A Dog Discovers
“How's DJ liking the new place?” Pudge asked over a heaping platter of smoke meat.
“McLovin’ it, “ I answered, stealing a fry off his platter of plenty. “Perhaps too much.”
It had been ages since I last said the word ‘perhaps’ and I missed it. Such a pompous and condescending neat little word.
“What do you mean 'too much?'” Pudge continued.
“Every time I turn my back, he’s out the door sniffing away. I put an iTag on his collar to track him.”
“That’s not so good. Shouldn’t you be a paragon of responsible dog ownership?”
“Perhaps,” I shrugged. “But he never strays too far, he inhales every square inch of new land.”
And that’s what it’s all about. A dog establishes his world through his nose, that wondrous apparatus able to detect scents down to the molecular level. Through it he maps his turf, conveniently accessible on his canine app, Sniffr.
For a dog, the ground is a giant FaceBook newsfeed. Everything he needs to know is all there:
Rex the unbalanced Doberman was here.
Fifi the coquettish toy poodle was there.
Fred the friendly Basset tinkled on that tree.
It's all there my friends, it's all there.
A couple weeks later on a rare warm sunny day, Pudge dropped by. The front door was wide open and the street was hopping. Meanwhile DJ sat calmly in front of the door watching the action.
"Why hasn't he bolted out?" Pudge asked, unwrapping a Cadbury Easter egg.
"He's mapped his territory, he's calm now."
Just as we need time to adjust to a new situation, so too does your dog. He just does it primarily through his nose. So let him sniff away whenever you take him to a new place; his nose is his cosmological eye.
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