And sometimes she takes me along, and I take my dog - we all get to go out for walkies.
Here we are on our usual route back in 2015 - we have been at this a while. Her dog is a brindled Pit/Plott, which is a thing around here - the state dog is the Plott hound and due to the number of pit bulls (AKA Pibbles in the vernacular) running around there are now a large number of Pit/Plotts. Go figure.
Plott hounds are scent hounds and were bred to track bears. You can read more about them here.
But what I find interesting is watching these two dogs follow a scent while we are walking. We usually cover nearly the same path on every walk, and there are rarely any surprises. But once in a while both dogs will become entranced, then fascinated then positively excited to follow a trail. In the past I have suggested that we are tracking marmosets, wombats or even the elusive honey badger, but none of those theories have been proven. And the dogs, they ain't sayin' anything!
Because I like to learn about such things when I saw an article about how dogs smell (I know, I know) I read it. I have a friend who trains German Shepherds to do tracking work, and while I think she is a dork and her dogs are spazzes, I did read the book she wrote on the subject of dogs olfactory. It was mostly a cut and paste job, but at least her dogs do good work, despite their high-strung nature. This is a much better, more scientific approach to the subject: