The difference between a walk and a sniff is that on a walk you take a lot of steps with a little sniffing in between and when you go on a sniff it is a lot of smelling with some steps in between.
When we go on walks we stay either on or on the edge of, the road, depending on how hot the surface is. There are a lot of good smells wherever we go, but only from my fellow dogs and maybe a stray cat like Ugly Joan. Mommy doesn’t have much patience when we smell on walks. She never comes on sniffs with us. We don’t know if she would have no patience if we walked instead of sniffed.
But, Daddy knows the need for a good sniff. I am not sure if he would be a patient if he did not have a smartphone. When we get to a sniff spot and start examining it he pulls it out his smartphone and waits for us to tug on the leash to let him know we want to move onto the next exhibit.
There are two different routes we go on sniffs. One is to the back. Near the edge of our development, there are some stones, a creek, and a field. It is a great spot. We could sniff here for days. The problem is it takes a long time to walk there, and sometimes we have to quit sniffing early because of exhaustion.
We prefer to walk to the front. The sniffing begins at the bend in the road four houses down. Our development is called Rocky Knoll. Our house is on the knoll’s rise which means whenever we are going home we are always going up no matter what direction we walk. The rocky part comes from the number of big boulders in people’s yards and along the roads. We didn’t get a rock in our yard. We think the previous owner took it with him because the people here who knew him said he lost his marbles.
When we get around the bend there is a grassy area, with boulders five feet apart, and an old wooden fence along with the neighboring property. This is the glory hole. Every dog who walks the road stops here to leave a message. That would be reason enough to visit the rocks. But it isn’t just dogs who visit.
There are woods surrounding our development and an abandoned barn behind the fence. At night all sorts of creatures emerge to walk our roads, dig through trash, and leave their markings on rocks. Their smell is fascinating. River and I can spend five minutes at one rock, which, if you compute that to human time, is like spending a week on a cruise.
Then we go to the fence. There is a slight opening under it where animals slink back and forth. There are terrific smells there as well. Then we illegally go behind the barn. There is a No Trespass sign there, not because it is private property, but because any dog under the age of four with an undeveloped sniffer who goes there couldn’t handle the scents. They could easily get overwhelmed and never sniff again.
Somedays the smorgasbord of olfactory pleasures at the barn satisfies our sniffing needs. If we still yearn to smell we walk towards the mailroom, which has a plethora of human scents including anticipation, disappointment, anger, and exhaustion, which we can detect near the ramp, which some of our older residents waddle down like Trump after a speech.
From there we go to the back of the mailroom. There are not a lot of smells, but it does have thick, green grass that tickles our paws as we walk and sometimes rub our tummy. We smile the entire way. Then we go to the small cluster of trees to enjoy some much-needed shade. From there we walk back home, sniffing the backside of the rocks, which is like an epilogue to what we originally read. When we are done sniffing we walk home for a big drink of water, find a cool place on the floor, and think of all the smells we sniffed.
I hope you get to go on sniffs too. Your nose will thank you.