The amazing doggy sense of smell has fascinated me for years. I wrote about how the military uses this talent so effectively on my book, “Dogs on Duty.” So when I had a chance to expand on our partnership with canine detectives, I jumped at the chance. Whatever we might want to find–a stash of drugs, the poop of an endangered species, the presence of illness in a person, even bed bugs deeply hidden under a hotel mattress–dogs can find it.
My research was great fun. I loved meeting many talented dogs and their human trainers and handlers.
Here’s avalanche rescue dog Otter, whose rich brown nose can detect the scent of a person buried in the snow 13 feet below the surface.
And this is Seamus, trained to detect nasty weeds on Mount Sentinel in my home town.
One thing really stood out for me–both the people and the dogs love their work. Some of the dogs do it for fun–the opportunity to play with their favorite toy. Others can’t wait to get the reward of a tasty treat. But they all can’t wait to get to work with the people they love and want to please.