Lily sniffs my arm diligently, delicately. When she catches a
whiff of Joey cat, her ears perk up and she almost grins. If I'm not
feeling great she leans against me in a sympathetic cuddle. I've
thought more than once that if she could talk she'd be able to tell
her person mom, my chum Pat, where I'd been and what I'd eaten based
purely on olfactory clues. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, author of Super
Sniffers: Dog Detectives On The Job, would agree with that. In this
fascinating volume that will delight dog lovers young and old, she
sheds light on canine's amazing ability to discover and differentiate
odors and the many ways humans have enlisted these canny critters to
do tasks we'd be too slow at or less capable of accomplishing.
Take locating avalanch survivers. Humans can only probe surface
snow and take days to find a corpse. A dog can smell out a person
trapped under over 10 feet of snow in minutes. If you were that
person, which would you want?
And there are the amazing dogs that can:
*provide loyal companionship for military people as well as discover
explosive dangers that would endanger them in far away war zones;
*sniff out illicit drugs for police officers;
*find endangered species and invasive plants;
*help people monitor chronical medical conditions;
*and so much more.
The pictures alone are worth the price of the book. What a wonderful
way to help the younger generation learn to value non human animals as
intelligent and sentient beings rather than possessions. Actually
that's a lesson a lot of adults need to learn too! Remember the
celebrity fueled pocketbook dog fad?
On a personal note, I am nervous. Tomorrow I audition for UMaine Has
Talent. It's a show to raise money to fight testicular cancer. I
plan to recite my poem Silver Foxes and pick an outfit and try to stop
asking why I let myself get talked into that.
A great big shout out goes out to amazing dogs and the people who love
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod