Fliss posed this question this afternoon. It’s a reflection on her level of curiosity that she was asking a question loaded with comedy value without actually trying to be funny.
I’ve had a think about it and it is an interesting thing to ponder.
Do hard core dog walkers all over the world now say “okay, Rover – lets go find a corpse!” rather than the Barbra Woodhouse 80’s favourite “Walkies!”?
For your average domestic canine with a fading hunter/killer instinct it’s probably a bit of a shock to discover a shallow grave when you were just having a curious sniff. I mean, there you are – taking in the scents of any number of fellow dogs who may have padded the same route over the last few days. Then wham! it hits you in the nostrils like a well swung spade.
“Wuph me… I smell dead human…”
For the dog owner it means a thirty second tv interview where they try to hide the relief that the corpse isn’t anyone they know. But for Rover, it’s like being a war veteran.
You weren’t there, man, you couldn’t smell the death, man.
But Rover is the one forgotten as policemen in white rompa-suits come and go from murder scene tents in the background. Sure, when you sniff out a kid down a well or discover a hidden drugs haul, you’re the dog with your name on the cover of the local news paper. You’re the dog who gets the community award of a nice new collar or basket – and just maybe you’re made an honourary police dog by the local constabulary.
But sniff out a dead body and you get none of that shit. You just make everybody around you sombre and miserable until the mental scars teach you not to goddam dare sniff that recently disturbed earth by the side of the path on any walk you’ll ever have again.
So dog owners, next time you’re out for a walk with your canine companion take a moment to think about it… would the isolated route you frequent be an ideal place to hide the evidence of an horrific crime?