In Which Dogs Sniff out the Virus and Save the World, And Also Get Treats

They say that dogs can sniff out COVID in passengers

at the Helsinki airport, offering a paw, or lying down –

(even in this job, dogs are on our side –

“I’m sorry,” they say with a paw, “you’re positive,

but I will lie here with you.”)

with near 100% accuracy. Maybe they smell it

in our sweat, the scientists theorize.

Perhaps we should all gather at

airports around the country, park in neat lines

on the paved or cracked or gravel parking lots –

families and singles and grandparents and college students,

babies in car seats rocking on the pavement –

and the dogs will fly in on fancy jets,

lounging in first class with fresh toilet water

and well-used fire hydrants in the loo,

flight attendants handing out belly rubs

and squeaky ducks; but once

they are on the ground they get to work,

noses working furiously,

(some of the border collie types

will try to herd those infected into the long term parking,

the labs and retrievers will want to fetch aspirin, oxygen, blankets,

the Chihuahuas will yip and try to climb into fancy sparkled purses,

the beagles will bay and try to tree the toddlers up in the light posts)

it will be loosely organized chaos,

but at the end of the day, from the control tower,

we’ll see all at once

a map of the invasion –

writ like tangled skeins on our villages,

our suburbs, our cities across the country:

Porterfield, Natick, Phoenix,

Cincinnati, Raleigh, Portland, Athens –

a map punctuated by wet noses and solemn wagging tails,

a paw on the forearm saying Here.



2 thoughts on “In Which Dogs Sniff out the Virus and Save the World, And Also Get Treats

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