Do you know that your dog's sense of smell is a thousand times more sensitive than yours? It's mostly because your dog has more than 220 million olfactory receptors in its nose, while you have only 5 million!
Sometimes your dog's sense of smell surprises you so much that you want to tell everybody about it like Greg W Day does in his stories.
The Raccoon Exterminator
He came in from the backyard with his nose so close to the ground he resembled an anteater. Turning the corner sharply he entered the family room and went straight to the fireplace. Although not as crazy as cats, dogs have their own idiosyncrasies so I didn't think too much about it. As early morning turned into mid morning my wife was getting ready for work, in a hurry as usual. I was in the process of looking for a job on-line. Spence again came into my office looking for attention. "Wanna go outside?" I asked.
He sat down by my side, looked at me, as if to say:"no, that's not it, try again"
I was puzzled now.
My wife was rushing around, gave me a quick kiss and declared "got to go"
"Notice anything odd about Spence?" I'd say
Not wanting to make her late for work I'd say "I'll take care of it". She hastily went out the door. "OK" she said.
I made 2 eggs for breakfast for myself and I would always spoil my dog with a little piece of toast, occasionally. We could eat together that way.
Once again it was time for him to go out, and once again he came back in the same way as before. Head down to the carpet, directly to the left.This time he spent more time close to the fireplace. He was sniffing and looking intently. I never knew my dog to have a hunters look, but if there was one, this would be how it would look.
"That's it!" I thought "There is something in the fireplace!".
Through the glass doors I could see insulation had fallen to the bottom. With the doors partially pushed out in the middle it looked like something had tried to break the latch from the inside, so I opened the doors to take a look. Seeing nothing the first few feet up and then just a little bit farther, there it was, 2 big eyes staring back at me. I quickly backed away and then "bam", hit my head on the hard brick.
Articles on the internet suggested ways of getting rid of raccoons such as dropping a rope down the chimney to make it easier for them to get out, playing loud rock and roll, and putting out ammonia soaked rags or moth balls. I tried them all and still the raccoon didn't budge.
The next day I was resigned to the fact that the only way to get rid of the rodent was to call a professional. It was time for The Varmint Police.
It turned out the Varmint Police was one guy named Bill.
Bill was a rough-looking guy, but just the type of guy who could get rid of a raccoon stuck in a chimney.
On the way into the house I explained how the last 48 hours had been.
"I'll get him" he said."Need to get my cage from the truck"
Standing by the fireplace, waiting for Mr. Varmint Police to come back in seemed to last longer then the minute it did. Taking a long pole with a noose, he got on his knees and stood up in the cramped chimney opening. A loud "shit, he got me. #%**!" could be heard and then out of the fireplace opening came a mean, large, hissing,pregnant raccoon dangling from a noose, and Bill the bloody armed, exterminator.
He was released into the open-ended cage, trying to climb out as soon as he was put in. SLAM! the door shut. The raccoon was captured and taken to the truck.
I paid the Varmint Police his fee for arresting the critter and thanked him.
Not sure what happened to the raccoon but it taught me a couple of things.
You need to keep a chimney cap on the chimney, and a good dog in the house.
A dog's incredible sense of smell can save your home from danger and disaster.
Chipmunks at Home
From the time he was a pup my dog Kona had a very strong bladder. So when he got older it was no surprise to me we could leave him alone for a very long time. The day I went to work and left him for over 12 hours, was one of those days.
I was greeted at the door when I arrived home by a somewhat subdued dog. He looked like he may be guilty of something. Thinking he had to go outside right away, I opened the door for him. He walked out hesitantly, through the gated area and peed for a very short time, then back in within a minute.
Just as I thought, his bladder was not as good as it used to be, he must have peed in the house somewhere. I thought I could smell pee, but where. I wanted to clean it up as soon as possible so there would be no stains on the carpeting. I was dead wrong, thinking he would help me find his pee spot as he just laid by the sofa looking down the hallway.
My house was not that large, it shouldn't take long, but when you are looking for a wet spot, you tend to use your limited sense of feel more than sight. Bare feet are necessary in these situations. I felt around what seemed like the whole main floor and was about to head to the basement when I saw a small critter run down the hallway. Kona looked at me and then in the direction of the trail of what we both saw and then he looked back at me again. "Well what should we do about that?"
Not knowing what exactly I just saw, I stood motionless for a few minutes hoping to see it again. l went in the direction I saw it running now as Kona lead the way. It was back in the bedroom, but wait, there was another one that crossed the hallway racing to a bedroom and yet another one followed that one.
"What the heck is going on here?" I said aloud "What is that?"
I turned back towards the guest room saw another one in the corner by the closet.
"It's a chipmunk!" I whispered
It all made sense to me now, the way Kona was acting guilty, the short pee, the staring down the hallway. She knew what was going on and probably was being entertained all day by the chipmunks.
I called the exterminator and within 2 hours I had at least 3 little basket traps sitting in my house. Kona would sniff out the chipmunks and the exterminator would trap them. He would basically let a chipmunk have some space and then cut off his escape route. For example, when one was behind the sofa, he pinched off one side and the chipmunk would have to run to the other end. At the other end, would be a cage waiting.
In went the chipmunk, down came the trap door. As the exterminator was leaving the house, Kona sniffed excitedly around the stove. "Looks like your dog has found some more" He said.
The top came off relatively easy and sure enough there were 2 more chipmunks that crawled up in the warm stove.
In all, we found 6 chipmunks inside my house that day, 2 may have never been found if it wasn't for the great sense of smelling of man's best friend.
About the Author
By Greg W Day
Greg is a popular author of articles and stories about pets, human nature, and environment.