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When Is A Fire Hydrant A Library?

The Wonderful World of Smells—35% of a Dog's Reading Material Comes Through Their Nose

"Why does my dog go crazy for the fire hydrant? What makes a fire hydrant so special?"

Well, every hydrant has a story to tell. To us, the hydrant is a source of emergency water. That's it.

Our world is largely visual—auditory as well. Only 5 percent of our understanding of the world comes from smelling the world around us.

With our dog buddies, smelling is 35 percent of their way to sense the world around them. They can smell another dog's urine as much as three to five years after the dog has peed and left a house. This is still true even after ammonia, bleach, soap and water, and Lysol have been used to remove the scent.

We see a fire hydrant. Your dog sees the perfect vertical object, right at pee-pee level. (Dogs like to pee against something vertical, prominent, especially if it contains the mark of other dogs' urine.)

They like to mark their territory, but so has every dog preceding them. So, after taking a good sniff of this neighborhood landmark's contact list, after smelling all the other wizzers before them, they want to join the party and mark it last. In this hydrant pee party, the last guest to arrive is the guest of honor, the top dog.

HYDRANT POEM

In Studio City

Right in front of Paper Source

Is a yellow fire hydrant

That doggies have endorsed

With their wee wee, yes of course

And they’re down on all their fours

Sniff-sniff

Sniff-sniffin’

Sniff-sniff

sniff-sniffin’

That’s how the dogs are riffin’ (how dogs are riff-riff-riffin’)

In Sherman Oaks City

Right in front of Galleria

A yellow hydrant is endorsed

By all the dogs who go off course

While their owners try to force

The dogs from sniffin…

Sniff-sniff

From sniffin'

Sniff-sniff-sniffin

But those dogs are only riffin’

They will never stop their sniffin’

They won’t stop sniff-sniff-sniff-sniffin'

No, they won't.

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