We are all aware that the term “Working Dog” has a broad definition. Seeing Eye Dogs, Bomb and Drug sniffing dogs, Dogs that help the Hearing Impaired, Emotional Support Dogs that work with PTSD veterans, Herding Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs……the list goes on and on. At the Brockton Animal Hospital we have taken care of the Brockton Police Dogs for many years. Their care has required everything from dental care, to suturing wounds, to cancer screenings, orthopedic issues, heat stroke, ultrasounds, laser therapy, parasite management among many other conditions. These incredible animals can pursue, sniff out drug or firearms and protect the officers that they accompany. The stories of these dogs’ heroism go on and on. But now, yet another purpose is being explored for the highly trained working dog. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is now beginning work with “Riley” a Weimeraner puppy that they hope will be able to sniff out destructive insects in valuable works of art. The Boston Globe reported in the following article http://edition.pagesuite.com/popovers/article_popover.aspx?guid=0f89b011-7aa7-4404-85d7-72522dad5b30 that one of the staff members is training his pup to determine if any artwork houses insect pests that ultimately could lead to the destruction of a ancient treasure. Though this is not the first time that our canine friends have had a place in the “Pest Control” world (think trained Beagles that are considered the best hunters of bedbugs) this is truly a new and unique role that could save millions of dollars in the art world.
So from all of us at the Brockton Animal Hospital we wish Boston’s MFA best of luck in getting Riley up to speed in his work. Just remember, at the end of the day, he is still just a dog that wants to be loved. (and of course have fun)