Though you probably wouldn’t think it, insects can be quite harmful to valuable pieces of artwork, a rapidly recurring issue that many museums are attempting to repair. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts thinks they’ve found the solution, and it involves their newest employee: Riley the bug-sniffing dog. The museum purchased the Weimaraner puppy to train its acute smelling senses to sniff out the unseeable insects and any other creeping creatures that cause damage to their artwork collection.
“Weimaraners are incredibly smart and have a powerful sense of smell,” said Nicki Luongo, director of the museum’s protective services department. The breed has historically been used as hunting dogs due to their heightened intelligence and their confidence. Riley won’t be hunting deer, however. She’ll be hunting for tiny little insects.
If you do happen to make your way to the museum, however, don’t expect to see Riley mingling with museum-goers, as she’ll be used less for sniffing out the Rembrandts and will be used more predominantly behind the scenes among the archives.