In my thirty years talking with dogs, I have learned amazing things about how their sense of smell allows them to perceive incredible details and even use their sense noses to perceive holographic images when they become blind.
Humans have five million olfactory cells in our noses and dogs have at least 250 million! Hounds, including Bloodhounds, Foxhounds, Beagles, Bassets, Dobermans, Rhodesian Ridgebacks...may have even more. This doesn't mean that everything just smells stronger to them than to us, it means that they are able to smell something in detail when only molecules exist. Once they pick up the scent of these molecules, they are able to extrapolate to identify what or who those molecules belong to.
Most of us have experienced sniffing dogs in airports, but do you know that dogs can smell when a person's body has a disease including cancers and tumors or the chemical changes that happen before a person has a seizure? Chihuahuas told me that they have an aptitude for this due to their heritage working side by side with the priest/healers in the Aztec temples. Border collies can smell dead bodies submerged underwater, and recently dogs have been able to identify people with Covid-19 and SARS with up to 97% accuracy!
Who Trained Whom?
Of course humans claim that they have "trained" dogs to identify these scents and chemical changes, but dogs have always done this. It would be more accurate to say that humans taught dogs to inform them when they pick up these odors or changes. Give credit where credit is due! Cynthia Otto, leader of the Penn Vet Working Dog Centre at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia works with COVID-19 sniffer dogs. She says, “The dogs can do it. The challenge is the ignorance that we have as humans as to what can confuse the dogs.” Exactly. Studies and tests are ongoing in Finland, France, Germany and Dubai as well. (Nature Nov. 2020)
Our beloved canines have been our helpmates from the first wolf puppies who accompanied us on hunts. Partnering with dogs in the effort to identify diseases, imbalances, and chemical changes in human, animal or plant bodies, including soil samples can be a lovely wag, I mean wave of the future!
Be sure to thank your beloved right now for the amazing being she is!
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,