In conversation with a writer whose focus on working dogs has contributed mightily to our understanding of the canine skill set and how it’s harnessed for our benefit.
Bark: In the course of researching Doctor Dogs, did you learn anything that surprised you?
Maria Goodavage: Yes, almost every day! Like when I saw a dog detecting ovarian cancer in a single drop of blood plasma that had been diluted with one drop of saline; the test drop was taken from this mixture. That blew me away, and gave me even more respect for the incredible training that goes into something like this, and for dogs’ phenomenal sense of smell. This dog’s paycheck? She got to choose her favorite from a box of doggy toys!