Skype is Terrific . . . Unless You’re a Dog

007Penny recognizes my sailor’s voice during our daily Skype sessions, but dogs (at least this one) can’t distinguish a 2-D image on a computer screen as a real 3-D human face. Her giant ears perk up when my sailor calls her name and asks her how she’s been, what she’s been up to and if she misses him. (Yes, we talk to her as if she’s a little furry person.) But she looks for him out the window, not on the screen less than a foot in front of her pointy snout.

Dogs are olfactory creatures. Maybe if she could access my sailor’s powerful pheromones over the internet she’d recognize him and enjoy their regular Skype interactions.

Smell-o-rama is accessible at certain high-class tourist venues, so why not on home computers?

At the Jorvic Viking Centre in York, England we were treated to the scents of a Viking village. The sweet perfume of apples at the farmer’s market and the cozy fragrance of a wood fire on an autumn afternoon brought Viking village life delightfully alive for us.

Unfortunately, the stink of an open latrine (complete with a huge hairy Viking grunting behind a half-wall partition) provided an intimate vision of the daily Viking experience we could have done without.

(At this point, I should probably apologize to every postal worker who handled the scratch and sniff latrine postcards I mailed to everyone I knew in Canada and the UK.)

In the absence of smell-o-rama, I may have to put an item of my sailor’s intimate apparel on the keyboard to give the dog the ultimate bonding experience the next time he Skypes.