Great article in The Oregonian newspaper by Laura McCandlish (of BaltimOregon blog) on truffle hunting dogs:
Until last year, Gusto, a 6-year-old search-and-rescue black Labrador retriever, didn’t know a sumptuous truffle from a poisonous puffball mushroom. While she had sniffed out crime scenes and searched for cadavers since she was a puppy, her Eugene-based owner, Jean Rand, found it difficult to go out on those 3 a.m. calls. Wasn’t there a more regular daytime pursuit for Gusto’s keen nose? (full story)
I wish my dog Oyster could do this! How can I train him to do more than sniff out treats in my pocket? Are there truffles to be had in Maryland? not sure, but maybe ginseng hunting hounds could be another alternative.