It’s a well known fact that dogs are the best, smartest, best – oops, I already said best – greatest animals on the planet. (FYI -it won’t do you any good to argue this point with me)
Dogs are so awesome they can even solve crimes! K9 units play a vital role along side law enforcement in the investigation of criminal activity. Dogs have become indispensable tools for investigators when expensive detection equipment have proven to be useless or unsuitable to get the job done.
What makes a dog so important in crime solving? Their nose, of course!
Would you be impressed with five million scent cells working a crime scene? Sorry, that’s not enough to accomplish the task. Five million is the average number of scent cells a human may have. Now, let’s go back to the scene of the crime with three-hundred million olfactory receptors. Yep, you read that right – THREE-HUNDRED MILLION!
A dog’s incredible sense of smell goes far beyond a measly three-hundred million scent cells. God gave dogs a little something extra that we mere mortals don’t have. Dogs have an organ in the roof of their mouths that basically allow them to “taste” a smell. As a human, I’m not so sure that would always be beneficial, but for a dog involved in a criminal investigation – priceless.
Another amazing fact about a dog’s sense of smell: they can smell in 3-D. Each nostril can smell independently from the other. A dog’s brain will use the separate smells they pick up to develop a “profile” of the odor to help them determine where the smell can be found. This is why investigators use articles of clothing or other personal items that carry the target scent for dogs to sniff before they take off to track it down.
Investigators use dogs in several areas of investigation.
- Drug Detection
- Explosives Detection
- Arson Investigation
- Search and Rescue (living survivors)
- Cadaver Dogs (deceased victims)
Detection dogs are trained to work in one specific area of detection. These highly trained K9s build a strong bond with their handlers. They work together, aiding each other in the search for any clues that will lead to the conclusion of the crime.
Dogs are just one more reason to love reading cozy mysteries. Dogs (ok, and cats) are beloved characters in many cozy mystery series. Some of these canine characters are loyal companions of our favorite amateur sleuths, while others aid their owners in the actual solving of crimes.
In her Domestic Diva series, author Krista Davis gave her main character, Sophie Winston, a rescued hound mix named Daisy. Daisy has lead Sophie to a few bodies throughout the series.
Krista Davis also writes the Paws and Claws mystery series set in a dog lovers dream: the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia. When murder runs rampant in Wagtail, you can count of Holly Miller and her rambunctious Jack Russell named Trixie, and a cat named Twinkletoes to get to the bottom of the crime.
Ellery Adams is author of the Books by the Bay series. Her protagonist, Olivia Limoges, has a standard poodle named Captain Haviland. The Captain has been Olivia’s superhero, attacking evil murderers to save her from certain death.
These are just two of my favorite authors with cozy series that include dogs in their list of characters. Dogs (yes, yes, cats too) offer an addition layer of “connection” the cozy author uses to build a relationship with their readers.
God truly blessed this world when He created a dog. If you will allow me to be corny – dog spelled backwards is… God. He knew we would need these wonderful, lovable, intelligent companions in our lives.
“So God created the great creatures…And He saw that it was good.” Genesis 1