What I Don't Know Yet

Scat Hounds

In Uncategorized on September 19, 2008 at 9:24 pm

Scat Hounds. Sounds like a new jazz group, doesn’t it? Or maybe it’s an order to dogs who should leave now.

But the scat in this reference has more in common with scatology than Ella Fitzgerald. Researchers trained these pups to detect the droppings of jaguars and other tropical cats in the forests of Belize. Here’s the Virginia Tech story.

Jaguar’s are elusive.  Humans just aren’t that adept at recognizing what they’ve left behind. But for dogs, it’s a snap. What’s in it for canines besides the fragrant research? Whenever the dog detects a forest litter box, he’s allowed to play fetch for a little while. In fact, only fetch-happy dogs are chosen for this work.

My mind kept wandering, of course, to other issues: What do the dogs do when they’re not working? Are they loved and

kopi luwak

kopi luwak

cuddled and given attention when they’re not scatting? What happens if they actually meet a jaguar? Could you use these dogs to hunt up those Sumatran coffee beans harvested from the feces of a little civit-like creature called a luwak? Would somebody give me some of those beans so I could judge this coffee for myself? Who was the first person to think of removing the beans from the poop and brewing them? Are there other poop foods and beverages we’re denying ourself by our squeamishness? Do we really want to go there?

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