Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Just what do dogs smell?

A long time ago, I read a book (Fluke by James Herbert, I think) that was about life as a dog. It used the idea that when a dog peed it left a sort of recorded message, rather like an answering machine:
"I'm Buster the 200lb Rottweiler. Stay off my patch."
"Hi, I'm Fifi. I'm a total tramp. Stop by anytime."
Interesting theory, I guess.
Now my dog, Custard, is a Golden Retriever. Sniffing is a big part of his life and walks can be very slow with lots of stopping while he investigates all of the different, exciting smells that he finds.
But last night he found a REALLY good one. He just stopped, with his nose to the ground. No loud sniffing, no licking the ground (Yuck!). No moving around a little bit. Nothing. He was totally motionless.
So I waited.
And waited.
And waited.
Still nothing.
Well the clouds were closing in and we were still a good half a mile from home, so I gave him a gentle tug. Suddenly his head shot up and he looked around, all confused, like someone waking up on a train and wondering if they have missed their stop. Then he looked at me, shook himself and set off for home.
What on earth was that sniff?
What if James Herbert was right, that must have been some message! Perhaps they have discovered how to blog? If so, I will have to allow more time for walks in the future!


Logziella said...

Awe, Custard sounds so cute! I LOVE Golden Retreivers!!

The worst is when they find something dead and want to roll in it...ugh!!

Rock Chef said...

Custard has only rolled once - fox poop. Ugh!

I used to own a whippet that loved rolling in dead fish that had been washed up on the beach - that was really horrible!

mr zig said...

that post made me want to go home and walk my dog right now... I love dogs.

Rock Chef said...

Zig - I bet you will be watching him next time you are out, wondering what his sniffs are really about!

Jahooni said...

We have a 9 month old English Springer Spaniel named Cody and we have been tying to train him by walking him daily BUT OH MY GOSH, is it hard! He wants to pull really bad and goes off to path to smell something!

Is it the proper thing to let them stop and sniff here and there or should I make him keep going??

Funny post because I often wonder that they smell and think about all the time....

Princess of the Universe said...

I onlce read this book that was partially written from a dog's perspecitive and it was fantastic. Totally gives you a different way of looking at the world.

Jay Gray said...

I once read that when a dog sniffs another dogs butt they learn as much as two humans would having a 5 minute conversation.

I have no idea how someone came to that conclusion but imagine if it were true. What could they learn from sniffing other things?

Terri said...

Maybe the previous dog who left the "message" was a hypnotist and Custard fell asleep?

krista said...

I've always wondered what they were smelling. Or even thinking for that matter. My cats too, although sometimes I think I'd rather not know (goes just as well with the teenagers in my house)! lol

Rock Chef said...

Jahooni - Springers live for their noses, so it is probably best to give him a bit of sniffing time, so long as you keep going in the intended direction!

Princess - Wonder if that was Fluke?

Jay - I think I have heard that before too!

Terri - you could be right. If I had left him long enough he might have started pretending to be chicken or something!

Krista - yes, I don't want to know what cats or teenagers are thinking either!

amazingbrenda said...

Maybe there is a smell that hypnotises them. Maybe I could use that one for my kids when I want some peace & quite instead of screaming & fighting with each other. hehe. Ok just kidding but I swear sometimes I wish there was such a thing. Ok j/k again.

About the coke. That was funny. Maybe you should hide more coke cans more often. hehe

Catherinette Singleton said...

How funny would that be if that was really the case? Life would be far more interesting-not that we'd ever know about it as most of us don't go sniffing around where dogs have been.

Rock Chef said...

AmazingBrenda - not sure how old your kids are, but we find a Nintendo Wii keeps ours really busy.

Catherinette - you are right, most of us will not sniff where a dog has been and, (sadly?) we would not get the same message anyway.

mindy said...

Sometimes when I'm walking Otis I wonder if there's doggy crack cocaine in the grass. So weird, and yet so cute.