Every neighborhood has one – that favored tree or bush around the corner where all the dogs like to stop on a walk and do their business. To you and the other pet owners, it’s a tree or bush where they like to “go.” To the dogs, it’s so much more than that. They see it as the canine version of social media, a place where they can post and receive messages about what’s going on in their lives.  “This is how dogs have a conversation between dogs,” said Sharon Crowell-Davis, a professor of behavioral medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. “This is how dogs tell each other that I was here and that I am a part of this area.” Not only do the dogs know who else has come by, they can tell from the scents whether the other dogs that have stopped there are old or young, male or female, healthy or not feeling so well, what they’ve eaten, whether something has frightened them, or whether there’s a new dog in the ‘hood they will “like.” Crowell-Davis, who was one of the founding diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and has published more than 400 papers and book chapters on various aspects of animal behavioral medicine, calls dogs’ sense of smell “a world of odor information that humans are totally blind to. We can’t imagine what their world is like. It’s virtually impossible for us to perceive.” If we could, perhaps we wouldn’t feel so embarrassed as we stand at the other end of the leash as our dogs do their thing and someone drives by. If we understood more, we might even get a chuckle from the canine conversation. “Hey Peanut and TeeVee, Louie was here today, too.” “I’m liking that new diet, Peanut!” “Hope you feel better, TeeVee. Sorry about the bladder issues. That’s no fun.” “Looks like we all missed smokin’ hot Ellie Mae and Lady yesterday.” “OMG! Who’s this new guy in the ‘hood?”

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