Dogs can sniff out some pretty incredible things—explosives, drugs, cancer, criminals—the list continues to grow, bounded only, says cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz, by human imagination.
In her newest exploration of doghood, Being a Dog: Following the Dog into the World of Smell, Horowitz explores why the dogs’ olfactory system so surpasses our own and how scientists are teaching dogs to use it to accomplish remarkable and life-saving feats. Horowitz also throws out a challenge to readers–and it’s one she’s undertaking herself. She wants readers to think about how they engage their own sense of smell–hint: Horowitz says over millenia humans have “unlearned how to smell”–and to start sniffing again. Dogs, she says, can teach us how.
You can read my full review of Being a Dog: Following the Dog into the World of Smell at EcoLit Books.
Book Talk, RVCC Library