Sunday, September 11, 2011

Magic dog noses.

When I was a boy, I thought dogs could smell a person and know their character. If a dog sniffed a stranger and approved, that was a positive sign that the stranger was trustworthy and honest. If dogs really had this super power, it would solve a lot of societal problems, I expect, but I didn't think about it that hard back then.

I think that an adult told me that a dog likes to smell your hand when he meets you because that's how he knows who his friends are. I took this to mean that dogs know who has good intentions by smell. Now I know that the lesson was that dogs recognize people they know by smell (rather than by sight, like we do). I now know that most dogs have no special insight into a man's soul, and they like everyone they meet. Dogs are faithful that way.

Still today, I hold my hand out to any new dog I meet, and I feel some validation from the fact that dogs approve of me.
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