in Cheap Thoughts, Futurist, Weather, X-Geek

Cheap thoughts: the nose knows

Photo by David Selby

While watching my pooch sniff his way around the neighborhood this week, I pondered how he always seemed to know when a storm is coming – often much sooner than we do. Is it the vibration of the thunder? The sound of thunder? Could it be that he is more sensitive to the electrical charges, being that he wears more fur than we do?

Then I remembered the NOVA program on dogs and how a dog’s senses are inferior or equal to humans in all aspects except one: the sense of smell. A dog’s sense of smell is its meal ticket and is a bazillion times more powerful than a human’s. What if a dog can smell an approaching storm? Of course, rain has a distinctive smell and definitely changes the way the environment smells.

But what if it went further than that? What if dogs can smell lightning? Lightning and other high-energy electric discharges ionize air, creating ozone. What if dogs can smell this ozone?

And … if my dog is at his most compliant in the midst of a storm (or the threat of a storm), could a small ozone generator attached to his collar make him safely and painlessly stop in his tracks should he decide to escape on an unauthorized jaunt through the neighborhood?