Tag: Schnauzer

Pure, unconditional love (in spades)

On this occasion it was the loss of our Pedi that had hearts ‘speaking’.

When it comes to dogs millions of people open their hearts to the love that exists between a dog and a dog’s close human. And I am not sure that I have cracked it yet; I know what is felt but putting it into words is more difficult.

So I shall turn to Jess and the guest post she sent to me. But just before sending me the story of Scruffy Jess sent me this email: “Sorry for the loss. Dogs have always been an important part of my life. I’ve cried like a baby every time I lost one. Truly man’s best friend. “


Scruffy is getting up there in years and it breaks my heart to even think of losing him.  He’s been my best friend for the past twelve years.  He does everything that I do.

I never paint in my studio that he isn’t there beside me.

He will be 13 in February.  I only hope that I can get a couple more years out of him.  He is one of those special dogs.  If someone said, “If there was one thing you would change about Scruffy, what would it be?”  The only thing in this world I would change about him is to give him a longer life.

He minds me better than my kids ever minded and I’ve never laid an angry hand on him.  I talk to him like I would a human, and he seems to understand everything that I say.  I just bought another Schnauzer puppy, only four months old, hoping that some of Scruffy will rub off on him as he grows up.  So far Scruffy is not too happy about sharing me with another dog, but hopefully time will change that.

So this is Scruffy at age 12.  He still is full of life.  


And this is Tux below, because of the Tuxedo that he always wears.  He’s also a Miniature Schnauzer, but in an exotic color, and he has one blue eye that I love!

Yes, you should get another puppy to fill the hole in your heart.  It seems, you are never sorry about it!  You guys have a wonderful day!   JESS



Scamp and other dog’s incredible sense of smell

Almost beyond a human’s ability to comprehend.

On the 24th June, I wrote a piece from the Extraordinary Animals series from the UK’s Channel Five TV station.  In particular, the article focussed on Scamp’s ability to detect when people in care were dying.

Scamp is a little Schnauzer who resides at The Pine nursing home in Canton, Ohio. Like many live-in pets at nursing homes, Scamp brings companionship to the residents but he also does more than that. Scamp seems to have a gift that tells him when the end is near for one of the residents and he loyally stays with them during their final hours.

Jim & Diane Walker

The first of the three YouTube videos, some ten minutes long, examined how Scamp knew that a patient was dying and how scientists Jim and Diane Walker believed it was due to the incredible sense of smell that dogs possess.  From The Examiner of June 1st, 2009,

An amazing scientist, Dr. James Walker of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University, documented the power of a dog’s nose in 2002. Using n-amyl acetate (nAA), Dr. Walker documented that a dog can detect chemicals at one ten-thousandth to one hundred-thousandth the concentrations that humans can. In other words, at a minimum, dogs can smell 10,000 times better than a human.

OK, back to that YouTube video.

If you didn’t watch it on the 24th, do watch it again.  Watch it this time to pick up just what Scamp is doing.  At minute 6:30 hear how Dr. Bob Andrysco describes how the sense of smell of a dog is 100,000 times more powerful than that of a human.

Then stay with the video until minute 9:20 when Jim & Diane Walker show how a dog can detect a substance as diluted as 2 parts in a trillion.  That is so diluted as to be beyond comprehension; well to a non-scientist like me!

As the presenter describes, “That’s the equivalent of a teaspoonful of sugar in ten billion cups of tea!”  To me that is utterly mind-boggling.  Let me try and demonstrate the power of 2 parts per trillion, which is the equivalent of 1 part per half-trillion (500,000 million). Half-a-trillion fluid ounces is 522,189,675.651 ft³ – just over 522 million cubic feet.  What does that volume look like?

Here’s the picture of twelve fluid ounces – you’ll just have to imagine what one fluid ounce would look like!

Standard Coke can = 12 fluid ounces

Here’s a picture of ninety million cubic feet – you’ll just have to imagine what five hundred and twenty-two million look like!

Great Pyramid of Giza = 90 million cubic feet

OK, last one from me to allow us all to really, really appreciate the magical ability of that dog’s nose.

Two parts per trillion is the equivalent of smelling that can of Coke (12 fluid ounces) in a volume the equivalent of seventy, yes seventy, Great Pyramids (6,264,000,000 cubic feet).

Think I need to lie down in a darkened room for a while!