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Thread: The sniffer dog with a nose for historic homes' dry rot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    The sniffer dog with a nose for historic homes' dry rot

    Dogs are known for using their noses to sniff out drugs, firearms and even cancer. But can they also use that sensitivity to save the nation's stately homes from the scourge of dry rot?

    Seven-year-old Sam is a dog in demand.

    The golden Labrador, once abandoned by his owners for being "too boisterous", has carved out a career detecting dry rot hidden from the human eye.

    For Sam, locating the heady whiff of the fungus is the start of a new game which will end with extra cuddles from his handler and trainer, Peter Monaghan, a surveyor.

    But detecting the rot is a serious business for the National Trust, the charitable trust which maintains some of Britain's most treasured stately homes.

    Over the past year the trust has spent about 51.8m on property conservation alone.

    Standing at the heart of an estate which includes parks and a working farm, about 10 miles (16km) south of Cambridge, is the 17th Century Wimpole Hall.

    It is the location of Sam's most recent assignment - scouring its 300-year-old basement to see just how far its dry rot had spread.

    It meant a long journey for Sam and Mr Monaghan, 60, from their home near Kendal, in Cumbria.

    But Sam is a well-travelled Labrador, as he is thought to be one of only two dry rot sniffer dogs - known as "rothounds" - working commercially in the UK.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    There seems to be no limit to the uses for a dogs nose.

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

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