Monday, November 17, 2014
When I was a little girl I was entranced by Doctor Doolittle. It wasn't a crush or anything. I just wanted to be like him. I wanted to talk to animals too! I studied animal behavior in college and even wrote on animal communication, but alas, I could never talk to animals the way he could. He was a super hero!
Last week I listened to Doctor Doolittle while I was driving to and from our Falling Leaves writing retreat. Of course it was different from the movie, but it was still magical for me. And guess what? It features one of the best sniffer dogs in literature -- Jip!
Here's one of my favorite paragraphs about Jip's sniffing:
"Jip smelt the ring and said,
"That's no good. Ask him if he has anything else that belonged to his uncle."
Then the boy took from his pocket a great, big red handkerchief and said, "This was my uncle's too."
As soon as the boy pulled it out, Jip shouted,
"SNUFF, by Jingo!—Black Rappee snuff. Don't you smell it? His uncle took snuff— Ask him, Doctor."
The Doctor questioned the boy again; and he said, "Yes. My uncle took a lot of snuff."
"Fine!" said Jip. "The man's as good as found. 'Twill be as easy as stealing milk from a kitten. Tell the boy I'll find his uncle for him in less than a week. Let us go upstairs and see which way the wind is blowing."" - The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting
Jip - the sniffer dog! Jip is searching across the sea using the power of his nose just like Tucker on the cover of Sniffer Dogs.
"Can you really smell all those different things in this one wind?" asked the Doctor.
"Why, of course!" said Jip. "And those are only a few of the easy smells—the strong ones. Any mongrel could smell those with a cold in the head. Wait now, and I'll tell you some of the harder scents that are coming on this wind—a few of the dainty ones."
Then the dog shut his eyes tight, poked his nose straight up in the air and sniffed hard with his mouth half-open.
And later on Jip remarks, "No wonder those silly eagles couldn't see him!—It takes a dog to find a man."
Hugh Lofting was right when he wrote those words for Jip! It does take a dog to find a man!
Have you read about any sniffer dogs in books you've read? There are many others since Doctor Doolittle was written in 1920. Tell me what you've read and I'll include it on my website!
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