Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Sweet Smell of Sidewalks

2007-01-15-1537-06I'm sure it's no news to anyone that dogs smell better than humans. Well... sense of smell. They've got bazillions more chemoreceptors, fine cells topped with hairlike crowns, that inhabit little clefts in the nostril. Interestingly, smells don't really reach the chemoreceptors while breathing, only when the dog stops to sniff-- which explains why I am always waiting for Pappy. Not only is the basic nasal equipment souped up, but a big part of their brain, the olfactory bulb, is given over to processing these smells. We think dollars, but dogs think scents.

I don't know if it's the constant drizzle of aphid pee and caterpillar pellets this time of year, or the four atoms of peanut butter that floated down from a sandwich, but it's all I can do to keep Pappy moving on a walk. Yesterday Pappy was so enraptured by sniffing under under a weed that I got bored, put down his leash, walked about 100 feet, and looked back at him. Finally he stood up, startled, and gave me a look as if to say "how did you do that?"


FleasGang said...

Hey did you happen to get the broadcast on PBS about dogs over the weekend? I'm not sure if it was just a local thing or not but it broke down the mechanics of the dogs nose.
Apparently, when they sniff they suck up all the juicy smells and then they exhale and a flap closes their noses except for those little slits on the sides of their nose. That way, they can sniff and snort over the same spot without blowing the crumbs of smells away! I always wondered why they had those little slits :-)

The FleasGang

Oscar Airedale said...

I love sniffing, it drives mum crazy, but us terriers are designed to sniff out stuff.

Oscar x

Pappy's Fella said...

I missed it, but would be curious to see it. Do you remember whether it was Nature or something else?

The terrier credo: "stop and smell the offal".

Gus said...

Terrier Credo: Stop and Smell.

Except for Teka, who smells on the run.

PS, have volunteered Pappy to be E.Rabbit's companion at doga classes next weekend. So if a short girl calls and looks like me, she's OK


ps. muzer offered to ship Teka, but E.Rabbit is VERY smart and said no

Pappy's Fella said...

Send E Rabbit on over. Pappy is a bit tight in the hammies, and could probably use a bit of stretching.

Sweets-littlebigman said...

I, too, love sniffing. I turn a 15 minute walk into a 45 minute olfactory adventure.


Finnegan said...

Now that it is spring, Finny is inhaling the grass in our front yard. I'm afraid to learn of what is so exciting to sniff. EEK!

Finny's mom