Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Why my Labrador wouldn't make a good detection dog

I can't say that I was surprised to hear that the detection dogs at Manchester Airport regularly found cheese and sausages rather than Class A drugs.

I'm sure most dogs, given the choice, would much prefer to sniff out foods they might like to eat rather than the poisons humans choose to take.

I can almost picture the scene, as an eager-to-please Springer Spaniel careers around the baggage area, sniffs what might be Cocaine but then gets a whiff of Chorizo so heads to that bag instead, wagging its tail with delight and waiting for its reward.

In our house - where I hasten to add the only drugs likely to be sniffed out are paracetamol or Ibuleve for my dodgy knee - my dog simply seeks out food and prides himself on the fact that he can hear me open the cheese packet from at least two rooms away.

Believe me, it doesn't matter how much ninja-like stealth I use to open the fridge door and extract the cheddar, within nano-seconds he's there, stationed at my feet looking up at me with pleading brown eyes, a small stream of drool starting from his ample jowls.

Yes, before anyone writes in, I do remember my cookery teacher telling us that pets should never be in the room when we're preparing food. 

I also remember the Health Visitor doing a home visit after my daughter was born.

Our previous Labrador greeted her enthusiastically, as he did with anyone who walked through the door.  I'm sure burglars and cold callers would have been similarly treated as friends he just hadn't had the pleasure of meeting yet, and been whacked firmly in the back of the leg with his otter-like tail.

She said "Oh, you have a dog, have you?" and then paused for what seemed like an eternity, before eventually adding: "That's good, studies show it helps to build a child's immune system."

Which was a relief all round, as I thought for one dreadful moment she was going to tell me my dog was a health hazard!

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