Nose prints…no not the kid of ‘artwork’ you see on windows and glass doors. It’s way too easy to say “my windows aren’t dirty, that’s just my dog’s nose art.” 🐾 No, what I’m talking about are all those ridges on his nose.
Have you ever look at your dog’s nose? I mean really look at your dog’s nose. Every dog has different ridges, lines, swirls, even scales that are unique to him on that nose. I had never really noticed with Sam until I spotted a small white-ish soul patch on his chin over the weekend (I guess age isn’t quite as relative as previously thought). The angle that showed the small white-ish patch of fur allowed me to really notice all the ridges.
That kind of baffled and freaked me out. First, there was that whole ‘soul patch’ thing going on (the freak out part) and then there were all these swirls and ridges that suddenly seemed so foreign to me (the baffling part). What I hadn’t realized was that those ridges are the equivalent to a human fingerprint…unique only to Sam and no other dog’s nose is just like it.
I discovered that the Canadian Kennel Club has accepted nose prints as proof of identity since 1938. Who’d have thought? More recently of course, microchip technology has been the identification du jour that most people think of for keeping track of their pet’s identity but nose printing is even more useful than chipping or tagging. Chips can become dislodged, in effect lost within the dog and it is a painful and invasive process. There is a US company that uses an inkless device and has the owner make an impression of the dog’s nose as a permanent record of its identity. Once the impression and a photo of the dog are taken, both are sent to the company along with contact info and scanned into a proprietary database. A collar tag is provided with the dog’s ID number, owner’s phone number and the company’s toll-free number. Should the dog become missing, the owner can either notify the company on its website or call to let them know the dog is missing whereby the nose print is then faxed to every known vet and animal shelter within the owner’s area. If someone calls to say they picked up a dog matching the description, the owner can verify with the shelter and the nose print is compared with the original. The company touts the ID is more reliable than dog tags, and is certainly a lot less invasive than tattooing or micro-chipping.
Because I’m a safety first kind of gal, Sam was micro-chipped the week I brought him home. He also has a tag on his collar indicating that he’s micro-chipped, along with contact info on his Canine Good Citizen tag but the idea of a nose print is kind of interesting. That white soul patch thing on the other hand, is just flat cool. But it does make me think I need to watch him more closely as the “real” senior he obviously is and see if he starts acting more like a 9-year-old than the punk kid he acts like currently. 🙂
Live, love, bark <3