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In this article, we discover new facts about our four legged friends.

Our Nose Knows

Have you ever wondered why your dog will eagerly chew on, and abscond with, your shoes and socks but ignore the other clothing that you leave on the floor?

Puppies, of course, chew on everything; but we mature dogs are definitely more discriminating. We pick and choose what we chew on much more carefully.

For instance, the scientific reason for our chewing shoes and ignoring most other clothing items is gravity. Everything you eat, excrete and walk through seems to somehow end up somewhere on your shoes. If you are a 60 to 80 year old male, you might know what I'm talking about. Pretty much, your dog is forever curious and wants to know everything there is to know about you. Kind of like a stalker. Granted, when Ray Whitlow was alive, I could generally find the majority of a complete meal on the front of his shirt before it hit the washer; but, even then, his slippers trumped his shirts for samples of good, old-fashioned DNA. I know that you're just waiting for me to mention underwear, but, believe it or not, most mature dogs aren't into underwear. Because our sense of smell is so much keener than yours is, good smells for us are approximately twenty times more pleasurable than they are to you. We can smell a T-bone steak one-half mile away, and we can pick up on a lady dog in heat more than a mile away. Similarly, bad smells are almost exponential in their negative olfactory appeal; you couldn't pay me to be a bloodhound or a cadaver dog -- that's way above my pay grade! So, unless we are still in the puppy-stage of our learning curve, we generally just hide or ignore your underwear. We don't care to bother with it. I don't say this to hurt your feelings.

We have isolated our interest in human clothing to shoes and, most certainly, to socks. So many times I have heard it said that somewhere in every house is a stash of unmatched socks that has somehow gotten lost in the dryer. Wrong! In most cases, we know exactly where each of those missing socks has gone. Those socks went missing long before they ever hit the dryer, but you just haven't discovered where we are hiding them. When Ray was alive, it was always fun to watch him clean out the lint exhaust on Isabel's dryer once a year. He was always hoping to find the 'mother lode' of unmatched socks belonging to the Whitlow household. Alas, wrong place to look.

Your socks tell us when you have been angry, happy, romantic, whether you have high blood sugar, impending heart failure, and who you might have been hanging around with. Your footwear represents a virtual forensic potpourri; the culmination of your body's daily adventures. With gravity, everything settles to the bottom; and for you, that 'bottom' is right at floor level.

We dogs know a lot more about you than you think we do. Next time you gaze down at that big old lazy mutt languishing on the floor, think about this.

© 2010-2011 David Johnson, All Rights Reserved