What a Nose Knows
My mother has a dog of a nose. She can smell anything and everything, right Daisy?
When I was a bad teenager, she could always smell things on my breath that shouldn't have been on my breath. And she always uses her nose to test whether food is still good or not. She's big on expiration dates, the first thing she checks when she visits: "This salad dressing expired last year!" she wails as if it simply sitting in the refrigerator will spread some sort of pox to everyone in the house. When she buys any meat from the store and is unwrapping it to re-wrap in for the freezer (double bags!) she always smells it first. If she sniffs more than three times, you know it's going to be thrown out, because it "just doesn't smell right."
And now she is sensitive to all smells and will yell down the stairs to Daisy, "What are you spraying, frying, lighting, cleaning, etc."
But no human nose can beat a dog nose. Their sense of smell is up to 100 times better than ours. Can you imagine the torture they go through? You know how we salivate when we smell something yummy when hungry, like baking bread? Imagine what they go through when they smell a roast in the oven and are hungry? Poor things.
And certain breeds have even better noses than other canines, like hounds. Just ask Peanut! He will whine in the utility room because he is smelling some food item left open. I'll look and look and look, wondering what the heck he's after, only to find ONE MORSEL of dry dog food that happened to roll under the washing machine. And yes, I have to move the machine and remove the morsel or Peanut will worry himself (and me) to death over it!
Just think of all the work dogs do for us with their nose: helping find lost people and bodies in rubble; sniffing out drugs and bombs; and working dogs who hunt for and get rid of varmints. For thousands of years they've helped humankind.
And now, they are being used to detect cancers. I'm sure you've seen some of the TV shows about this ability, detecting cancers that many medical tests can't even find yet. And they can be trained to do this.
So just remember all that dogs do for us just with their noses. Then add all the other things they do for us: help the blind and disabled, sense seizures in people with epilepsy, protect us and most of all, just loving us as our loyal and faithful companions.
What amazes me most is that most species prefer being with their own kind. And even within one species, like we humans, most prefer being with those most like themselves. Yet dogs, it seems, prefer being with humans. If you've ever been to a shelter where dogs have each other for companionship, they all go nuts and want attention from any human that comes near them. I'm sure you see this in your own pack if you have more than one. Sure, they'll play with each other, but the center of their universe is their pack leader: the human.
We should always remember the things they do for us and always treat them like the wonderful, loving and grateful beings they are.
So how people can chain one up and leave it in a yard 24/7 is beyond me. In fact, it disgusts me. So I surely don't feel the least bit guilty when I admit that I like dogs better than most humans.
Picture above is Amy's (k9rescue) dog Charlie. What a fabulous face--and nose! Charlie lives with dog siblings Jake and Nikki and human siblings Emily and Zach, and of course, Mommy and Daddy!
posted by Sandy at 9/09/2007 02:50:00 PM