about sniffing from “Inside of a Dog” by Alexandra Horowitz

“Given our tendency to find so many smells disgusting, we should all celebrate that our olfactory system adapts to an odor in the environment: over time if we stay in one place, the intensity of every smell diminishes until we don’t notice it  at all. The first smell of coffee brewing in the morning: fantastic …and gone in a few minutes. The first smell of something rotting under the porch: nauseating… and gone in a few minutes. The sniffing method of dogs enables them to avoid habituation to the olfactory topography of the world: they are continually refreshing the scent in their nose, as though shifting their gaze to get another look.”

It has been estimated that a Beagle’s sense of smell may be millions of times more sensitive than ours.

“We might notice if our coffee’s been sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar: a dog can detect a teaspoon of sugar diluted in a million gallons of water: two Olympic sized pools full.”