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Wonder Dogs


“I’m sure dogs have been picking up on the volatiles coming off our body, our breath and our sweat, but we’ve been totally unaware,” she says. “I can’t be completely sure, but I don’t think they’re observing behavior. They come in, they smell and they alert straight away. I think these things have been staring dogs in the face for a long time. It’s frustrating for me that people would rather spend millions of pounds on research trying to discover what a dog could tell us in a couple of weeks. They could identify anything that causes a biochemical change. And once you can get the odor from a group of people, you can be pretty sure you can warn people of changes.”

If we could read our dogs’ minds, we’d probably hear them thinking something like, “We’ve been trying to tell you what we can do for years. All you have to do is ask. ”Imagine how the world might change if funds became available for research and training—what we might learn, how many lives could be made richer, even saved. Our best friends are ready, willing and able to assist in ways we have only begun to understand. And they ask for little more than the toss of a ball, a pat on the head, a cookie and a smile.



Barbara Robertson is an award-winning freelance journalist who lives with her husband and three dogs in Northern California.

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