SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY

Friday, Apr 26 @ 1:04 PM

This morning, as I was taking out the trash, the various objects in the trash bag conspired to create the smell of baloney (for the record, we don’t really have any baloney in the house; well, save for what I am occasionally accused of creating verbally, that is). Anyway, the next thing I knew, I was transported into memories of childhood, and baloney and cheese sandwiches on wonder bread (not that this is an experience unique to growing up Iowa, but it was pretty common in Iowa). All of this leads to a frequent source of conjecture for me of late, and that is the inner world of my dog. Over the last year or so, I have read a few books on dogs, and they all make a great to do about a dog’s sense of scent. It is claimed that scent is as important for a dog as eyesight is for humans. And lately they have even demonstrated that a dog’s sense of smell is precise enough to detect cancer under some circumstances. I find myself wondering what it must be like to experience the world in that way. How very foreign to the way we interact with the world. And I wonder if smells conjure up memories for dogs in any way comparable to our own experience. Or is it even more vivid, more visceral? I chat about this on occasion with various folk, and those who know me as a songwriter suggest that maybe there is a song in there somewhere. Maybe there is. I can’t see it just yet. But then, maybe that’s the problem. If there is a song in this line of thought, maybe I have to sniff it out.

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