If you’re a dog lover, you’ve likely heard the expression before, “it’s just a dog.”
Just a dog, aye? Well, I’ve got news for you; dogs are one of the most successful mammals on the planet!
Not only have we come to rely on our furry companions for their unwavering loyalty and devotion, but they've joined the work-force as well. Probably in more ways than most realize. From putting their lives on the line to protect and serve, to finding pesky bedbugs, or detecting cancer, they're very diligent workers and a staple in modern society whether realized or not. Simply put, there are no other candidates like that of our furry friends, the dog.
Dog have not only been integrated into our daily lives as companion pets, but they've also found their place as therapy dogs; serving those who suffer from a wide variety of medical alignments, both physical and mental. What may be viewed as "just a dog" to some is a lifeline to the world for others, a vital and crucial door to living a normal life. For those suffering from disorders like PTSD, extreme anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, the hearing or visually impaired, epilepsy or diabetes a dog means participating in everyday life just like you or I.
Dogs are so amazing, they just couldn't help themselves from finding a new way to help their human companions. They are now being incorporated into routine cancer diagnostics as cancer sniffers using their superior olfactory skills. In fact, research has shown they are just as accurate if not more so, than standard laboratory testing.
Dogs have over 300 million sensors in those little noses of theirs, which is 60 times the number of sensors in the average human nose. They also have a secret weapon called the Jacobson's Organ which allows them to detect chemical stimuli like Alkanes and aromatic compounds which are generated by tumors. The British organization, Medical Detection Dogs, provided 3,000 urine samples from patients with and without cancer, 95% of the time dogs correctly identified samples with cancer cells. Just imagine the number of lives that will be saved just by the single sniff of a dog. Can you do that? I don't think so!
I've always been a little repulsed by the idea of staying in a hotel room. Not really a fan of sprawling out on a comforter that's been soiled by a previous guest. Also not a fan of possibly bringing home creepy crawlers who only want to nest and spawn more creepy crawlers turning my nights rest into an itchy nightmare. No thanks, you can bet your bottom if I have to travel I'm finding a B&B!
But I was pleasantly surprised, recently, to learn at least one of those issues is being eliminated by dogs! Those sniffers are not only amazing at locating lost people, finding bombs, taking down drug dealers, and detecting cancer, but now they are being trained and used to detect bed bugs! That's right, these dogs spend between 800 and 1,000 hours perfecting those little noses to smell out and help eliminate bed bugs, and with a 97% accuracy rate, I'd let a dog sniff my hotel room any day! Especially if it means I don't bring an infestation of the the things nightmares are made of, home with me!
Oh, and I forgot the best part! Most of the dogs trained to sniff out these gross insects are shelter dogs! Saved from death row and given a second chance at life all while helping the very people that put them in that awful situation to begin with. Imagine that.
Dogs have displayed the remarkable ability to evolve and become irreplaceable members of our society. They risk their lives locating bombs, apprehending dangerous suspects, walking through rumble of collapsed buildings looking for survivors, the list goes on and on. They do it all with tail wags and smiles, unwavering love and loyalty. They don't ask for much in return, just food, a warm place to sleep and most importantly, a means to give their life purpose. So the next time you hear someone say "it's just a dog" remind them of all the wonderful things those dogs do for us beyond just emotional support and companionship.
The Working Dog
With over 10 years of experience through ownership and rescue work, I hope to share my knowledge and insight to happier, healthier fur kids. Have a question, feel free to ask!