You walk in the door and your dog greets you nose first. It happens to everyone who owns a dog. But did you know that your dog’s welcome sniff gives it a recap of your day? You never need to tell your dog that you petted your friend’s new puppy or dropped a drip of ice cream on your pants or walked through the tall grass at the park. Their nose knows!
Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save The World introduces readers to many amazing working dogs. A story of a local moose population study inspired me to write this book. When I heard that dogs were brought in to sniff out the moose scat I was intrigued. That’s poop in less scientific terms! This was not the way I was taught to conduct population studies in my college ecology class. But I quickly learned that sniffer dogs are a terrific non-invasive way to conduct a study.
I had a blast researching this book. I watched dogs sniff out accelerants at a fire scene, patrol Grand Central Station, train in the desert for search and rescue, sniff out cremation remains in the North Carolina woods and detect a diabetic boy’s sugar level from the bleachers at a high school basketball game.
One of my favorite parts of researching this book was learning that most of these dogs were rescued from animal shelters. Having volunteered at a kill shelter as a teen I was thrilled to see these dogs find a new life. Some were even on death row. It also reminded me of how we all can make a difference.
Sniffer Dogs comes out July 8 from Houghton Mifflin. I’m working on another book for them right now that will come out next year. Research for that one has taken me as far away as Russia, but without the pooches.