A dog’s sense of smell is 100 to 1,000 times more sensitive than that of humans. Dogs are used for everything from wilderness and avalanche searches to urban disasters and finding dead bodies.
Cadaver dogs are trained specifically to identify human remains and can identify hundreds of different scents, even if the body is buried under several feet of earth or is underwater. As a body decomposes, each stage of the decomposition produces different smells, and cadaver dogs are trained to identify them all.
How does Detective Giorgio Salvatori’s dog Grosvenor, like the one seen in this picture, fit in?
The Basset Hound is a short-legged scent hound, originally bred to hunt hare. Their ability to track ground-scent is second only to bloodhounds. Those short legs keep basset hounds close to the ground, so their noses stay in the perfect position to follow scents. The loose skin around their necks, and the long, trailing ears, help trap scents. Their legs also don’t let them travel too fast, so hunters on foot are able to keep up with them, making Grosvenor the perfect dog for a detective on the hunt.
Grosvenor was rescued from the dog-pound after having been abused. He fit Giorgio’s family like a glove and immediately earned his keep by finding a dead body. He went on to find several more in the second book, and…well, you’ll have to wait and see how he contributes to the third book. But believe me, you won’t want to miss it. Look for The Essence of Murder this summer.