andrew wyeth dog paintings dog songs dogs mary oliver notes from the pack paintings of dogs rocky hill the intruder what we understand about the dog's sense of smell
almost nothingSeptember 13, 2016
A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watchin...
A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing.
~ Mary Oliver, Dog Songs
Paintings: Andrew Wyeth
… Dogs' sense of smell overpowers our own by orders of magnitude—it's 10,000 to 100,000 times as acute, scientists say... "If you make the analogy to vision, what you and I can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away and still see as well."
… Dogs can detect some odors in parts per trillion. What does that mean in terms we might understand? … while we might notice if our coffee has had a teaspoon of sugar added to it, a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth.
… Experts have reported incredible true stories about the acuteness of dogs' sense of smell. There's the drug-sniffing dog that "found" a plastic container packed with 35 pounds of marijuana submerged in gasoline within a gas tank. There's the black lab stray from the streets of Seattle that can detect floating orca scat from up to a mile away across the choppy waters of Puget Sound. There's the cancer-sniffing dog that "insisted" on melanoma in a spot on a patient's skin that doctors had already pronounced cancer-free; a subsequent biopsy confirmed melanoma in a small fraction of the cells. And so on...
From “Dog's Dazzling Sense of Smell” – NOVA