Sniffing in the Snow



A fun blog of 'soft' philosophy about the life and times of a Westiepoo called Chester. Written as a prelude to a more serious novel raising the question: Who is the most bankrupt: the banker who won't whistle-blow or the chef who loses her livelihood?

How should I sniff? It is, scientists say, the gift of dogs to possess twenty-five times the nasal capacity and thousands more olfactory brain cells than you humans. Us dogs are made glad, by the symphony of odours left behind by all that is around us, especially other dogs' urine that acts as a powerful stimulant to us. Exercising our nostrils, are as much a part of our requirement for routine walks than walking itself.

Like my wild relatives the wolf and coyote, I inhale and exhale to concentrate odours, pooling them into mixtures and expelling others. Thankfully, even the smells of winter: pine needles, wood smoke, snow, bring their unique set of sensual experiences. The odour molecules in the air may move more slowly in the cold, meaning there are fewer of them, but that doesn't stop me skipping from side to side to find the best of scents. Yesterday, for instance, when it snowed (despite Mr. A's protestations to Master R, that it wouldn't), I was patently euphoric to be breathing in the cold air, scenting the snow laden shrubs, grass verges, trees and, of course, pavements, lamp posts and telecommunication boxes.

We dogs can declare that the secret of our happiness is to sniff, smell, inhale and scent. Our superiority is to make happiness our top priority and to choose it over wealth, power, status, approval, control and security. So, on this, the most depressing week of the year, where apparently even one in four of us dogs are depressed and sad, ditch those plans for preponderance and make small, incremental changes instead. For starters, don't wait for the summer flowers and dirt and barbeque smoke, concentrate on the smells of living now: scented candles, aromatic stews, and baking. Hmmm ... now that's just got me thinking about food again. Tuna pasta anyone?

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