“My sniffer is working again!” Fido yelled.
“Pray tell, my big fine fellow,” said I.
“It’s like someone just flipped the ‘on’ switch! Don’t you sense all these fine whiffs?”
“Human aren’t that tuned in to sniffs, like dogs.”
“That’s too bad. Let’s go over here! No! Over here! No! Over there!”
“It sure would be nice to have a symphony of scents, Fido. In the winter, we humans go all diurnal, all the time. If we can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. All the snow covers up the ground scents, and there aren’t any flowers yet, and even the sap in the trees is moving so slowly that it doesn’t yield much of a scent of any kind.”
“For us, it’s a different deal,” Fido said, and he walked over to the side of the paved walking trail behind Vons.
“Why, if it isn’t last year’s bear droppings!” Fido said. “Let’s stop and enjoy this.”
“I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than sniffing last year’s bear scat by the side of a path.”
“But there’s more!”
“What are you burying you nose in now?” I asked.
“This would be last year’s migrating deer! Yum! Why, I can tell you a lot about last year’s migrating deer, just by this scattering of whatever-it-is.”
“It doesn’t look like anything to me, Big Boy. It looks like you’re sniffing bare earth.”
“Not so, my liege. If you get down on all fours, and then press your nose to the ground, you won’t believe it. Trust me!”
“I trust you implicitly, Fido, but I am not getting down on all fours to press my nose against the ground.”
“That’s another big difference between humans and dogs,” Fido said.
“Dogs,” said he, “are not burdened with pride.”
“Anyway, if I spent all Sunday with my nose against the ground, I wouldn’t be able to see the lovely sights of the mountains, and the way the snow is glistening in the sun, on top of the Mammoth Crest. It is really quite a sight.”
“I can’t see that far,” Fido said, “and even if I could, I don’t think I’d be impressed. The ‘sight’ thing is over-rated as far as I’m concerned.”
“Yeah, well, dogs’ eyesight isn’t that keen.”
“It’s as keen as it needs to be.”
“But that’s like me saying my sniffer is as good as needs to be, even though I can’t smell last year’s bear poop.”
“But me, I like the sights, and you are a-hem, a bit short-sighted, not that it’s a bad thing. Like most mammals, you are dichromatic and have color vision equivalent to red-green color blindness in humans. And you are less sensitive to differences in gray shades than humans. Also, humans are better at detecting brightness.”
“Hey! Over here! Remember Muffy?”
“Vaguely, Fido. Help me out.”
“Cute little thing, a Labradoodle from Dana Point. I had my eyes on her for a while, and then she disappeared.”
“She has reappeared, right here! Have a sniff!”
“I believe you Fido, I really do. Maybe Muffy will be back with the summer visitors.”
“A dog like me can only hope.”