of bringing dead animals into your house and smearing them on your furniture. They eat other animals' shit, and sometimes their own.
But the grossest thing my dog does, if we leave him unattended for more than 30 seconds in any outside locale, is rub himself in any mud—or mud related—substance. We have to give him more baths than our vet recommends—once every six weeks or so, since Arthur has dry skin owing to a case of fleas from this summer (long story)—because this dude will cover his back in raccoon shit at the drop of a hat.
Which is to say, I am basically the direct target audience for Big Boi from Outkast's dog shampoo line.
Released earlier this year, Big Boi partnered with "natural pet care guru" Bobbi Panter on a shampoo line for dogs—called Big Boi and Bobbi—after Big Boi reached out to Panter to say he liked using her shampoo on the dogs at his Pitfall Kennels. Big Boi has a bustling business selling American, French, and English bulldogs that his kennel breeds. Given that most puppies out of Pitfall run for $1500 minimum, he's probably making more money doing that than anything he could be doing except another Outkast reunion tour.
Big Boi and Bobbi's shampoo line sells for $14.99 a bottle on their site, and a little bit cheaper via Groupon Goods, which is a sentence I never expected myself to write about one of the best rappers in southern rap history. $14.99 for a 10 oz bottle seems expensive, but as a person who has seen the prices at pet boutiques, that rate is actually pretty fair. I mean, it's not as cheap as the shit you can buy at Target, but that shit doesn't have the guy who closes "Int'l Players Anthem" on the bottle.
I'm not sure if it was Groupon or Big Boi and Bobbi's shipping partner, but it took nearly three weeks for the shampoo to arrive. Which was convenient, because two days after I finally got the shampoo, I needed to bath Arthur, since he rolled in a leaf pile I imagine had dead squirrel carcasses in it. So, I grabbed my dog, and my bottle of Restore—which "Hydrates and soothes dogs' skin and fur while relieving itching and dander"—and Outkast's greatest hits, and hit the tub.
Arthur is deathly afraid of water, and baths are the opposite of rolling in raccoon turds to him. He was rescued as a stray in Big Boi's native Georgia in early 2016 during the heavy flooding that devastated the region, and when shelters got crowded, brought to a shelter in Wisconsin where we adopted him. I followed the directions on the bottle—which cautioned that "a little goes a long way," which is dog shampoo companies' way of telling you that it's your fault if you use that tiny bottle too fast—and got Arthur bathed. There isn't much more I can tell you on this front; I washed my dog's junk and got him out of the tub before his anal glands go off from panicking in the tub (this has happened. More than once.).
Buying products endorsed by celebrities always has an air of hucksterism. I don't believe for a minute that George Foreman gives a shit about grills, and I don't think Jessica Alba would care that much about holistic baby products if she didn't make millions from them every year. But the fact that Big Boi apparently used Bobbi's shampoo at his kennels long before pairing up with her, and that he is apparently using this on the dogs he breeds feels sincere. The guy has been running his kennel business since he was recording ATLiens, and he really loves dogs more than anything.
I can't really say if the Big Boi and Bobbi shampoo is "better" than any other we've tried; all I do know is that it smelled better than any other dog shampoo we've used on Arthur. The only downside was that it didn't seem like the smell stuck to his fur post bath very well; but that could be because he's fucking gross, and had diarrhoea for 36 hours after the bath, because his tummy didn't deal with the Jumbone we got him as a treat for being good in the bath. That said it was delightfully absurd to have an excuse to bump Stankonia while I do a chore as miserable as having to bath the small creature who shits all over my backyard.
Andrew Winistorfer lives in Wisconsin, obviously. Follow him on Twitter.