My sniffer does just fine

A dog with a good nose has always been a fascination to me. My current dog has a pretty good sniffer.

Karl Terry

Karl Terry

He knows the minute you come through the door if you’ve been with another dog — or worse yet a smelly old cat.

After being in the Roosevelt County Events Arena most of this past week on the dirt arena floor he was overjoyed to see me each night so he could sniff the interesting scents on my shoes and pant legs.

There were all kinds of animal barn smells, food smells, people smells and other dog smells. Added to all those different smells were the scent of my sister’s dog and cats that I was feeding.

I’m not sure which of those things upset my allergies but I’m sure glad my respiratory system isn’t as sophisticated as my dog’s nose.

a dog’s olfactory sense is said to often be 100,000 times greater than those of humans. Still my dog doesn’t run outside to protect his nose when my wife starts smoking up a skillet. If it’s enough to run me out of the room imagine what he’s feeling.

I can fool my wife if I stop off for a cheeseburger at lunch but my dog’s all over it. If he detects the slightest dribble of meat juice on my shirt he’s going to investigate if I sit down and let him.

It’s always interesting to watch a dog sniff around his own back yard first thing in the morning. He tests every corner with his nose to see what’s been there during the night. He lifts is nose into the morning air currents and tests them each individually with a few twitches of his nose.

On a walk if I allow it he’ll sniff each and every weed and every signpost and fire hydrant on the way. Corner light poles and fire hydrant’s have to be something akin to picking up the morning newspaper or reading a billboard for dogs. Every dog marks the billboard and every dog that follows has to carefully untangle the scents that came before him.

If their sense of smell is so well developed I’ve never understood why they have o get nose to rump when greeting a new dog. Couldn’t they just smell that thing from a few paces away?

One of my favorite dog scenes in a movie is in “Cool Hand Luke.” On one of Luke’s escape attempts he has bloodhounds hot on his trail as he trots up to an old cabin in leg irons. He talks two little boys into bringing him an ax and chile powder, pepper and curry. He splits the leg irons with the ax and asks the boys if they want to see something really funny as he spreads the spices on his trail. When the dogs came through and hit the spice the boys cracked up laughing at the sneezing dogs.

My nose is good enough to wake me up when it smells the coffee but I’m thankful it can’t tell the difference between Pekingese and poodle at every corner.


Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

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