The Nose of the Dog

Originally published on September 3rd, 2012.


The incredible power of smell that dogs have.

The nose of a German Shepherd dog!

Regular readers will know that I subscribe to the blog Naked Capitalism masterminded by Yves Smith.  Some time ago, there was a link on NK to a story about how a tiny Chihuahua dog rescued some missing girls.  It seemed like a good opportunity to take a closer look at this most magical aspect of a dog’s qualities.

First to that story.

I saw it on the Care2 website, from which I quote the following:


Hero Chihuahua Finds Missing Girls in the Woods

by  August 2, 2012

A 3-year-old chihuahua named Bell is an unexpected hero after finding three young girls who became lost for hours in the woods in Newnan, Georgia, on Monday.

CBS Atlanta reports that, on Monday, 8-year-old Carlie and 5-year-old Lacey Parga went for a walk with their dog Lucy down a cul-de-sac on trails near their neighborhood.

What started as a casual stroll became an unintended, and at times frightening, experience. As Carlie tells CBS, ‘”We tried to find our way out of the woods. We kept following paths and stuff and we got lost.” Indeed, they became scared that they were only to get more and more lost.

Carlie’s father, David Parga, noted that it wasn’t characteristic of them to wander off and, after searching for them but not hearing them respond, he contacted police and firefighters. Neighbors joined them including Carvin Young who thought to take Bell, who plays with the girls every day and knew their scent. Bell was able to lead searchers to the girls.

The full story on the Care2 website is here and on the CBS website here.

So what is it about the nose of the dog?  A dog has more than 220 million olfactory receptors in its nose, while humans have only five million, making dogs’ sense of smell a thousand times greater.  Frankly, trying to get one’s intellect around precisely what having a sense of smell one thousand times greater than a human means is tough!  So on to another story.

The Bark and Clark blogsite reported an item in February that had been seen in the K9 Magazine.

17 Dogs, 3 Generations, 70 Years.
There’s one constant…
…the family dog.

After moving to Wellesley, Massachusetts for an anchor job with a major television sports network, Kevin began taking his German Shepherd, Beverly, for walks in the surrounding neighborhoods. They developed a route that included historic Atwood Street. Beverly kept veering toward one house in particular that had also caught Kevin’s eye previously, thinking it looked familiar but not knowing the reason.

After talking to a close family relative who had also once lived in Wellesley, Kevin was shocked to discover that the memorable house had once been a childhood home to his father, Bob Walsh, before WWII. After digging through old family photos that had been tucked away for years, Kevin uncovered a picture of his father as a toddler with his family on the house’s front porch, complete with their first family dog, Dee Dee.

Kevin’s father had been writing short stories about all of their family dogs through the years, but never knew about the photo. Its discovery was the pivotal moment that offered proof that the Walsh family’s journey with dogs had come back to the exact place where it started.

They’ve turned this story, along with other dog tales, into a book called Follow the Dog Home: How a Simple Walk Unleashed an Incredible Family Journey.

Dog’s nose leads family to back long lost old home, site unseen. German Shepherd, Beverly, is chronicled on WCVB TV’s news magazine show Chronicle. 70 years later, the family goes back “home” for stunning reunion and photograph.


What clever, smart animals they are!

2 thoughts on “The Nose of the Dog

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