Go Bomb Dogs Go
My son bought a cute little Labrador puppy just after his grandpa passed away. Soon, we all were captivated by her energy, love, and playfulness—and the heartfelt distraction helped us heal. Who doesn’t love gazing into the gentle face of a Labrador?
Recently I read just how special Labradors are. The capability of their noses is astounding. While we humans can sniff out a teaspoon of sugar in our morning coffee, these dogs can detect that same teaspoon in a million-gallon pool of water.
Our brains are hard-wired to use 5% of its capacity to detect smells and our canine friends use 35%.
As a routine ferry passenger, I’ve watched special service dogs and their handlers proceed up and down the rows of waiting cars—on the alert for explosive devices. While I call them bomb dogs, they are officially referred to as explosive detection canines (EDCs), and include breeds like Shepherds too.
After training, these EDCs can sniff out an array of chemicals used in bomb making. If the dog smells something suspicious he sits down next to it, never pawing at it since it could explode.
Remarkably, detonation cords on the explosive devices are virtually scent-free—but not to these trained canines. On the battlefield, EDCs have prevented untold casualties.
Scientists are attempting to develop technology that would use machines to “see” the chemical vapors, but thus far, nothing has achieved the needed sensitivity.
With the recent explosive devices placed around New York and New Jersey, we’re on heightened alert. Why not employ lots of dogs all around America’s transit stations, ballparks, shopping centers, and large events where people gather?
Yes, a dog is man’s best friend—and in the face of terrorism, they’re lifesavers too.