Many thanks to blogging friends Lisa, Ellie, and Hosta AND L_Squared for this award! I'm passing it on to some more awesome dog blogs you'll enjoy: Raising Ruby, Assistance Dog for Autism, Ours for a Lifetime, Service Dogs: A Way of Life, and Southeastern Guide Dog Puppy. Tail wags all round!
The Awesome Nose Award, however, I can take no credit for. I'm awarding it personally to the Alf for his latest little adventure. Last Saturday morning I was walking him at the local cemetery, taking a path I hadn't taken with him before. As we rounded a bend, Alfie hit the end of the leash pulling hard -- very uncharacteristic for him. Curious to see what bird or squirrel he might have in his sights, I followed along. He led me at a brisk dash across the grounds, past a good 25 to 30 markers...straight to...my Dad's grave! There was no question that was exactly where he was headed, because when he got there, he stopped and thoroughly examined Dad's headstone, sniffing and licking with great interest. Then he looked up at me with a satisfied smile and a wag, and sat down! Now -- to explain -- Dad passed away 5 years ago so nope, Alfie never knew him. But I do come out and visit Dad's grave from time to time, and each time I do, I'll stop and rest, spend a little time in prayer, and wipe the marker clean with my hands. So my thought is that Alfie was responding to my scent, or maybe even scent from other family members, accumulated at the site. The only catch: I haven't been there for weeks, since before our huge snowstorm! And, after asking family about it, it seems I was the most recent visitor. While I know that cool, damp conditions are favorable to scent survival, I was still incredulous that Alfie seemed able to detect scent that old. Of course, dogs' noses are incredible -- I've learned that firsthand in the process of training service dog Dakota in his diabetic alert work.
Have any of you ever come across similar situations with your dogs? Leave a comment -- I'd love to hear about it! Hats off to all our dogs...and all their amazing abilities!