Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rescue dogs find jobs, good homes

What a better world this would be if we had more stories like this to tell.
A couple days ago, I was contacted by a local woman who follows this blog and had also seen our article on Saturday story Bed bugs infest apartment complexes.
“I have a dog that finds bed bugs,” she told me.
I’ve seen this before. In fact, in talking with her, I realized we must’ve watched the same show. I think it was that Eaten Alive show on the National Geographic Channel (I am a huge natgeo fan, both the channel and the magazine. Side note here, but did anyone else pick up the March magazine and give Wolf Wars a read? Fantastic information in that).
Anyhow, the show profiled a woman who was being “eaten alive” every night. She’d wake up with bites all over her, but a close inspection of her home never showed any sign of bugs.
Why? It was bed bugs, and they do quite a good job of staying hidden — until you’re fast asleep, of course.
It wasn’t until this woman brought in a dog trained to sniff out bed bugs that she realized exactly what her problem was. The dog immediately went toward some luggage the woman had on the floor from a recent trip and then continued to point and paw in a variety of places all over the home. It was bed bugs, without a doubt.
The woman then contacted a proper bed bug exterminator and voila! Problem solved.
Back to the dog aspect in all of this, though.
We have two dogs, right here in Oakland County, who have specialized training to sniff out bed bugs (read the story I wrote for today's paper). Both dogs came from rescue groups.
Maureen Abbott, the Milford woman who called me about this, uses Addie, a beagle mix. Copper, a retriever and beagle mix, is employed by BioGreen Solutions, a Bloomfield Hills-based company that exterminates the bed bugs.
I can see where beagles would be especially good at this. While all dogs have a nose that’s powerful beyond what we humans can imagine, beagles come from that hound line which has exacerbated the smelling abilities.
Both dogs were selected for training by a Florida institute that specializes in training dogs for such jobs. I think it’s wonderful that there’s a business out there doing this.
There are no similar training institutes in Michigan. Wouldn’t it be great if there were, though?
watch video of Maureen Abbott with Addie, her bed bug sniffing beagle mix, below

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